In preparation for Thanksgiving, I’m showcasing some of my favorite holiday recipes this month. Some of them are family recipes while others are my own creations but each of them always has a place on my dining room table. This fall I had the opportunity to be profiled by Albanian Living magazine as a part of their “traditional American Thanksgiving” article. All of the recipes I’m sharing were a part of that Thanksgiving table.
Who doesn’t love a good apple pie? The combination of apples and cinnamon make for the perfect fall dessert. Growing up this pie was always a part of our Thanksgiving dessert table. Following in New England traditional, it was served with thick slices of Cabot Vermont Sharp Cheddar Cheese but you can also serve it with vanilla ice cream or even a lightly sweetened whipped cream. I like the pie best when it is slightly warm (just put it in to still warm oven while you are eating dinner and it will be just the right temperature when it is time for dessert).
Of course, apple pie isn’t the only pie on our Thanksgiving dessert table. Pumpkin pie served with fresh whipped cream is another must have Thanksgiving dessert!
For the crust:
12 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
3 cups all-purpose flour
8 tablespoons cold buttermilk or water
- Using a pastry cutter, two forks, or a food processor fitted with a metal blade, cut together the butter and flour until the mixture is uniformly blended and resembles coarse cornmeal.
- In half tablespoon increments, add the buttermilk or water and stir, cut, or process until the dough just holds together. You might not need to use all of the liquid.
- Divide the dough in half and cover and set one half aside.
- Place the piece of dough between two sheets of waxed or parchment paper. Using a rolling pin roll and stretch the dough to fit the bottom of an 8 or 9 inch pie plate.
- Carefully remove on piece of the paper and fit the dough into the pie plate. Press it into the edges.
- Repeat the process with the reserved dough but instead of placing it on the pie plate cover and set it aside along with the prepared dough in the refrigerator until ready to proceed.
For the pie:
6 cups mixed apples, peeled, cored, and diced into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped (optional)
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon sanding sugar or other coarse sugar
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Place the apples in prepared pie crust.
- Squeeze the lemon juice over the top of the apples being careful not to let any seeds fall into the pie.
- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, walnuts, cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Toss to combine.
- Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly over the top of the apples.
- Carefully place the remaining pie crust over the apples.
- Trim the edges of the crust if necessary and crimp the top and bottom crusts together. You can use a fork or even your fingers to form a neat and pretty edge.
- Score the top of the crust with a knife to allow steam to escape. If you have any scrap pieces of dough you can use them to create a decorative top.
- Brush the milk over the top of the crust and sprinkle with the sugar.
- Place the pie in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Without opening the oven, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 35 to 45 minutes or until the crust is brown and the juices are bubbling.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool. You can serve the pie either warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream, a sharp Cheddar cheese, or whipped cream.