Friday, October 23, 2015

No-Fail Apple Pie

Hopefully you perused our Cider Hill Farm fun earlier this week. And then immediately made plans for your own apple orchard visit. Ok, maybe it didn't have quite that effect since really all I actually showed you pictures of was my kid. Whoops. He "distracts" me from taking pictures of other things like fall views and cider donuts and beautiful apple filled trees. Anywho.

We've been munching on apples since our orchard trip and discovered some new apples that we love, including the Mutsu, which we picked for making apple pie. These apples were wonderful for this pie! The baked perfectly.

Fall + Apple Pie. It's apple pie making time.

I've been making this apple pie for about 5 years now and it always turns out perfectly. The first time I made it I didn't love the process of pouring the sugar/butter mixture over the entire crust (impossible!) and I wanted the filling to be a bit thicker so I've made a few adjustments over the years.

Last year I made a top crust of leaf cut-outs which was fun and made me feel super fancy. The hubs said there wasn't enough top crust going this route though. Maybe if I try it again I'll use a thicker crust and that'll help...? Or a thin layer of crust covered with the leaf cut-outs...? Maybe next year.

This year I went the traditional route - lattice. First I built my lattice on the countertop and then upon my attempt to transfer it to the pie, I failed. So I re-built it on the pie itself. I feel like I read before that you're supposed to build it first but maybe not. If my pie crust wasn't quite so warm it probably would've worked a little better, too.

Tip: When you pre-bake your bottom pie crust, make sure it's hanging over the rim of your pan a bit so the sides don't fall down. I keep forgetting this when I make my own pie crust and it always slips down the sides and I have to press it back up. Next year I will remember! I will.

I have been seriously enjoying my afternoon quiet time with a mug of hot tea and a sweet (this week it's been apple pie) lately. Of course, I only get that when Oliver takes his short afternoon nap. Those are becoming fewer and fewer. Sometimes I bribe him with TV for a bit of quiet when he's getting cranktastic. Truth.

Slice of apple pie a day keeps the doctor away... right?

Thought so.

Hope you love these recipes as much as we do!

Crust + Apple Pie Recipe
Pie Crust Recipe
Apple Pie Recipe (no crust)

A note on my linked recipes: I type up my recipes for my recipe binder once I decide I like them and my goal in typing them up is to simplify. So often I find myself looking back and my recipe for the next step and having to search for it because it's in a huge paragraph. To that end, you'll notice they look a bit different. i.e. "Medium skillet, Medium-High Heat -- butter & sugar" instead of "Put butter and sugar over medium-high heat in medium skillet." In my thinking, I want to see the size and type of pan first followed by heat and then what I'm putting in it. So that's how they are linked. Hopefully it's also simple and helpful for you. Let me know what you think! I'd love to hear your feedback!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

It's really all about the cider donuts

New England in the Fall is gorgeous and there are an abundance of farms to head to to see the changing leaves, pick apples and stuff yourself with hot cider donuts. Perfection.
Our favorite farm thus far is Cider Hill in Amesbury. There aren't too many activities beyond a handful of farm animals but our little guy is happy with just running free through the orchards for now. Cider Hill especially excels in their uh-mazing cider donuts though. They are our favorite by far. Always hot, perfectly soft and covered in cinnamon-sugar. Drooling. Fab and I ate eight on our last visit and washed them down with fresh chocolate milk and hot apple cider. nom nom nom.
Hanging with the chickens. At one point he ran away as they all rushed towards him.

 The best I could get where he was looking in my general direction.... kind of.

 The donut overload proof - cinnamon sugar beard.

We are planning another trip soon where we'll do much of the same + see more of the fall colors as the leaves hadn't quite turned yet when we went. Plus this time we're heading over with some friends! Yay, friends!

What's your favorite Fall activity? And if you are in the New England area - where is your favorite farm? We'd love to check it out!

Check back later this week for my delicious, never-fail apple pie recipe!