Saturday, October 19, 2013

Apples, apples, apples!!

This week my sister shared a whole box of apples she had picked with me. So, a few days ago I sat on my couch and peeled and sliced the apples while I watched "Johnny Appleseed"! Yes, yes I did! It was glorious. I got the apples peeled and sliced and ready to go into pie shells and I got to watch a lovely childhood movie that I always adored. Thank goodness someone has taken the time to put these treasures on YouTube so they are not lost to us. I got a little burned out on peeling and slicing so I left the rest of the box for today.  I realized we were almost out of homemade treats in the freezer for the kids to take in their school lunches and decided I needed to use up the rest of those apples! Rather than slice them I decided to dice them to make mini apple pie pockets for the kids. With some of the leftover chopped apple mixture I made a beautiful rustic tart. And I froze the rest for another day. It feels amazing to have a freezer full of so many yummy apple treats ready to go into lunches and ready to bake into tarts and pies. I love this pie dough recipe. It is made with butter and some apple cider vinegar. The vinegar gives it a wonderful flakiness you would usually only get from shortening. Shortening is banned in my house so this pie dough recipe really is a gem to have. Fall is in full swing in Utah and I have enjoyed every minute of it. From the beautiful changing leaves in the mountains to the crisp air in the mornings,  the porches littered with pumpkins and cornstalks and the fabulous Fall foods. We are all so excited for the holidays at my house. This time of the year really is our favorite. Not just because of all of the great things that fill our bellies, but because we know that family time is coming. That our hearts will be full as well.

Butter Pie Crust Recipe
2 1/2 C. flour
1 C. salted butter- cut into pieces
7 Tbsp. cold water
1 Tbsp. Apple Cider vinegar

In the bowl of a food processor add the flour, salt and butter. Pulse enough times to get coarse crumbs. Stir in the water and the vinegar and pulse until the dough comes together. Remove from bowl, divide in half and and form 2 round discs. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.  Now, wasn't that easy!!

Apple Pie Filling:
8 C. peeled, cored and sliced apples (dice apple if using in mini pie pockets)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon

Add all ingredients and stir gently to incorporate. Use in pie, tarts, apple crisp, etc.

Rustic Apple Tart- Take 1/4 of the pie crust recipe and on a floured surface roll out into a circle. Fill it with as much apple filling as you wish. Fold the edges up brushing them with egg white to keep them pasted down during cooking. Add a few slivers of butter to the exposed apples, wash the top of the dough with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 375 for about 35-40 minutes or until the apples are soft.

Mini Apple Pie Pockets- Roll out half a batch of pie dough, onto a floured surface, to about 1/8 of an inch thick. Cut shapes using cookie cutters or biscuit cutters. Transfer to a baking sheet. Add a small amount of pie filling (I used diced apple filling) to each cut crust, egg wash the edges, and put a sliver of butter on top of the filling. Roll out the other half of the batch and cut with cutter. Lay across the apples and press the edges together with a fork. Cut a small x in the top of each piece. Egg wash the top and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 375 for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

 Little pockets of cinnamon and apple heaven!
 This butter crust is super easy to work with.
 Leave enough room on the edges to crimp the layers together.
 Washed with egg, sprinkled with sugar and ready to go into the oven.
 Rustic apple tart AND rustic basting brush. Ewww! Time for a new one!
It's what's for dessert!!

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