Apple Pie

Simple and traditional... if apple pie eating is your tradition. Try this recipe out, and it's sure to become one! You can use whatever apples you like - Red Delicious, Walla-Walla, Fuji - but with all of the sweetness from the sugar, I'd say go with a more tart apple, like a Granny Smith.

Ingredients:
  1. 2 Prepared Pie Crusts
  2. 1/2 cup Butter
  3. 3 tbsp All Purpose Flour
  4. 1/2 cup White Sugar
  5. 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  6. 1/4 cup Water
  7. 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  8. 4-5 Apples - peeled, cored and sliced


Preheat oven to 425F. Roll one pie crust out and place in the pie pan according to these directions. Roll the second out flat, about the same size, and cut into strips using a pizza cutter. Peel, core, and slice the apples, and pile them in the pie pan. Cover with the strips in a lattice design.

In a sauce pot over medium heat, melt the butter, and whisk in the flour to form a roux. Cook the roux for 5 minutes until colored, then add the sugars, water, and vanilla extract. Whisk together and simmer for 5 minutes, until a nice syrup forms.

Slowly pour the syrup over the top of the pie, giving it time to drain down. When finished, carefully put the pie into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F and bake for another 35-40 minutes, until the crust turns a very light brown.

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Pecan Pie

Pecan pie is the epicenter of comfort food. Best served after a dinner of fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, and mashed potatoes. This is the ultimate dessert pie, in my opinion, and has been a favorite since childhood. Enjoy this recipe!

Ingredients:
  1. 2 cups Unroasted Pecans
  2. Olive Oil
  3. 1 Perfect Pie Crust
  4. 1 cup Light Corn Syrup
  5. 1 cup Brown Sugar
  6. 1/3 tsp Salt
  7. 1/3 cup Unsalted Butter, melted
  8. 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  9. 3 Eggs


Roasting the Pecans
Heat oven to 350F. Toss the 2 cups of pecans with a tiny drizzle of olive oil until evenly coasted. Lay the pecans in a single layer on a foil lined cookie sheet, and place in heated oven for 4 minutes. Remove from oven, toss, and place the pecans back in the oven for another 4 minutes. Once roasted, allow to cool before cutting each in half and sitting aside.

Making the Pie Filling
Combine corn syrup, brown sugar, salt, vanilla, and melted butter in a mixing bowl. In another bowl, blend the three eggs before adding them to the syrup mixture. Mix again until well distributed. Pour the mixture into the pie crust, and top with chopped pecans.

Cooking the Pie
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, then carefully remove and cover the edge of the pie crust with foil to prevent burning. Carefully return the pie to the oven, and bake for another 30-50 minutes. Doneness can be determined by poking with a knife. A clean knife means a fully cooked pie.

My pie was a still a bit undercooked after another 50 minutes, so I removed it from the oven and covered with a cake pan to let it continue to gently cook.

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Cornbread Dressing

An excellent side to go with any roast or stew, Cornbread Dressing is a requirement at some annual dinners. Bake in either a casserole dish or in a cast iron skillet until the top is browned and slightly crispy. Also, this is another great recipe you can add many things to if you like. Try throwing in some sausage for an all-in-one meal, or other veggies if you prefer.

Ingredients:
  1. 2 tbsp Butter
  2. 1/2 cup Celery, chopped
  3. 1 Onion, diced
  4. 3 cups Cornbread, crumbled
  5. 1 tsp Rosemary
  6. 1 tsp Thyme
  7. 2 Eggs, beaten
  8. 2 cups Chicken Broth
  9. Salt and Pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 350F. In a sauce pan, melt the butter and saute the celery and onions until just tender. Combine the vegetables with the cornbread, and mix in with the rosemary and thyme. Add the eggs and chicken broth and stir to combine. Sample the batter and determine if you want any more salt and pepper. Pour batter into baking dish and bake for about 30 minutes.

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Pie Crust

This is an easy pie crust that can be made in less than an hour. The crust has a wonderful flaky texture that is well suited to many different pie recipes. This recipe makes two crusts that can either be used for two pies, or one pie with a crusted top.

Ingredients:
  1. 2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  2. 1 tsp Salt
  3. 2 tbsp Sugar
  4. 3/4 cup Unsalted Butter, cut into cubes
  5. 1/2 cup Shortening
  6. 6-8 tbsp Ice Water


Combine the APF, salt, and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add in the cubes of butter and toss to coat. Cut the butter into the flour with a fork, while adding the shortening one tablespoon at a time. The mixture should resemble coarse cornmeal with little bits of butter. Add 4 tablespoons of ice water to the mixture, and fold the dough with a spatula. Continue adding water and folding until the dough comes together. Do not over knead the dough.

Split the dough in half, and form into two disks with your hands. Sprinkle with flour, wrap in plastic wrapper, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using, and only up to two days.

To roll out, lay on counter with a bit of flour on both sides. Using a rolling pin, roll outwards from the center to desired size. Add flour as need to prevent sticking. Once to the proper size, rub flour on top, and fold in half. Once foled, repeat the procedure rubbing with flour and again folding in half. Gently pick up the resulting triangle, and lay down so as the point is in the middle of the pie pan. Gently unfold, trim excess, and tuck the remaining bit behind the crust. Pinch the edge of the crust with your thumb, or flute with a fork.

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