Come the middle of October I am completely enthralled with cooking; baking especially. I conjure up ideas in my head, gather the ingredients, and make tasty comfort food for my family, friends, and loved ones. I DVR all of my favorite cooking shows, watch them when I get the chance, and then use their recipes as the inspirations for my own creations. Seasonal magazines are also a must in my kitchen, such as Country Living, Martha Stewart Living, and Gourmet. The pictures alone get my creative kitchen juices flowing and I often times find myself jotting recipes on anything within reach, such as receipts, junk mail, etc. Just yesterday I felt like baking, so I made an apple crisp pie. Using, ehem.. store bought crust and store bought apple crumble, I used up all of my past-their-prime Macintosh's, added some pumpkin spice and cinnamon, and piled up the ingredients. There is nothing like compiling a recipe on a whim, simply based on whatever is stocking the kitchen shelves. I try not to waste food, so if a few apples begin to go bad I'll make apple sauce or if the tomatoes have reached their peak, "sun dried" tomatoes. Last night I brined some pork chops, and made a roux out of white wine, butter and flour, tossed in some thyme, dried cranberries and sauteed onions, and voila! Parmesan thyme risotto accompanied the dinner along with steamed broccoli florets, and dinner was served in no time. The chill in the air makes people crave those feel good foods that not only make your house smell amazing, but they taste amazing as well. Here's to using simple accessible ingredients to serve up delicious comfort foods!
Apple Crumble Pie:
1 store bought pie crust (or homemade if you're so inclined ;)
1 box T. Marzetti Apple Crumble Mix w/ 5 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 pound sliced Macintosh apples (or whatever you have on hand) about 2.5 cups
2 Tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 Tsp. pumpkin spice or all spice
1 Tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 Tsp. Lemon Juice (to preserve apples)
1 Tbsp. flour
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lay pie crust in round pie pan, poking the sides and bottom with a fork as well as creasing the edges. Bake in oven for about 10 minutes until crust is golden. As crust bakes, cube 5 tbsp. cold butter and incorporate into Apple Crumble mix (or use a food processor.) Place in fridge. Mix apples, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, flour, salt and vanilla and fill pie crust. Top with chilled crumble topping and drizzle with maple syrup. Brush an egg-wash onto the crust prior to placing in oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes until apples are tender and crumble topping is golden. Let slightly cool and enjoy!
Ps: Sorry no post-baking photo, my camera fell in Metayo's water bowl and I was frantically trying to save it ;) But it still works thankfully!