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Thankful Thursdays #34: I’m a real person

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I made a thanksgiving resolution to find something to be thankful for every day until next Thanksgiving.  Here’s what I am thankful for this week!

Thursday: That I somehow managed to lose .4 pounds last week, despite only counting points two days out of seven.  Honestly, I don’t even know why I’m paying for Weight Watchers any more.  Actually, I do.  I think paying for it is the only thing that’s keeping me from gaining.  I’m not following the WW plan at all, so it must be those dollars spent that is keeping me from gaining.  I think I may have just jinxed myself, though!

Friday: Once again, our friends, Ben and Ashley, invited us over to dinner, but this time I remembered my camera.  I know my Thursday posts are always on the long side, but forgive me because I’m about to share a bunch of photos of our wonderful dinner with you.  Ben is a foodie, and fabulous chef.  Try not to be too jealous, OK?

Our appetizer: fried zucchini (garden fresh) with Ben's special sauce

The master at work.

Buttered mushrooms & caramelized onions to top the steaks, and a side of potatoes seasoned with smoked paptrika and bacon.

He also made a side of lemony buttered artichokes.

Den's T-bone steak with rosemary butter. As you can tell from the lack of anything else on his plate, this was all he cared about. He was in steak heaven!

My plate! It was soooo fantastic, and I don't really even like steak usually.

Individual apple pie tarts for dessert!

Served warm with ice cream. Pie nirvana.

You might recognize their daughter, Leah, from my Bible class.  BTW, she has renamed me “Caddy.”  Or maybe she’s calling me “Catty.”  (Hope not! lol)  Not sure how she got either from “Veronica,” but it’s kinda cute and I like it. :)

Playing in the sandbox while Daddy makes dinner.

Saturday: Good local restaurants and my zany family.  We had breakfast at Lexi’s, a new diner-type place just a few blocks from our home, and they had the best, biggest, fluffiest pancakes I’ve ever eaten.

In the evening, I went to my cousin, Racine’s, Tupperware party and she greeted me at the door in this getup, calling herself “Mrs. Discofire,” pronouncing it “disco fi-ah” in a perfect NY accent.  She stayed in character almost the whole night, and as you can guess, it was a fun one with lots of laughs.

Sunday: My Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. ALWAYS.

Monday: That we found someone who could fix my water pump for $75, just 1/4 of the price quoted to us at the shop, and that we had exactly that much money in our bank account!  Actually, we were short $5 but my Dad ended up paying us $10 (he does this once a month b/c that’s how much we pay to keep him on our phone plan) so it all worked out.  Booyah!

Tuesday:  That I no longer have to carpool with my husband!!  My water pump started leaking so bad that I couldn’t even make it two miles without having to pull over to refill the radiator with water, so I had to stop driving it last Wednesday.  Because our schedules are different, carpooling meant I had to drive him to work (across town), then drive home, then drive myself across town to work, then pick him up when I got off, and his huge extended-bed F150 is not so economical when it comes to gas consumption.  So glad we both have our own cars again.

Wednesday: I got the job!  As of August 1st, I will be a career employee for the US Postal Service.  Woot-diddly-doot!  I’m a real person now! LOL, that’s what my preacher said when I told him that I got offered a permanent position after all this time.  I’ve been a temp for seven years, so it does kinda feel like I’m real now. LOL!  Honestly, this still hasn’t settled in yet.  It just doesn’t seem real.  I’ve been a temp so long I don’t know if I can handle being a “real person” with job security and benefits.  Ha!


Dulce de Leche Apple Pie

On average, I save about five recipes a day.  Each is saved with full intention of making it ASAP, but most are forgotten by the following day when I’ve found five or twenty more recipes that I just HAVE to try right away.  It’s a never-ending cycle.
This one, however, has been stuck in my head ever since I read it on Laura’s blog two months ago.  It is not one I forgot, but continued thinking, imagining, and fantasizing about.  So when I unexpectedly got the day off on Thursday, I immediately knew how I would spend some of my free time.  Making. This. Pie.
It was worth the wait and all the anticipation.  Honestly, it’s the best apple pie I’ve ever had–even better than the apple pie that has won me local acclaim and an order for 15 of them to serve as the groom’s “cake” at a wedding.  Grandma Ople’s Apple Pie is killer, but this one tops it.  And it’s easier to put together, so that makes it a definite winner. 
Personally, I don’t taste the dulce de leche in the pie itself so I like to drizzle dulce de leche over the top to enhance the flavor.

Dulce de Leche Apple Pie

from The Cooking Photographer, with some modifications
Double crust for 9” pie (I always use this recipe)
Egg white for brushing dough (reserve the yolk in a separate dish)
5 cups peeled and sliced mixed apples (I used 2 small Jonathan, 1 large Rome and 1 Granny Smith)
¼ cup
dulce de leche
2 Tablespoons apple cider
½ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 Tablespoon of butter for dotting pie
Additional dulce de leche for drizzling (optional)
9” Pyrex pie dish, not the 9 1/2″ deep dish
1. Place the oven rack on the lower 3rd of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.

2. Mix together sugars, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Make sure the cornstarch is well mixed in so you don’t get cornstarch lumps in your pie.

3. In a large bowl toss together the apples with dulce de leche, apple cider, and vanilla extract. Add the dry mixture and toss to combine. Set aside.

4. Roll out one of the discs of pie dough and line a 9” Pyrex pie dish with the bottom crust, then brush with the egg white. (Keep the remaining egg white for later use.) Add the filling and spread out evenly. Dot the mixture with little bits of butter here and there.

6. Roll out the other dough disc & cover with the top crust. Cut it slightly wider than the edge of the bottom crust, then tuck the edges under before fluting.

7. Mix the egg yolk with the remaining egg white & brush over the crust. Poke a few holes in the crust for venting or cut out decorations.

8. Bake for 30 minutes. Then turn the temperature to 375 degrees, cover crust edges with a pie shield*, and bake for another 30 minutes or until crust is golden on the bottom and no longer wet and raw looking.

9. Remove the pie from the oven and set on a cooling rack for several hours to set up the filling.

10. If desired, you may drizzle dulce de leche over the top of the pie shortly before serving. Don’t do it too far in advance or the dulce de leche will dry out and get hard. To drizzle it, warm the dulce de leche and either put it in a pastry bag or a ziploc bag and snip a small hole from the tip. Then just sweep the bag back and forth over the pie while you squeeze the bag.

*There is no need for a pie shield if using the recipe for crust in the link above. It doesn’t burn easily. Also, I only needed to cook my pie 45 minutes before the crust looked done, so I removed it and the apples were soft & perfect.

Making Grandma Ople’s Apple Pie

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My husband shot this video while I made the last two of fifteen pies for a wedding.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Making Grandma Ople’s Apple Pie“, posted with vodpod


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