apple custard pie

apple basket

You know how some foods just send you back in time?  This pie is definitely one of those foods for me.  We didn’t have air conditioning when I was a kid and Lodi apples ripen in mid July, when it’s usually pretty hot and humid outside.  It made for an exceptionally hot day in the kitchen with the oven on, but we didn’t complain because we knew before long we would sit at the table, under the ceiling fan, eating slice upon slice of pie, more than likely with vanilla ice cream on the side.

pie edge

The filling is my maternal grandmother’s recipe.  She was a top-notch cook.  Her fried chicken was unlike any others, I’ve mentioned her angelfood cake before, and her chocolate cake recipe is the reason my husband married me (true story).  Her apple pie has become a summer time staple for our family. Tart apples in a bed of sugary custard in a pie crust…what could be bad about that?  I can remember my mom making two of these at time for dessert and there would still be just a small sliver or two left by morning if we were lucky and there were only 4 of us in the house!

lodi apple in orchard

I always use Lodi apples for this pie.  I have tried other varieties for the recipe but haven’t had much luck finding another one that works as well.  Thankfully, there is an orchard nearby that still has a few trees so we always pick up some every July.  The kids and I picked two baskets this morning.

picking apples

Cj suggested we divide them, one basket for making pies, one basket for him to eat.  I think you would be hard pressed to find another person who likes to eat tart apples more than he does.

rolling out crust

apple custard pie

for the crust

This recipe makes enough for 2 pies, but half can be wrapped in cling wrap and frozen for another day.

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter cut into small pieces

1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

Put the flour, salt, and cold butter in bowl of food processor.  Process until it resembles a course meal.

Add ice water, spoonful by spoonful, through the tube with the machine running, just until the dough holds together without being wet or sticky; do NOT over process.

Split the dough in half and shape into a disc on a piece of plastic wrap and then wrap it up.  Chill the dough you will be using today for one hour and freeze the extra disc of dough for another day (like tomorrow)

Once chilled, lightly flour your workspace and roll dough to 1/8 inch thickness.  Place in pan and chill while you get the filling and the apples ready.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

for the filling

In a bowl, mix together:

1 cup sugar

3 Tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

(If you are using a large pie pan, use 1 1/2 cup sugar and 4 Tablespoons flour and 1 teaspoon cinnamon)

Peel and core 6 Lodi apples and cut into chunks.  Place in a single layer on the UNbaked pie cruse.  Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the top.

Fill to the bevel of the pie pan with milk.  Place in oven.  I bake mine on a cookie sheet, just in case it bubbles over.  Plus that gives me a place to bake the left over strips of pie crust (sprinkled with cinnamon sugar before baking).

Bake in 425 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 45-50 minutes.

side of pie slice

liberty lifestyle poinsettia tea cozy

I’m so excited to share this fun holiday project today.

tea cozy from above

Liberty Lifestyle was kind enough to ask me to put together a holiday guest post for Liberty Craft Blog.  You can follow the tutorial here and make your very own poinsettia tea cozy.

I made mine with the Mackintosh print from the Stile line.  Mackintosh has such a rich mix of colors.  They somehow manage to be nostalgic and modern at the same time.  I think the flowers looks extra festive made in this print.

tea cozy with cup and presentAnd of course, Christmas tea wouldn’t be complete without cookies.  So I’m also sharing my gingersnap recipe.  It came from a dear friend of my mom’s and it has always been a family favorite.

marie’s gingersnaps

3/4 cup butter

1 cup sugar (plus 1/2 cup for rolling dough)

1 egg

1/4 cup sorghum (similar to molasses, but I prefer the sorghum)

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon baking soda

Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer.  Add egg, mix well. Add sorghum.  Slowly add dry ingredients.  Chill dough for at least 4 hours but it’s even better if you let it chill overnight.  Chilling the dough helps the flavors to blend and also keeps the cookies from spreading too much when they are baking.

Once chilled, roll dough into 1 inch balls, roll each ball in granular sugar.  Place on parchment lined cookies sheet 2″ apart.  Bake 375 degrees for 12 minutes.  They should crack on the tops.  Makes around 2 dozen.  This recipe can be doubled.



hot cocoa season is here again

I have been working like crazy to get through the many works in progress I have going on here.  I’m hoping to finish up another quilt top this afternoon and then start basting.  I think I have at least 5 tops and bottoms waiting to be sandwiched right now.  One for us, one for someone special, the rest I’m hoping will find homes in the new shop I have been working on as well.

When Monday brought our first snowfall of the season, I knew I better take a break from stitching get a batch of cocoa mixed up, sooner rather than later.  Andy likes to drink it in the evenings when the weather turns and it has definitely turned.

hot cocoa mix

2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup dutch processed cocoa

2 1/2 cups powdered milk (I use organic valley because it gives the cocoa an extra creamy texture)

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 cup powdered creamer (flavor of your choice – I used hazelnut for this batch)

1 teaspoon vanilla powder

4 ounces chopped dark chocolate

Mix well in large bowl.  Store in airtight container.

To use, place 2-4 spoonfuls in cup.  The amount depends on how chocolaty you like your cocoa.  Add a small amount of almost boiling water and stir to dissolve the mix then fill cup the rest of the way.

Personally I like with some fresh whipped cream, but marshmallows are great too.

cocoa with fresh whipped cream