Category Archives: Holidays

Dutch Apple Pie

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One of the best things I did a dozen or so years ago was take a pie-making class.  Not only did I walk away with some good recipes, but I also lost my fear of making pie and ditched the concept that a perfect looking pie equals a perfect tasting pie.  Best of all, I learned how to make this Dutch apple pie, and over the years I’ve made this pie more often than any other.  Some of my children request my Dutch apple pie instead of birthday cake.

The pictures I’m using in this post are representative of what happens when I make it.  I was lucky to get a quick shot of the last slice!

 

Dutch Apple Pie Recipe

Ingredients:
1 unbaked pie crust
6 medium Granny Smith apples
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 Tablespoons Tapioca
1-1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

for Dutch crumb topping:
5-2/3 Tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour

Prepare the filling:

Fill a large bowl with a few ice cubes and 2-3 inches of cold water.  Add 1 teaspoon of salt to cold water.  This salted ice water will keep your apple slices fresh.  Peel and slice apples, placing apple slices into water.

Roll out pie crust into pie dish.  Note:  my favorite pie dishes are Emile Henry ceramicsThey are made in France, and are high quality and beautiful.  My pies always bake perfectly in these dishes!  They also make great gifts.

Drain water from bowl.  Add 1 cup sugar, cinnamon, Tapioca and lemon juice.  Mix together gently to avoid breaking apple slices.

Arrange applies in pie shell.

To prepare the Dutch crumb topping:

In mixing bowl, combine flour and 1/2 cup sugar.  Cut cold butter into slices and add to flour mixture.  Combine with pastry cutter or using a hand mixer.  Spoon topping over apples, spreading over entire top of pie to the edges of the pie crust.

Bake:

Line baking sheet with parchment paper and place in oven on rack BELOW the rack your pie will bake on.  This will catch any drips as the fruit cooks.

Bake pie at 425 for 15 minutes.  Turn oven temperature down to 350, cover lightly with foil and bake an additional 45-50 minutes.

Remove pie from oven and allow to sit at least 20 minutes before slicing.  Serve warm or cold with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Enjoy!

During the holidays I serve this pie along with these other favorites:
Chocolate Pecan Tart
Coconut Cream Pie

Check out my favorite tools for pie making here.

Happy baking!
Jennifer

Favorite Thanksgiving Children’s Books

Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday of mine.   With our large family I’ve read a lot of Thanksgiving children’s books over the years, and a handful have stood the test of time. Today I’m sharing my top favorite picture books for young children.

Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry Devlin, is a delightful story of a girl named Maggie who lives with her grandmother at the edge of a cranberry bog in New England.  Grandmother’s secret cranberry bread recipe is famous and sought after, but she carefully protects it.  That is, until their neighbor, Mr. Whiskers, joins them for Thanksgiving dinner along with another guest…

This book was originally published in the early 1970’s and has been out of print for years, making copies of the book highly sought after and difficult to find.  Our copy is a vintage one, but I was delighted to find that it has been re-printed!  My children love reading this story and especially enjoy Mr. Whisker’s personality.

Thanks for Thanksgiving, by Julie Markes, is a simple list of things to be grateful for in a young child’s life.  The verse is fun to read aloud, but Doris Barrette’s illustrations are what capture my heart.

They communicate the energetic but happy chaos of family life, as well as the deep comfort of home and belonging.  Perfect!

A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting is the entertaining story of Mr. and Mrs. Moose, who are about to sit down for Thanksgiving dinner, except Mrs. Moose is sad because they don’t have a turkey.  Mr. Moose is determined to make his wife happy so he goes hunting and brings a terrified turkey home…

These are our favorite Thanksgiving childrens books, a fun warm-up for reading our beloved Christmas stories.  As I write this post, several of my children have paused to say “Oh, I love that book!”.  Reading  is a beautiful way to bond as a family and I’m grateful my children have fond memories of these endearing stories.

What are your favorite Thanksgiving books?  Please share in the comments.  I’m always looking for more!

Happy Reading!
Jennifer

Ireland Flag Mini Quilt :: St. Patrick’s Day Placemat

With St. Patrick’s day just around the corner, it’s fun to think of simple ways to celebrate.  Last year I made some of these cute little mini quilts.  And since many St. Patty’s traditions are centered around a meal, they also make great placemats!  I had some of this fun Luck of the Irish fabric by Dear Stella, and it inspired me to make little Irish flags!

The Irish themed print made these placemats really cute, but you could easily substitute another low volume print, or plain white for the center strip.  For that matter, these would be really cute with all solid fabrics.

I combined the Ireland print with a green and orange fabric, also from Dear Stella, and cut one piece of each fabric, making all of them the same size.  For a placemat, I would cut each piece at least 12 inches tall and 6 inches wide.  Then I sewed them together to mimic the color placement of the Irish flag, and in two seams it was ready for quilting!  Simple straight line quilting every couple of inches made this a very fast but festive project.

I chose a simple binding for mine; a black swiss dot on white, and I opted for machine binding to save time.

I have gifted my creations to a couple of friends (both readheads) who love Ireland and teach Irish dance.  It was fun to surprise them with a small gift that celebrates a passion of theirs.  I’m tempted to whip up a few more just for fun before St. Patrick’s Day.

Happy sewing!
Jennifer

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