Cranberry Apple Pie, perfect for Christmas | Pies Before Guys

Cranberry Apple Pie

Christmas season is in full force my friends. Of course Christmas cookies are a main staple in your holiday dessert table, but don’t overlook the classic pie.

Cranberry Apple Pie, perfect for Christmas | Pies Before Guys

Cranberry Apple Pie, perfect for Christmas | Pies Before Guys

This recipe is perfect for the holidays with the bright red cranberries. Grab yourself a few holiday pie crust cutters before they’re sold out for an extra festive touch. Continue reading “Cranberry Apple Pie”

Easy Caramel Apple Galette

Have you ever had a galette? I find it best described as: a pie with a sun roof.

Caramel Apple Galette - Easy, rustic, delicious dessert | via Pies Before Guys

Get this…a galette is a low-maintenance, approachable dessert.

They’re basically a down-to-earth rustic version of a pie. The best part? You really can’t mess it up.

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The only skills needed are the ability to fold your pastry over the filling—and you end up with an elaborately impressive looking dessert. Continue reading “Easy Caramel Apple Galette”

Summertime Apple Blackberry Mini Pies

I’m a planner…like the ‘bring a cooler of snacks to the beach’ type of planner. Some people throw a granola bar or banana in their bag in case hunger strikes. I, on the other hand, think a mini-pie works excellently as a summer snack.

The convenience level is off the charts: handheld, portable, can be eaten hot, cold, or at room temperature. Also—delicious (which is a given).

With summer in full swing, naturally I’m snacking on these Apple Blackberry Mini Pies. Calories don’t count if you’re at the beach, right? I have a feeling we’re on the same page.

Let’s take a quick poll:
Do you like summer?
Do you like happiness?
Are you sad there’s not a mini pie in your hand?

If you answered yes to all the above, you need this recipe in your life immediately.

Apple Blackberry Mini Pies

Filling Ingredients:

1 prepared double all-butter crust
3-4 medium baking apples (I like a mixture of golden delicious and granny smith)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup fresh blackberries
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp allspice
Pinch of fresh cracked black pepper
Egg wash (1 large egg whisked with 1 tsp water and a pinch of salt)
Demerara sugar for sprinkling

Directions

Make the crust: Roll out your prepared double pie crust, arrange on a baking sheet, and refrigerate while you prepare the filling. This will make it easier to cut your dough circles.

Start the filling: Prepare the apples by peeling, coring, and thinly slicing. I prefer cutting the apples in quarters and using a mandolin to slice to 1/4 inch or less. Sprinkle your apples with lemon juice and 2 tbsp of granulated sugar. Set aside to soften slightly and release some of the juices, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Prepare your dough circles: While the apples are softening, pull our your refrigerated dough. Using a 3-inch and a 4-inch biscuit cutter, cut eight circles of each size from your dough. You should have a total of 16 discs. Lay your circles back on a baking sheet and refrigerate while you finish preparing the filling.

Finish the filling: In a small bowl, toss the blackberries with 2 tbsp of granulated sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, allspice, and black pepper. Drain the apples of excess liquid and toss with the sugar mixture to coat.

Assemble mini pies: Place the 3-inch rounds on a baking sheet line with parchment paper or foil, and brush the outer 1-inch circle with egg wash. Stack 2 to 3 apple slices on each round and add a few blackberries in the center hole. Top with the 4-inch crust circle over the apples and press the top and bottom crust edges together with the a fork. Chill the rounds in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to let the pastry set. In the meantime, position an oven rack in the center position and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Remove your mini pies from the refrigerator. Brush with the egg wash to coat, then cut an X-shaped steam vent in the center, and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Place the baking sheet on the center rack of the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the pasty is golden brown and the apples are tender.

Allow to cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes. Serve warm, at room temperature, or on your beach towel with your toes in the sand. Obvi I’m partial to the last option.

Recipe adapted from the lovely Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book.

Christmas Caramel Apple Pie

We’re almost there, guys. There are only a few tasks on my to-do list until it’s officially the holidays.

Unsolicited advice: embrace the treats, drink the wine, and blow off that workout class to finish wrapping your gifts–come January 1st you’ll be all about your lame healthy “resolutions”.

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Back to that holiday to-do list. If yours includes “make an awesome mouth-watering dessert,” I’ve got you covered. I can’t count the number of times I’ve made this beauty because it’s that good. Plus it’s perfect as a whole pie or a handheld mini pie. My only regret is this pie’s lack of berries. I mean come on…Berry Crustmas?! Missed opportunity.

Don’t worry, the homemade caramel makes up for it.

The Pre-Resolutions Treat: Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Ingredients:

7 baking apples (half Golden Delicious, half Granny Smith) peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
3 tbsp plus 1 cup granulated sugar
Juice of 2 lemons
1/4 lb (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup raw sugar
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp angostura bitters
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp flake sea salt, plus more for finishing
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tsp water
Demera sugar, for finishing

Directions:

Make the crust: Roll out your prepared double pie crust, arrange in pie pan, and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

Make the caramel: Whisk 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook (without stirring) until the sugar dissolves, about 2–3 minutes. Add butter and bring to a boil. Continue cooking until the mixture turns a deep golden brown, almost copper. Patience young grasshopper–this can take about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully add cream, stirring until caramel is smooth.

Make the filling: Juice the lemons into a large mixing bowl. Core, peel, and thinly slice the whole apples. A note from the pie enthusiast: A mandolin is a life saver for getting the perfect thin slices. Just don’t cut yourself…

Dredge the apple slices in the freshly squeezed lemon juice to prevent browning, and set aside to soften and release some of the juices for 20 to 30 minutes.

In a large bowl, stir 1/3 cup Demerara sugar with 2 tbsp flour. Sprinkle with bitters and add nutmeg, all-spice, cinnamon, kosher salt, and pepper. Drain apples, discarding juices, and toss in the spice mixture.

Sprinkle remaining flour and sugar over crust to prevent any soggy-ness. Tightly arrange apples in your pie dish, mounding them slightly higher in the center. Pour 1/2 to 3/4 cup of caramel sauce (depending on your sweet tooth) evenly over apples. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp of sea salt. Assemble your lattice on top and crimp edges as desired (maybe add a few snowflake cutouts if you so desire).

Chill the pie in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to set the pastry. Meanwhile, position the oven racks in the bottom and center positions, place a baking sheet on the bottom rack, and preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Brush egg wash over crust to coat, then sprinkle with Demerara sugar and sea salt. Place the pie on the baking sheet on the lowest rack of the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to brown. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees and move pie to the center oven rack. Continue to bake until your pie is golden brown and the juices are bubbling, about 30 to 35 minutes longer.

Let pie cool completely for about 2 to 3 hours before serving. I prefer to serve this beauty warm, so feel free to place back in the oven briefly before serving. Scoop some vanilla gelato on top and watch this pie disappear.

Recipe courtesy of the lovely Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book.

Hap-PIE Thanksgiving

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May your plate be full of pie and your glass full of wine.

I have a few other #piegoals today too…

  • Transport three pies without ending up with a pie casserole in my trunk
  • Convince my family to eat dessert before dinner
  • Make sure everyone knows I’m thankful for pie
  • Sneak a second (or third) slice of pie
  • Manage to stay awake after all that pie
  • Contemplate what pie I’ll make next

Thanksgiving table of pie

I hope all your pies came out beautifully and taste even better. Have a dough-licous Thanksgiving. See you on the other side (with our fat pants on).

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How To: Gingersnap Streusel 

Christmas cookies are my jam! It’s no shock that we love all treats, but when you add a dash of holiday to a cookie, we’re all in. For December’s Pie Club, we found it imperative to sneak a Christmas cookie or two into our pie. I’m sure you understand that sometimes one dessert just isn’t enough.

We scoured the Internet and our pie books, and became convinced that a Gingersnap Streusel topping would be the icing on the cake of our Apple Cranberry Pie. (Like the mixed dessert metaphor I just did there?)

It was so delicious that we felt it absolutely necessary to share. If your Christmas pie needs a little pizazz, whip up this bad boy. We promise it won’t disappoint.

HOW TO: Gingersnap Streusel

Full Recipe: Gingersnap Streusel

Ingredients:

  • 15-20 gingersnap cookies
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)

Directions:

  1. Put the gingersnaps in a food processor and pulse until the cookies are in small chunks
  2. Add cinnamon, brown sugar, flour, and butter. Pulse to combine.
  3. Sprinkle over the pie filling of your choice.
  4. Bake, serve, and enjoy the fact that you clearly have your #pieorities in order!

December Pie Club

Here at pie club, we love the holiday season. Holiday lattes at Starbucks? We buy two at a time. Strands of Christmas lights? The only lights we use in December. Christmas cookies? At least one a day, and we even put them in our pie. Cue this month’s Cranberry Apple Gingersnap Streusel Pie.

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One thing we love as much as Christmas is brunch. Between the cinnamon rolls, tater tot breakfast casserole, and mimosas—there was no room for complaints.

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Although it was a wintry 65 degree day in Brooklyn, we embraced the season and spread holiday cheer one slice of pie at a time.

As we continue our countdown to Christmas, we’re going to pass the time by putting our leftover pie into a milkshake. TBD if it tastes as good as it sounds. But really, what could go wrong?

Stay tuned for more pie in 2016. We’re still debating, but our New Year’s resolution will probably involve less pilates and more pie + lattes.