Dutch Apple Pie


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
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 ceramics .

They 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.


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.


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!

Coffee Cake Cookies

I wish I’d kept count of how many years my friend Marilynn has been hosting her annual cookie exchange.  Over the years it’s become a holiday tradition for everyone who attends, and we all look forward to it.  After at least 8 years of exchanging cookies, lots of recipes have been used and this year I really wanted to find something new, something none of us has made before.

I found this recipe for Coffee Cake Cookies on Pinterest and decided to give it a try.  The idea of making a cookie that is like eating just the top layer of a coffee cake sounded delicious!  Because I don’t prefer store-bought cookie dough I decided to combine recipes and make my own version.  9 dozen cookies later, I can promise you’ll love them!


These cookies require three steps:  the cookie itself, the crumb topping, and the brown sugar glaze, so they take a bit of time to make, but are totally worth it.


Cookie dough:
1 cup softened butter 1 cup granulated sugar 1 tsp. vanilla 1 large egg 2 – 1/2 cups flour 1 Tb baking powder Crumb Topping:4 Tb. butter 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 1/2 cup flour Brown Sugar glaze:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar 1 tsp. vanilla 1 – 1/2 Tb. water To make the dough:In a mixer, beat butter with sugar.  Add vanilla and egg and mix well.  Add flour and baking powder and mix until combined.  Dough should be soft but shouldn’t stick to your fingers.
Roll cookie dough into 1-1/2 inch balls and place on cookie sheet 3 inches apart.  Flatten cookie dough with the heel of your hand.

To make crumb topping:
With a hand mixer, combine butter, brown sugar and flour until crumbly.

For glaze:
In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, water and vanilla and stir until smooth.  Glaze should be easy to drizzle but not runny.  If it’s too thick, add a few drops of water until consistency is right.  If it’s too runny, add another spoonful of brown sugar.

To prepare cookies:
Bake at 375 for 5 minutes.  Remove cookies from oven and gently press the back of a spoon into the center of each cookie to make a subtle indentation.  Sprinkle approximately 1 Tb. crumb topping into indentation of cookie.  Return to oven for 5-7 minutes, or until edges of cookies are just beginning to turn golden brown.  Remove from oven.  Let cool on cookie sheet for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack.  Drizzle with brown sugar glaze and allow to completely cool.  Enjoy!

Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Recipe adapted from Oh, Bite It.


Lavender & Lemon Madeleine Sandwiches


I have a weakness for all things lemon flavored.  When I was contacted several weeks ago by a representative of Donsuemor to see if I was interested in creating a holiday recipe from one of their products, their Lemon Zest Madeleines immediately caught my attention and I jumped at the opportunity.

A box of individually wrapped Madeleines arrived on my doorstep, and the first thing I did was sample one.  It was moist, lemony, buttery and delicious.  These beautiful little cakes would make a fantastic gift on their own.  I am impressed with their quality and flavor.


My favorite flavor to pair with lemon is fresh lavender.  I grow my own and use it often so incorporating it into this recipe felt natural.


I wanted to preserve the beauty and shape of the Madeleines, making them the main focus instead of being simply another ingredient, which led to the idea of sandwiches.


Begin by preparing a creamy lavender-lemon frosting to use as filling between the cakes (see recipe at end of post).  There’s a trick to fabulous lavender flavored frosting, and it’s making it a day early so the lavender flavor is fully absorbed and incorporated into the frosting.  It also begins to take on the slightest purple tinge if you do this.  So beautiful, and so delicous!


Next come the cakes.  Being careful to preserve the beautiful shell shape of the tops of the Madeleines, carefully hold them as you slice the rounded portion off the back of the cake, leaving the back or bottom of the cake flat, as you see below.


Gently spread the lavender frosting over the flat side of half of the Madeleines.


Place the remaining half of Madeleines  on top of the frosted cakes to make sandwiches.


Chill the sandwiches for 30 minutes.  When they are cold, melt 1 cup of lemon flavored wafers.


Holding the top of each sandwich, gently dip them in the melted lemon coating and place on parchment paper to harden.  I chose to dip the bottom, or hinge part of the cake and left the top half uncoated.


When the lemon coating has hardened, place sandwiches on a serving platter and enjoy!


Lavender & Lemon Madeleine Sandwiches
1 box Donsuemor Lemon Zest Madeleines 2 Tb. butter 1-1/2 tsp. culinary lavender buds, dried or fresh 1 Tb. heavy cream 1 Tb. fresh lemon juice 1 cup – 1 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar 1 pound Lemon A’peels (lemon flavored candy coating) To make the frosting:

Whip 2 Tb. butter with hand mixer.  Add 1 to 1-1/2 tsp. fresh or dried lavender buds.  Whip until butter is white in color.
Add 1 Tb. heavy whipping cream and 1 Tb. fresh lemon juice.  Mix until incorporated.
Add 1 cup plus 2 Tb. confectioner’s sugar and mix until frosting is firm but easily spreadable.  You may add sugar by the spoonful or lemon juice a few drops at a time to adjust the consistency of the frosting to your liking.

*Note:  For best flavor, prepare the frosting a day early!

To assemble sandwiches:

1.  Being careful to preserve the beautiful shell shape of the tops of the Madeleines, carefully hold them as you slice the rounded portion off the back of the cake, leaving the back or bottom of the cake flat.

2.  Gently spread the lavender frosting over the flat side of half of the Madeleines.  Place the remaining half of Madeleines  on top of the frosted cakes to make sandwiches.  Chill for 30 minutes.

3.  Melt 1 cup lemon wafers.  Carefully dip half of each Madeleine sandwich and place on parchment or waxed paper to cool and set.

4.  Serve and enjoy!  Makes 13 sandwiches.


Many thanks to Donsuemor for providing the Madeleines, and for the pleasure of creating this recipe.  Thank you for visiting, and Happy Holidays!


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