Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Best Apple Pie

Yesterday was my oldest son’s last day at home so I asked him if he would like for me to make him a Chicken Pot Pie or an Apple Pie, and he decided on Apple Pie. I was really cutting it short because I started the pie at 1 pm and we had to leave the house by 3:30, be at the airport by 5:30 for his 6:30 flight. I gathered my ingredients as fast as I could and hoped I wouldn’t mess up. I knew that if the pie wouldn't come out right it would be my fault and not the recipe itself because I always use the one that I got from a friend who is a baker and it’s the best ever. Here I am mixing the pie dough. I always add the same amount of water, no more, no less and it’s always perfect. You can find the recipe on the bottom of this post.

I sprinkled some flour on the table, which by the way is very old and has had lot’s of cookies dough,pie dough, and tortillas rolled out on. I love that table. Anyway, I always use a rolling pin sock other wise the dough would stick to the rolling pin and that’s not cool. I roll out the dough about one inch bigger than the pie plate. If you use this recipe I promise you’ll never have another pie dough sticking to your rolling surface again. Just add very little flour on the bottom of the dough every once in a while.I always fold the dough in half before placing it on the plate. It’s easier to get it centered that way. I just make sure there are no air bubbles on the bottom by gently pressing the dough with my fingers all over the dough once it’s on the plate. Remember, the dough for the bottom is always bigger so you can turn the sides onto the top dough.

I then place all the apple slices onto the dough making sure I get every little last drop of the juicy syrup that the apples create. I’m allergic to cinnamon so I only add nutmeg to the apple, but you can add whatever spices you like for example: cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, or whatever you prefer.

I flour the bottom of the ball of dough and roll it out just big enough to cover the top of the apple slices.Once the top dough is rolled out I fold it in half and place the center on the center of the apples.

Once the top dough is on the apples I seal the top and bottom edges together so the juices from the apples won’t seep out.I brush egg white on all the top and sides then add about two tablespoons of granulated sugar on top. I don’t like a plain pie top so that’s why I add the sugar. I place some foil paper under the pie plate when I place it in the oven to catch any juice that might accidently come out. But I don’t make vents on the top of my pies so that doesn’t happen to often. I just prefer a round top.You can make air vents so the steam can escape which will also give you a flatter top.

This is what the pie looks like once it’s done. I always let it cool for a while so the syrup and apples have a chance to settle and not run out as soon and you cut into it.

Here is the end result. This is such a good pie especially when there’s the extra ingredient of love. my son loved the pie and had a big slice before we left for the airport. I thank my baker friend every time I make a pie.

Apple Mixture

5 Golden Delicious apples peeled and sliced 1/4 thick.

1/2 cup brown sugar

3 tablespoon all purpose flour

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

1 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter cut up

granulated sugar for top

Pie dough for a two crust pie

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

3 tablespoons granulated sugar (optional)

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 sticks cold unsalted butter cut up

3 tablespoons very cold shortening

1 egg yolk set egg white aside for glazing top of pie

1 tablespoon white vinegar

5 tablespoons ice water or more if your dough is very dry

Mix together flour, sugar, salt, egg yolk and vinegar. Add butter and shortening and cut into the dry ingredients until crumbly. Add water and knead into a ball just until all the mixture is incorporated. Divide into two balls in for the top and one for the bottom making sure the ball for the bottom is bigger. Roll out bigger ball of dough and lay onto the bottom of the pie plate. Add apple mix into dough covered pie plate and then roll out second ball of dough and seal edges. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with sugar.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Best Cookies So Far


I have been enjoying my son's visit tremendously, since he's been here, and I always try to cook or bake his favorite meals and desserts, so, he put in a request for chocolate chip cookies last night, and I made these from a recipe I had not tried before, and boy, were they a big hit with everyone. My husband and two son's told me the cookies were really good right after the first bite. My son who is visiting, is such a health nut that he says if he's going to eat cookies they have to be homemade, and yes, he does cook and bake, but he doesn't have time for baking. I am going to keep this recipe as my main Chocolate Chip cookie recipe. I had been baking the same CC cookie recipe for years, but this new one just bumped it down. I'll have to make him some stuffed pizza and chicken pot pie before he goes back to California.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature 1 cup light brown sugar 1/2 cup white granulated sugar (plain sugar) 2 eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 cups all purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or more if you like

In one large mixing bowl mix butter, sugars, and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Add eggs and beat until smooth and fluffy. Sift dry ingredients and add to wet ingredients and mix by hand until well mixed. Add chocolate chips and mix well. Scoop heaping tablespoon of mix and place on large cookie sheet about 3 per row and 1 inch apart. Bake about 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges are light brown and cookies are puffy. Cool on wire rack.


chicquita7-09 Love This Profile

I was taking pictures of my girls a few days ago and was lucky enough to get Chiquita's profile. I love a Chihuahua's profile, it's so dainty yet sharp at the same time. This little girl has a hard time being still long enough for a picture. I took this one right after she had woken up from a nap. She's been on full speed and high alert since my son has been home. My son says Chiquita acts like a Doberman in a tiny body. I agree with him 100%. Chihuahuas are the best little guard dogs and they are very loyal and really take care of the person they bond with. Once you have one you'll soon realize you can't have just one.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hand Quilting Tutorial #3

I have put up the 3rd Hand Quilting Tutorial on the left side of my blog in case you want to see it. Hopefully I'll be done within the next two weeks. I really wanted to be done before my son came home since I always quilt in the living room and once he's here it's where we spend most of our time. I guess if I push it I can be done with it. I'm pleased with the way it looks, very retro like. I have an idea for the next quilt I want to piece even though I have several that need to be quilted first. I just like piecing quilt tops. I like the creative process of the whole thing. I like choosing the design, fabrics, and putting it together but the best part is putting on the binding which is the very last thing to put on a quilt. Once I start putting on the binding there's no stopping me until I'm done. The sad thing is I want to do so many things and I don't have enough time. I would actually stay awake till 4 or 5 in the a.m but my body will react very badly if I did that.

Oh, I'm going to be getting a visitor within the next week or two. I'm going to pick up my niece's daughter, Sonia. She is 6 years old and has two way older brothers and I have no girls so we are both looking forward to it. She knows I have lot's of fabric,scissors of all kinds, stamps, brushes, papers and lot's of time so she can't wait. She called the other day and told me, "Come get me right now because I'm tired of the boys." I told her I was 8 hours away but she doesn't quite understand that part yet.

Thursday, July 02, 2009


We must never forget who Gets the credit for the freedoms we have, of which we should be eternally grateful.