Star Spangled Apple Pie

Star Spangled Apple Pie

We had a great 4th of July weekend with friends in the woods. We stayed in a tiny town called Dorrington, near Arnold, in a woodsy community that hasn’t changed since 1972. Our friend Keith’s birthday is July 3rd, so I made him a Star Spangled Pie with vanilla ice – his request. The vanilla is my new favorite simple recipe and the pie always changes. It’s not apple season but we have started to see some of the early varieties here at the farmer’s market. I used a combination of ¬†Dorsett Golden and Gala which made for a very juicy pie. Someday I’ll make the perfect apple pie with the perfect amount of bubbling juices but until then, we’ll just keep stuffing our faces with pie and ice cream and watch while the pie attempts to set us on fire.

Old Fashioned Vanilla

keith sparks

You can click on the images above to see the rest of our trip. It was pretty much like adult summer camp with the addition of cute babies and Michael got to take some amazing night photos at Alpine Lake. Oh, and please feel free to comment and send recipes of your favorite apple pie. I need extra practice (and probably extra tasters too).


Easy Bake cOven – Thanksgiving Pie

For this months Easy Bake cOven recipe, Elisa chose pie. Since this month begins the holiday season and seems to require a lot of baking, Elisa thought it would be best for our recipe to contribute to the Thanksgiving meal. Why is pie so traditional anyways? Maybe because it is so delicious…. I made another dish to accompany our Pie, Pumpkin Creme Brulee, which I will post about separate from the Easy Bake cOven pie.
It was hard for me to veer away from pumpkin pie since I am obsessed with it, but M thought it would be best not to have two desserts of the same origin. I made Chocolate Pecan Pie instead because I had all of the ingredients on hand. I can’t believe we went through so many eggs in one day (an entire dozen in only 3 dishes). The pie was one of Emeril’s recipes which I find can be hit or miss. It looked really nice and the crust came out flaky and crispy.
The filling was incredibly rich, and I would recommend refrigerating this after it is cool so the filling firms up a little more. When we cut into it, the pie was a little bit runny. I don’t know if this had to do with the ratio of liquid to solid – or if I should have baked it a few minutes longer (covered of course). It was good, runny or not. Having a slice of this pie actually took me over the edge just a little. We drank a great bottle of Merlot with it (Merlot + chocolate is an amazing combination) which made the pie so much more intense. I love this holiday, I don’t love the feeling you get after you eat way more than you should in one sitting. I’d like to compare this recipe to my mother in law’s just to see if there was something I could change to help it solidify. Oh, and Emeril has a caramel sauce to top it with, but that seems a little excessive. I can’t imagine making a rich pie even more intense!
I didn’t use the crust recipes Elisa included because I wanted to try a new one from my new cookbook. It turned out so well I want to share it with you all.
Pie Crust
Yields 2 crusts

2 1/2 C flour
2 T sugar
2 sticks butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 C ice water
1/2 tsp white wine vinegar champagne vinegar (i didn’t have either and used vodka instead)

Cut butter into one inch pieces (really big chunks) and chill in the freezer for 15 minutes. Sift flour and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the frozen butter and salt and mix for about 2 minutes or until the butter looks like walnut pieces. Stop the machine and pinch any remaining large hunks of butter by hand. Mix the vinegar with the cold water, turn the mixer on low and add to the dough all at once. Mix until the dough just comes together -15 seconds or so. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Cut into two pieces and roll out. You can keep the extra crust in the fridge for 3 days or in the freezer for 3 weeks.

Be sure to check out the cOven in the next few days to see everyone’s Thanksgiving pie creations – or check below for those who linked their blog to mine! Happy leftover eating!

The Lovely Lady Baker

Frozen Lime Pie

Close to a year ago my group of friends started something we like to call “Family Dinner.” My husband and I are the only ones with family close, so it gave us an excuse to get together and have a meal family style. Dinners usually surround a theme and we each take turns hosting. Last night we hosted Family Dinner with a Caribbean theme reminiscent of our sailing trip. We had Jerk Chicken, Jibarito Sandwiches, Caribbean Salad with Lime vinaigrette, rice and beans with coconut milk, and Lime Pie.

Dinner was very successful since most people liked everything each person brought. The pie recipe comes from the villa we stayed in after our sailing trip; a creation of one of the staff there. Les Chaudieres has to be one of the most beautiful places we have visited. Visit the link above for other recipes from the kitchen (and to inspire your next vacation). I made little changes to the recipe and even though the base followed instruction, my dessert came out a little lighter and smoother than when we ate it during vacation. This pie is so easy to make I hope you try it! Since it is made for the freezer it keeps well too – great for summer nights when you don’t want to heat up the house too much (I only wish we had this problem in SF).
Frozen Lime Pie
Adapted from Les Chaudieres, St Lucia

8 oz. ground ginger snaps or graham crackers (about 2 packages)
4 oz melted butter (1 stick)

1 tsp sugar


1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons lime zest
1 tin sweetened condensed milk
1-2/3 cup whipping cream

splash of vanilla

For the crust, grind graham crackers in food processor, add sugar and melted butter. Stir with a fork and press into pie pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 350* for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside to cool. (Note: if you use a glass pan remember to reduce the heat by 25*)

For the filling, mix together lime juice and zest. In a large bowl, whip cream and condensed milk until stiff peaks form. Add vanilla. Fold in the juice/zest mix and spread evenly into the crust. Cover and freeze until frozen (at least 3 hours). Remove from freezer 10-15 minutes before serving. Garnish with lime zest.