Posts Tagged ‘recipes’

Homemade French Apple Pie

homemade apple pie recipe

What’s a holiday celebration without a great dessert? Whenever we have family gatherings someone inevitably asks me to bring a homemade apple pie. I have to admit I do make a mean apple pie–it’s my most requested dessert recipe. So with Christmas only two weeks away (can you believe it?), I thought I’d share my apple pie recipe for folks who are looking for a really special holiday dessert.

There are Three Secrets to Making a Great Apple Pie:

  • To make a balanced pie filling–one that’s not too sweet, too sour, too mushy, or too firm–use a variety of apples.
  • To make a flaky pie crust avoid over-handling the dough.
  • To make a super easy top crust, use crumb a topping.

Pie Pastry:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons ice water (avoid adding additional water)

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Cut in the shortening with a pastry cutter until the shortening pieces resemble small peas. Add ice water and stir to combine (use your hands if you prefer). Do not over mix, over work, or over stretch the dough when fitting it into the pan or it will shrink during baking and become tough. Form the dough into a ball and roll it between two sheets of waxed paper (this keeps your counters and roller clean and no additional flour is necessary). Fold the dough into quarters. Place on top of the baking dish; unfold. Turn raw edges under. Crimp edges between your thumb and fore fingers or use a fork. Bake the crust, unfilled, at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until it is lightly browned. (This pre-baking step keeps the bottom crust from becoming soggy.) Cool slightly before filling.

Apple Filling:

  • 8 apples peeled, cored, and sliced (2 Granny Smith, 2 Golden Delicious, 2 Braeburn, 2 Jonagold)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Combine apples, sugar, and cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate several hours (or overnight). Using a slotted spoon (you only need a small amount of juice), spoon into prepared pie crust.

French Apple Pie Crumb Topping:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup flour

Mix all ingredients into pea-sized crumbs. Sprinkle over top of pie. Make at 350 degrees for 40 minutes (or until the apples are soft and the crust and pie crumbs are golden brown.

Philly Cheesesteak Soup

Philly Cheesesteak Soup

Hi everybody. How’s the weather in your area? It’s seriously cold here today. The temperature is below freezing and the wind is blowing like crazy. It feels more like mid winter than fall. So I thought I’d make some soup for lunch to chase the chill away. And this recipe for Philly Cheesesteak soup that I found in the Foot Network Magazine fit the bill perfectly–after I tweaked the ingredients to improve the flavor and eliminated a few unnecessary steps to speed preparation.

If you love Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches, then you’ll love this rich, cheesy soup. I served it with a tossed salad, crusty bread, and iced tea.

Ingredients

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons hot sauce
8 cups chicken broth
2 hoagie rolls, cut into cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
8 ounces provolone cheese, shredded
1 pound shaved beef steak or roast beef (I used Steak-Umm frozen sliced beef)
1/4 cup jarred sliced pepperoncini
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus more for topping

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery seeds, and garlic; cook for 3 minutes. Add the flour, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce; cook, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Add the cheddar and provolone cheese and slowly whisk into the soup until melted. Pour the soup in batches into a blender and puree until smooth. Pour back into the pot and simmer on low.

Meanwhile, toss the bread cubes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil on a baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown, about 7 minutes; set aside.

While the croutons are baking, cook the frozen beef slices in a large skillet until browned. Stir in the pepperoncini and parsley then season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls; top with the beef, croutons, and more parsley.