Rustic Apple Pie

IMG_7855

There is nothing like the smell of fresh apple pie straight out of the oven. This yummy smell reminds me of the first time I attempted to bake this delicious treat. When I was very young, I made my first apple pie from scratch. It was my mom who first showed me how to dice the apples, roll out the dough, and bake this glorious pie but let me tell you, I am now the pie crust master.

The recipe below is the same one I have been following since I was 10 years old. It’s from a very old edition of a Betty Crocker cookbook that my mom has now passed down to me (I think the publishing date is from the early 1970’s) where the finishing result is far superior than any other pie recipe that I’ve previously baked. The end result is a flaky, delicious crust with a flavorful burst of apple filling.

Ingredients:

Pie Crust

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 4-5 tablespoons of cold water

Filling

  • 7-8 McIntosh apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of butter

Directions:

Filling

Begin by peeling and coring the apples, then dicing into cubes.

Place the apples in a medium sized bowl and toss with flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt till all the apples are well coated.

IMG_7770

While you are making the pie crust, the apples will have time to marinate in their delicious spice coating.

Pie Crust

Combine the flour and salt in a medium size bowl and add the shortening. Using two knives, cut the shortening into the flour until the mixture is about the size of small peas. Add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until the dough forms a ball.

IMG_7769

Split the dough into two equal portions. Wrap one portion in cellophane and place it in the fridge. Sprinkle a dusting of flour across a work surface and proceed to roll out the second portion of dough to form a 10-inch circle.

IMG_7774                       IMG_7782

Carefully transfer the rolled dough into a pie plate. A handy trick that will keep the dough from tearing is to roll it back up around the rolling pin, then transfer and unroll over the pie plate. Using your fingers, push the dough firmly into the pie plate so no air remains underneath and trim any excess dough from the sides.

IMG_7785

Add the apple filling and top with bits of butter.

IMG_7799

Repeat the same process for the second portion of dough, rolling it out and transferring it directly on top of the apple filling. Again, use your fingers and pinch the dough along the rim to form a seal. Trim any excess dough.

IMG_7803                  IMG_7806

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, use a knife to cut 3 slits into the top of the pie allowing the steam to escape while baking. Cover the crust of the pie with a small amount of aluminum foil for the first 35 minutes of baking to ensure that it doesn’t burn.

IMG_7851

Cook the apple pie for 45-50 minutes and remove the aluminum foil from the crust for the last 15 minutes. Let the pie cool and serve with some delicious ice cream for dessert!

Lobster Rolls!

It’s finally lobster season!

IMG_2832

When I heard that it was lobster season I got very excited because for a limited time only lobster is affordable! To celebrate this delicious festival, I thought it would be most appropriate to make an amazing dinner that would let the delicate taste of lobster shine through. Lobster rolls were the perfect dish, as they showcase the lobster meat perfectly using only other subtle flavors that work in balance and which are not too overpowering.

I bought my lobsters at the grocery store pre-cooked to save some preparation time. However, I must give you a warning when making this scrumptious meal. It does require some time and physical effort when removing the lobster meat from the shell (you will need a lobster cracker). If this step doesn’t phase you then please purchase some lobsters right away and begin cooking!

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium-sized lobsters, cooked
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 stock of celery, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • Handful of chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 large leaves of romaine lettuce
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 4 plain hot dog buns

Directions:

Begin by removing all the lobster meat from their shells with a lobster cracker (this step might be a bit time consuming).

Break the lettuce leaves into two large chunks. Spread butter along the inside of each hot dog bun then line the buns with the lettuce leaves.

Mix all other ingredients together then add the lobster. Stir carefully until well combined.

Fill each bun with the lobster mixture, top with chives, and enjoy these delicious rolls! As a serving suggestion, plate with a side of potato chips or salad.

http://instagram.com/p/Zb7xcsv3tO/