By Laura and Melessa
Nothing says “fall” to me more than apple treats! I love going to the local apple orchard (or, if I’m lucky, a friend’s apple trees for freebies) every fall. Melessa and I both have our favorite apple recipes. I firmly believe in scouring the internet and potlucks to discover mine, but Melessa is far more creative and has invented some of her own!
Apple fritters are full of childhood memories for me. I remember pressing my hands up against the glass case of the sweet little bakery on the main street of our town. My eyes were always drawn to the brightly colored sprinkles, but over the years, my parents taught me to appreciate the simplicity of a good glazed doughnut or apple fritter. I’ve measured every city’s merits heavily on how good the nearest bakery’s doughnuts have been. And just as great chefs can be identified by the quality of their omelettes, great bakeries are determined by their fritters.
Our local bakery makes amazing doughnuts. Really. Their blueberry fritters and glazed doughnuts are the stuff of daydreams, and their filled doughnuts are amazing!. But their apple fritters leave a lot to be desired. Not enough apple, a little bit doughy, too bland. So I found a fantastic recipe that’s actually easy to make! Hint: there’s apple cider in the fritter AND in the glaze! Head on over to the Cook’s Country website for the full recipe and a video to show you how it’s done.
Melessa’s apple pie is full of spice. It’s perfect topped with ice cream or just enjoyed by itself. A friend of mine insisted that pie is the perfect breakfast food, and I’ve never doubted that.
A lot of people have strong opinions about pie crusts, or at least I think they should. I spent months making different pie crust recipes, and just as I found the perfect one (flavorful, easy to work with, not just a bunch of lard), my neighbor got fed up with me and declared that if I’d just stick with Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts (the ones that are in a box, not the frozen, preshaped ones), I wouldn’t go wrong. She was totally right. I giggle to myself when I give people a pie and they later wax poetic on how perfect the crust is, and then I pat myself on the back for saving 45 minutes of my life by buying a crust instead of making it. And it’s a good crust for both sweet and savory pies! Use whatever crust your heart desires for Melessa’s phenomenal Spicy Apple Pie:
Spicy Apple Pie
Prep: 30 minutes Bake: 1 hour
Oven: 375ºF Makes: 8 servings
If you want to make your own crust…
Pastry for Double-Crust Pie
2 1⁄2cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar (sorry… I love sugar)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (just because I love it too)
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
4 tablespoons shortening, chilled
1 tablespoon white vinegar
3 tablespoons ice water
- Mix flour, salt and sugar in the bowl to combine.
- Use a pastry blender, fork or food processor and add butter and shortening to the flour mixture, and blend until the mixture pieces are pea-size.
- Add vinegar and sprinkle 1 tablespoons ice water over mixture. Repeat, using 1 tablespoon ice water at a time until dough holds together.
- Divide dough in half, and turn each half out onto a piece of plastic wrap.
- Press each half into a flattened circle, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
6 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples (about 2 1/4 pounds)
I highly recommend Macintosh or Honey Crisp Apples for this recipe.
(little less than) 1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 brown sugar
2/4 white sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Set aside 3-4 tablespoons of milk in a small bowl and 2 tablespoons white sugar in another small bowl.
- In large bowl stir together sugar, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, flour and vanilla.
- Add apples. Gently toss until coated.
- Add apple mixture to pastry-lined pie plate.
- Cut slits to remaining pastry; place on filling and seal. Crimp edge as desired.
- If desired, brush top of pastry with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
- Cover pie crust with a pie crust cover or with foil.