The Thanksgiving holiday is a wonderful time to take a step back and remember all the things you're grateful for. And, in case we don't tell you enough, we are EXTREMELY grateful for you, our Aevitas family!
This year and every year, you bring smiles to our faces while challenging us to continuously improve. This community works so dang hard inside the gym. We love seeing all the progress made, from first pull-ups and handstands, to new PR Deadlifts and Snatches, to crushing Girl and Hero WODs regularly!
Outside the gym, we know that you carry this same go-getter attitude with you wherever you go. Which is, in a word, awesome! Not only that, but the amount that this community is willing to give - whether it be time or money or energy to our local charity causes, does NOT go unnoticed!
We are continually amazed by all of you, and always thankful that we have each and every one of you in our lives. So, thank you for - being YOU!
You know what else we're thankful for?? Apple Pie, duh!
This year, Karen got a chance to practice her hand by making pies for our October Charity effort benefitting Barbells for Boobs. We think the final product she came up with is worth sharing - so whether you ordered a pie in October or not, you now have the chance to enjoy your very own apple creation!
Get the full recipe below, which is a combination of internet searches, the wisdom of Karen's mom (an apple pie master!), and some good old-fashioned kitchen tinkering! Enjoy!
Karen's Apple Pie - Full Recipe
This recipe is really made up of 3 parts: the Apple Pie Spice, the Filling, and the Crust! We'll also include here our standard Crumble Topping recipe, for Dutch Apple Pies and Apple Crisps.
A note: Pies take a lot of steps to make, but none of them are that difficult, and we believe the end results are worth it! If this looks intimidating, know that you can do pretty much everything ahead of time and just assemble and bake when ready to eat. The filling can be saved by canning or freezing, and the pie crust can be refrigerated or frozen (just wrap it well first). Good luck!
Apple Pie Spice
OK, so full disclosure here: I'm not *entirely sure about the quantities on this. Remember that "kitchen tinkering" we mentioned above? Yeah, this was what we tinkered with. I'll share where I started, and then how I came up with the final spice mix that I used for all of the pies this year (I made a big batch).
Ingredients (this is for the big batch):
- 5g star anise (whole)
- 5g cardamom (whole)
- 3g allspice (whole)
- 3g cloves (whole)
- 2g peppercorns
- ground cinnamon (5-ish Tbs)
- ground ginger (2-ish Tbs)
- nutmeg (1-ish Tbs)
- Toast the whole spices together in a cast-iron skillet. Cool and grind together in a spice grinder or mortar & pestle.
- Combine the toasted & ground spices with 1Tbs each cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
- At this point, we tasted and adjusted until we got it where we wanted it. We added a LOT more cinnamon, and at least another Tbs ginger. This brought the whole spice mix to a volume that fit into a 1-cup mason jar
To use: Add ~1 Tbs per big batch of pie filling, or just add ~1tsp at a time to the filling or crumble topping until it tastes right :)
Apple Pie Filling
We decided to go with a canning-safe filling recipe since we had so many apples! We ended up canning enough pie filling to make 6 or 7 more pies throughout the year (!) That said, you may or may not want to go this complex with the filling if you're only making 1 pie. The recipe below is for the "big" batch (~4 pies), so just cut it down if you need less filling. Or make it all and put it up in cans or freeze it for later!
- 10 Quarts peeled, sliced, and blanched apples (see step 1 for blanching instructions)
- 5.5 cups sugar
- 7-1/2 cups water
- 1-1/2 cups Clear Jel (use cornstarch if you're not canning)
- 1 (or 2)Tbs Apple Pie Spice (from above) - you can just use cinnamon
- 3/4 cup lemon juice (really important for canning; not sure if you need it if you don't plan to save any for later use)
- Peel/core/slice the apples and blanch the slices. Do this in batches - add slices to boiling water for ~1min, then remove and keep warm in a covered pot until you've worked through all of the apples
- In a large pot (large enough for all the filling at the end), add sugar, water, Clear Jel (or cornstarch), and spice mix together, Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and bubbles a little
- As soon as bubbles start, add the lemon juice and stir to combine completely. Let boil 1 more minute.
- Remove from heat and fold in all the blanched apples.
This is literally the simplest thing that I never knew was so simple! You can add sugar/spices to the crust if you want but I did not.
Note: I scaled this up to make a batch that would cover the order for the week. I scaled this from 4 crusts to 10, and the ratios worked really well!
Ingredients (for ONE crust - scale as needed):
- 1 cup flour
- 1/3 tsp salt
- 5-1/2 Tbs butter, at room temperature
- up to 1/3 cup very cold water
- Combine flour and salt together (along with any other sugar/spices/etc you want)
- Cut butter into small chunks, then work into flour mixture until it starts to all come together. It'll take a while
- Add COLD water, a few Tbs at a time. After adding water, use a pastry cutter or your hands to work into dough until all the water has been taken up by the dough. Add more water as needed until the dough ball comes together but does not feel "wet"
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Shape into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for ~30 minutes, up to overnight. You can also freeze if needed.
- When ready to make a pie, put dough disk onto a floured surface and roll out until very thin and large enough to fit into your pie tin. To add to tin, fold rolled-out dough in half twice (once in each direction), then lay one "corner" into pie dish, and unfold the dough to fill the dish evenly.
- If making a top crust, roll that one out too, to the same thickness/size. Cut into strips for a lattice, or keep as a single sheet - but make sure to cut vents into the top before baking!
This is an easy one! Use this to top a Dutch Apple Pie, or use this without a bottom crust for an Apple Crisp. I make this gluten-free by pulsing 1/2 cup of oats into a "flour" first, then adding the other ingredients. You may also just use 1/2 cup flour instead
- 1/2 cup flour (or oats, pulsed in a blender until small)
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
- up to 1 cup sugar (1/2 cup sugar + 1/2 cup brown sugar) - I use more like 1/3 cup each
- 1/2 cup butter, cold and cut into cubes
- 1tsp Apple Pie Spice mix, or cinnamon
- combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse until it comes together into a crumbly consistency
Final Assembly and Baking
- Pre-heat oven to 375 deg F
- Assemble pie into dish, and place dish on a baking tray (I almost always over-fill the pies!)
- Extra credit: egg wash the top crust (1 egg + a little water; brush it on the top), and sprinkle with sugar
- Bake ~1hr or until crust is completely browned and filling is hot and bubbly everywhere.
Something I learned: It is very hard to over-bake a fruit pie, so leave it in the oven as long as you can stand to get the bottom crust fully baked! If needed, you can tent foil on top so the top crust doesn't over-brown. I don't usually use a baking timer, but the pies I made generally took 60-90 minutes.
Welp, you now know as much as we know about apple pies :) We hope you try this recipe out as a special treat someday! And let us know how yours turns out!