Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope everyone had an amazing dinner surrounded by friends and family like I did.  Thanksgiving (after Passover) is obviously one of my favorite holidays.  This year I cooked dinner for my parents and several co-workers that couldn’t make it home for the holiday.

This was a monumental year because I decided to stray from my traditional stuffed turkey breast and go all in with a 16 lb bird!  I purchased a free range fresh turkey from Misty Knoll Farms via Formaggio Kitchen and changed my turkey recipe about 5 times before I finally settled on my original recipe for roasted turkey by Ina Garten.  Ina has never steered me wrong so far so I figured her recipe would be a safe bet…especially with a stick of herb butter smeared under the skin followed by more brushed over the whole bird.  After 3 1/2 hours, my turkey was a perfect golden brown with crispy skin and tender, juicy turkey meat.

My carving skills may need some work though…

Read below for more Thanksgiving dishes and recipes (some of which you may recognize from last year or other blog posts).

The night started with some light appetizers: deviled eggs and fig and blue cheese savouries

Obviously no Thanksgiving would be complete without biscuits, especially these sage biscuits from Joanne Chang.  I topped mine with honey butter (instead of parsley butter) and served with more warm honey butter on the side (just add a Tbs or so of honey and a pinch of salt to a stick of room temperature butter and mix until combined).

I needed a cold dish for the brussel sprouts since I was tight on oven space so I turned to my favorite farm salad from Sweet Cheeks.

The meal was rounded off with stuffing, sweet corn pudding, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and a spicy carrot salad.

And finally…

Dessert!!!  I possibly went a little overboard with 3 desserts: mini apple crisp pies, black bottom peanut butter mousse pie, and pumpkin cheesecake squares (not pictured).

I hope everyone had a great holiday!  Look for my next blog post on a creative way to use some Thanksgiving leftovers!

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Mini Apple Crisp Pies

 

Sometimes in life we are forced to make hard decisions… like should I make one large apple pie or individual mini apple pies?  Should I add a scoop (or 2) of ice cream to said pie/mini pies? (Should I operate on this patient or just observe him/her?)  Luckily, I have some amazing friends who help me make these tough decisions (regarding the pie, not operating) and even volunteer to taste test!  So recently when faced with this overwhelming dilemna, individual mini pies won out!

What’s great about mini pies is that they substantially increase the crust to filling ratio.  I don’t know about you, but my favorite part of pie is usually the crust (and depending on the type of pie, the crumble topping, or whipped cream, or chocolate, or…you get the point: pie is just kinda awesome).

These mini pies take things a step futher by adding a crisp topping and finally drizzling with icing.  For those who cannot decide between eating apple pie and apple crisp, this is your answer.  I definitely plan to keep this recipe in my arsenal for future fruit pies (there are endless possibilities with just minor changes to the recipe).  Enjoy!

Mini Apple Crisp Pies

(males about 18, recipe adapted from Girl versus Dough)

For the crust:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
½ cup ice-cold water

For the crisp topping:
¾ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
6 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch salt
4 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

For the apple filling:
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Pinch nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1½ teaspoons lemon juice
1½ lbs sweet-tart apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

For the maple icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup

To make the pie dough: Combine flours, sugar and salt in a food processor . Add butter cubes and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Pour ice-cold water into mixture in bowl; pulse until a rough dough forms.

Turn dough out onto a countertop and knead a few times until dough comes together; divide in half and shape each half into a ball. Flatten each ball into a 1-inch thick disc. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill in fridge 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the crisp topping: In a large bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Cut in butter with fingers and mix until well combined. Alternatively, you can do this in a food processor by pulsing all the ingredients until combined.  Chill mixture until pie dough is fully chilled and ready to bake.

To make the apple filling: In a large bowl, combine sugars, flour, nutmeg and lemon juice. Add apple slices and toss until well combined.

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

When pie dough is fully chilled, sprinkle a countertop generously with flour, then roll out each pie dough disc to a rough ⅛-inch thickness. Use a 4-inch round biscuit or cookie cutter to cut out dough rounds; re-roll scraps one time to cut out more rounds (you should end up with about 18 rounds).

Press each round into the bottom and sides of an ungreased muffin cup.

Divide apple filling among muffin cups (the filling will be a bit mounded, but it’ll bake down). Sprinkle tops evenly with oatmeal cookie topping.

Bake 40 minutes until topping is golden brown and pie crust is baked through.

Cool mini pies in muffin cups 30 minutes, then use a butter knife or spatula to carefully transfer pies to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Combine maple syrup and powdered sugar in a small pot over medium/low heat and stir until sugar combined and disolved.  Drizzle icing immediately over fully cooled pies.