Favorite Holiday Recipes

 

 

 

Best Ever Apple Pie

(serves 6)

 

This apple pie has the perfect balance of sweet and tart. It will be the tallest apple pie you ever made.

 

6 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced

2 red apples (Pink Lady, Braeburn, or Rome)

¼       cup flour

1 tsp vanilla extract

¼       tsp sea salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

¼       cup brown sugar

¼       cup organic sugar

Topping:

1  egg white

½ tsp water

2  Tbs organic sugar

Pre-made pie shell (unbaked)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Position rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Peel and core apples.  Slice into ½ inch slices.  In a medium size bowl combine apples with flour, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, brown and cane sugars.  Toss well.
  3. Using a premade pie shell, fill your pie shell with the apples in a close circle.  Layer the apples until all are used. The center will be raised and the pie will be tall.
  4. Roll out your pie shell topping and fit it over the pie.  Crimp the edges and “flute” or use a fork to secure layers.  In the center of the pie, cut a small cross slit hole to allow for steam to escape.
  5. Whisk one egg white, add ½ tsp water. Brush over pie and crust with a pastry brush, then sprinkle with organic sugar.  This will give the pie a glistening, golden crust. Since the edges cook faster, either purchase a pie ring, or use tin foil to cover only the fluted edges.
  6. Place pie in preheated oven for 20 minutes.  Turn down the heat to 350 degrees and remove the tin foil.  Continue baking for 30 minutes.  Test doneness with a knife in the center of the pie.  The apples should still feel a little firm.  Remove the pie and let it cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.

Bites of Insight: When apples are just poured in a shell, there is too much space between the apples and when baked results in a fallen crust. Layering the apples in a tight circle on the bottom of the pastry shell helps to avoid this.  This makes a great high and dense pie that won’t collapse after baking.

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Cranberry Apple Raisin Chutney

(Serves 6-8)

 

 

This is my homemade version of cranberry relish.  We love it tart with a hint of sweet fruit.

 

½  cup raisins

½  cup apple juice

1    cup fresh apples, peeled and chopped

¼  tsp cloves, ground

½  tsp cinnamon, ground

1/8 tsp sea salt

2    cups fresh cranberries

4    Tbs honey or maple syrup

Optional: Our favorite alternative version is to replace apple juice with fresh orange juice and replace apples with fresh oranges pieces.

  1. Combine raisins and apple juice in a small pot, cover, and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Add apples, cloves, cinnamon, and salt.  Simmer for an additional 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add cranberries and honey or maple syrup.  Cover and simmer for 3-4 minutes on low heat until the cranberries break down. Remove to serving dish, refrigerate to cool and serve. Refrigerated, this lasts up to a month.

Serving Suggestions: Use any sweet apple such as Fuji, Braeburn or Pink Lady. The worst apple varieties for baking and cooking are the Macintosh and Red Delicious varieties.  This dish is good served hot or cold, as a side dish with chicken,  turkey or even in a cold turkey sandwich.

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Cranberry Orange Nut Bread

(makes one loaf or 9 slices)

 

 

The cranberry and orange juice combination gives this bread just the right amount of tartness.  Buy extra bags of fresh cranberries to freeze and enjoy this colorful holiday bread year round.

Dry Ingredients:

2    cups organic unbleached flour

1½ tsp baking powder

½   tsp baking soda

½   tsp sea salt

1    cup organic sugar (or ¾ cup honey; mix with wet)

Wet Ingredients:

1    egg, beaten well

¾   cup orange juice

2    Tbs expeller pressed oil

1    Tbs grated orange zest

1    tsp vanilla

1    cup fresh cranberries

½   cup chopped walnuts or pecans

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Generously grease and lightly flour rectangular loaf pan.
  2. In a medium size bowl, mix all dry ingredients together: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.  In separate bowl mix together egg, orange juice, oil, orange zest, and vanilla.
  3. Fold wet mixture into dry mixture until thoroughly mixed.  There should be no lumps left.
  4. In a food processor, pulse the cranberries until they are roughly chopped in half.  This will allow the loaf to rise easier and slice better. Gently fold in cranberries and chopped nuts into your mixture.
  5. Pour into loaf pan and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 60 minutes or until knife comes out clean.  Cool ten minutes and turn pan over to dislodge loaf onto board.

Bites of Insight: I make a few loaves weeks in advance of the holidays and freeze them.  Tightly wrap cooled loaf in plastic wrap and then wrap again with tin foil.  This will prevent loaves from getting freezer burn.  The bread will thaw in an hour.  I suggest slicing your bread for the basket when they are still a little frozen.  It will make it easier to slice and they will continue to thaw in the basket.  These make great gifts too.

 

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