Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Recipes: Apple Pastry, Pie, Crisps, and more

Apple season is upon us once again! The local apple orchard opened a week ago and I have already bought my first jug of apple cider. Apple pie, as iconic as it is, is not the only dessert you can make with the luscious fruit.

I've put together a collection of apple recipes from Old Fashioned Living as well as some links to different apple recipes on many of the blogs I frequent. Hope you enjoy!

Cheddar-Crust Apple Pie

1 1/2 cups flour
dash of salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cup (6 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
4-6 tablespoons water

1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
6 cups sliced peeled apples
2 tablespoons margarine

Heat oven to 425F. Combine flour & salt; cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cheese. Sprinkle with water while mixing lightly with a fork; form into ball. Divide dough in half. Roll one part to 11" circle on lightly floured surface. Place in 9" pie plate. Combine sugar, flour, & cinnamon. Mix with apples. Place mixture in pie shell; dot with margarine. Roll out remainder of dough to 11" circle; place over apples. Seal edges of crust & flute. Cut slits in top of pastry. Bake at 425F, 35 minutes.

Cookie Sheet Apple Pie

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup whipping cream

5 medium sized tart apples
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
dash salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 egg
2 Tblsp milk

For crust:

Combine all the ingredients for the crust except for the butter and whipping cream. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Blend in the whipping cream to make a firm dough. Chill if necessary until firm. Dust a lightly greased baking sheet with flour, flatten dough out onto the baking sheet. Roll or pat out to 1/4" thickness. Trim to make a 14" square. Roll out the trimmings and cut into strips.

To prepare apples:

Pare, core and slice apples. Turn into bowl, mix with filling ingredients

To assemble pie:

Arrange apples in rows over crust in pan, leaving 2" empty at edges. Dot with 2 Tblsp of butter. Arrange strips in criss-cross fashion over apples, then fold edges of crust up and over ends of strips, pinch corners to seal. Beat egg and milk, and brush pastry with the mixture. Bake at 400 degrees 30 to 35 minutes or until golden and apples are cooked.

Crumb Apple Pie

1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/4 cup ice water

7 medium Granny Smith
or Golden Delicious apples
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup chilled butter or margarine, cut into pieces

Place rack on lowest position. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. To prepare crust; in a medium bowl mix together flour and salt. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives (I also use my fingers) cut shortening into flour mixture until course crumbs form. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork, until a dough forms. Shape into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes. On a floured surface, using a floured rolling pin, roll dough into a 12 inch circle. Fit into a 9 inch pie plate. Trim dough, leaving a 1 inch overhang; pinch a decorative edge.

To prepare filling; peel, core and very thinly slice the apples. Mix together with other filling ingredients. Spoon into crust.

For topping, in a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut butter into mixture until course crumbs form. Sprinkle apple filling evenly with topping. Bake pie until topping is lightly browned and filling is bubbly, 35 minutes. If pie is overbrowning, cover loosely with foil. Cool on a wire rack. 8 servings.

Recipe courtesy of Brenda Hyde at

Easy Deep Dish Apple Pie

2- 1 lb. cans apple pie filling
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1- 8 oz. can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Heat oven to 375F. Spoon pie filling into 12X8" baking dish. Sprinkle with raisins & cheese. Unroll both halves of refrigerated dough into flat rectangular sheets. Fit to cover baking dish. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over dough. Bake at 375F for 25 minutes. Top with cheese slices, if desired.

Whole Wheat Apple-Mincemeat Pie

1 cup Pillsbury's Best Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup Pillsbury's Best All Purpose or Unbleached
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup cold water

4 cups sliced, peeled apples (4 medium)
1 1/3 cups prepared mincemeat
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 egg white
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon sugar (1 to 2 tsp)

Heat oven to 375F. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. In medium bowl, combine whole wheat flour, 1 cup all purpose flour, 2 tablespoons sugar and salt; blend shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually add water to flour mixture while tossing and mixing lightly with fork. Add additional water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until dough is just moist enough to hold together. Shape dough into 2 balls. Flatten balls; smooth edges. Roll 1 ball lightly on floured surface from center to edge into circle 1 1/2 inches large than inverted 9-inch pie pan. Fold dough in half; fit evenly into pan. Do not stretch. Trim bottom pastry even with pan edge. Roll out remaining dough; set aside.

In large bowl, combine all filling ingredients; spoon into pastry-lined pan. Top with remaining pastry; fold edge of top pastry until bottom pastry. Flute edge; cut slits in several places. Combine egg white and 2 tablespoons water; brush over crust. Sprinkle lightly with sugar. Bake at 375F for 40 to 50 minutes or until apples are tender. 8 servings. Contributor's Tip: Cover edge of pie crust with strip of foil during last 10 to 15 minutes of baking to prevent excessive browning.

Crockpot Apple Pie

8 Tart Apples peeled and sliced
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter soften
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup Bisquick
1 cup Bisquick
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons cold butter

Toss apples in large bowl with cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Place in lightly greased crockpot. Combine milk, softened butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and the 1/2 c Bisquick. Spoon over apples.

Combine the 1 cup Bisquick and brown sugar. Cut the cold butter into mixture until crumbly. Sprinkle this mixture over top of apple mixture. Cover and cook on low 6-7 hours or until apples are soft.

More Apple Recipes you might like:

Greek Apple Pastry (Milopitas)

Easy Apple Cake

Caramel Apple Coffee Cake

Toffee Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp Pudding

Applesauce Loaf

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Fall Tea Party

Apples and Honey: A Honey of a Tea Party
By Renee Van Hoy

Nothing welcomes autumn like apples and honey. Delight your guests with the scent and flavor of apple butter, an herbal honey tasting, and all the breads, cakes, cookies and tarts you can make with these wonderful ingredients.

The Setting:

* bowl of beautiful fall apples on every table
* honey tasting, with apple slices for dipping
* game of "hide and seek" the honey bear for the little ones
* chance to enjoy the sweetness in life with good friends

Apple Butter and Tartlets

Apple butter is a real treat for the Fall. It takes a little time to make, but it is so worthwhile! Not only can you serve it for tea and breakfast, but you will have extra for gifts or for making Apple Butter Tartlets. This recipe takes about 2 hours from start to finish, which is much shorter than the cooking time called for in most apple butter recipes. I think you'll be very happy with the delicious result.

Read the rest of this article on Old Fashioned Living

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Herbs For Pampering, Not Just Cooking

By all these lovely tokens September days are here, with summer's best of weather and autumn's best of cheer. ~Helen Hunt Jackson

We think of herbs as culinary or ornamental most of the time, but they can be used other ways as well. The following recipes are easy to make and will give you an idea of what you can do with your herbs beside cook with them. If you don't grow herbs you can also buy bulk dried herbs online or look for fresh herbs in the produce section of your grocery store.

This is a neat recipe because if you grow fennel you know that you always have a HUGE amount of seed each year, and it's nice to have another use for it.

Fennel Cleanser

1 tablespoon fennel seed
1 cup boiling water
1 cup honey
2 tablespoons buttermilk

Lightly crush the seeds, pour over the boiling water and steep for at least 30 minutes. Strain after cooling into a glass bowl or measuring cup. Add the honey and the buttermilk . Pour into a bottle and refrigerate. Use to cleanse your face gently then rinse.

Mint Footbath

Dozen sprigs of mint
1/2 cup cool water
10 cups boiling water

Puree the mint and the cool water in a blender or a food processor. Pour this into a wash basin or any container you can fit both of your feet into. Add the boiling water and cool to a comfortable temperature. Soak both feet together until the water turns cold. Pat dry and use a good moisturizer.

Lady's Mantle Rinse

4 tsp. dried lady's mantle leaves
1 cup boiling water

Pour the boiling water over the herb in a glass bowl or measuring cup. Steep for ten minutes or until cooled. Strain and place into a small jar. You can use immediately or chill and use any time within 24 hours. Use cotton pads or cotton balls in the mixture and cleanse your face and neck. You can also add to your bath.

We have more herbal recipes on OFL:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Paint Stick Scarecrow

Last year we did some painting in our house, so we had plenty of paint stir sticks leftover. Crafty girl that I am ;) I am always looking for ways to turn items like this into something cute. I used one of those extra paint sticks and a bunch of fabric scraps to make this adorable scarecrow. He's definitely one of my favorites. I still have this cute scarecrow, though he's pretty faded now since I left his outside in a potted plant all summer. I guess I'll have to make some more. ;) I want to thank, the site I originally made this for, for granting permission to reprint this here for you. Hope you like it!

Paint Stick Scarecrow
by Amanda Formaro

This adorable scarecrow makes a great decoration for your kitchen, garden, porch, or just about anywhere you want to "stick" him! Use scraps of material and inexpensive felt to put this cutie together.

What you need
paint stir stick
acrylic paint: tan or sunflower, pink, orange, white and black
paint brush
fine tip black marker
felt: red, tan, brown, gold
scrap of old blue jeans (approx 8" x 10")
bandana or other patterned material (we used boxer shorts!)
*buttons: 3 orange, 1 each green, purple, navy blue
American moss or raffia
12" piece of green raffia
hot glue gun
*You can use any color buttons, or fabrics for that matter, that you like. We have listed the colors we used. Feel free to personalize this project any way you like.

What you do

Paint the top 5 inches of the paint stick with tan or sunflower acrylic paint. Set aside to dry.

Lay sheet of red felt on work surface and fold in half (greeting card style). Lay the shirt pattern on top of the felt so that the shoulders and neck area line up with the fold. Trace the pattern then cut out, keeping the felt folded. Be sure to cut the neck hole out as well.

Repeat the above process with the tan felt, laying the hat pattern so that the top of the hat lies along the fold, cut out.

Cut out a thin strip of brown felt, about 4 inches long, long enough to wrap around the hat (band).

Cut out a flower from the gold felt.

Place denim jean material on work surface and fold in half. Trace the pants pattern onto the denim and cut out. It is not necessary to line this up along the fold as with the shirt.

Cut out two long strips from the denim, about 1 inch wide and 6 inches long each. These will be the cuffs of the pants. Lay the strips right (dark) side facing up, and run hot glue along the top edge. Fold over to adhere and repeat with the other side, making a folded cuff strip. Set aside.

Cut 7 small squares out of the denim jeans for patches and set aside.

Cut out a scrap of bandana, boxer shorts, or other patterned material about 5" square. Set aside.

With shirt still folded; insert the stir stick, painted end at the top, into the neck hole of the shirt. The neck hole of the shirt should cover about an inch or so of the paint. Use hot glue to tack the shirt to the stick just at the neck hole, front and back. DO NOT glue the rest of the shirt yet, you still need to insert moss in the arm holes.

Take one of the pieces of denim pants and place it over the top of the stir stick, positioned just underneath the bottom of the shirt. When you have it where you want it, tack it in place with hot glue. Take the other piece of denim pants and place it on the other side of the paint stick, lining it up with the one in front. Tack in place with glue. As with the shirt, DO NOT glue the bottom of the pants together or add the cuffs, you still need to insert moss.

Gather some American moss in your fingers like a bouquet, trim the ends. Hot glue some moss into the arms of the shirt and into the opening of the pant legs. You also need to glue some moss to the top of the paint stick for the hair. Trim if needed.

Glue the shirt together now that the moss is inserted. Glue the pants together as well. Glue "cuff" in place on the bottom of the pants, glue seams into the back and trim where needed.

Place folded top of hat at the top of the stir stick and fold into place. Position over the moss, there should be enough room for the scarecrow's face, about 2". Glue hat together.

Glue thin strip of brown fat onto hat as the band, glue seams at the back and trim if needed. Glue flower to the left side of the hat, covering the band and part of the brim. Hot glue a navy blue button to the center of the flower.

Fold bandana square in half and roll the long end a few times. Tie around scarecrow's neck to cover up neck hole. Hot glue in place.

Glue 3 orange buttons down the center of the shirt. Glue four denim patches on the shirt as noted in photo or anywhere you please.

Tie green raffia around the belt area of the pants, trim the ends and tack with hot glue.

Glue denim patches, wrong side up, to the pants as noted in photo. Glue a purple and a green button on top of two of the patches.

Use the handle end of a paint brush dipped in white paint to dot on whites of eyes. Use a toothpick dipped into black paint to dot on eyes. Use toothpick dipped in orange paint to draw on a triangle nose. Dip a paintbrush into pink paint, dab off excess and carefully dot on cheeks. Use black fine tip marker to add eyebrows and a moth, adding a few stitches to the mouth.

All done! has a printable version if you like.

Monday, September 14, 2009

In the Garden: More Fall Tips & Recipes

When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive-to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love. ~Marcus Aurelius

It's 81 again here, but the nights are cool now which is really nice. I harvested greens beans and a cucumber this morning. My basil is ready to harvest again, and the dill. Around here it's kind of the last hurrah for the garden because the weather can change so quickly. I have a question on Morning Glories to answer today and then a few recipes to share.

A reader wants to know what to do with the Morning Glory vine now that the season is over. She's in Ohio, so her Zone is about the same as mine in Michigan. Morning Glories are an annual, so the vine can just be ripped out and composted or disposed of. First though, a couple of things about the plants. Morning Glories form little round seed pods after blooming, and inside the little pod are small black seeds. IF you don't want it to reseed where you planted it this year then CAREFULLY cut the vine and gently remove it. Those seeds will pop all over the place if you yank it out of the ground. If you leave it, then it will reseed heavily next season. This is fine if you have the plants in an area that you want this to happen.

This said, Morning Glory seedlings are very easy to pluck out of the ground. It's just that there are LOADS of them, so it can be time consuming. The perfect situation for Morning Glories is in front or back of a fence where you can just let them reseed until their hearts content and guide them on the fence so they can ramble along it.

Linda Lou, a member of our OFL Forum, shared a recipe with us for Crock Pot Apple Butter. The apple season has already started so go out and grab a peck or two! Apple Butter is awesome on pancakes, waffles or French Toast.


Apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
4 cups. sugar or less
4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. salt

Fill crock pot heaping full of chopped apples. The lid may not fit at first, but it will as the apples shrink while cooking. Drizzle sugar (sweet apples require less sugar), cinnamon, cloves and salt over apples. Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 hour. Turn heat to LOW and cook all day until thick and dark in color. Stir occasionally. Pour into small jars, leaving plenty of room for expansion while freezing. Cool and freeze.

Even if you didn't grow your own green beans, you'll find them in bulk in the grocery store right now, or better yet, visit a Farmer's Market or look around your area for homegrown produce.

Green Beans With Onions

1 3/4 pound fresh green beans
1 large sweet onion
2 tbsp. butter
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
salt and black pepper
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Trim the ends of the beans, and string if necessary. Wash and drain. Peel the onions and cut them into very thin slices. Saute onion in a heavy saucepan with the butter over medium-low heat, stirring until the onions begin to turn golden. Add the beans, salt, pepper, and the rosemary, then add 1/4 cup of water. Cover the pan and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until the beans are tender. Remove the lid and continue to cook until the liquid is gone, but don't brown. Taste and season again if necessary. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Learn what herbs work well in soups on OFL:


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Fall is Around the Corner

Today we decided to take the kids and make the rounds of a couple of new orchard markets. We bought a peck of Gala apples, a 1/2 peck of Ginger Gold apples, fresh corn, squash, peaches, tomatoes, and a dozen freshly baked apple doughnuts. After the kids went to bed I realized I had a few recipes to share that were great for fall and I hadn't blogged that much here this week. I hope you enjoy these. It was 81 today but it still felt like fall munching on apples! If you haven't tried Ginger Gold apples, you should. They were VERY good, not too tart or sweet, and a great taste.

Zucchini Scones

2 1/4 cup flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. grated orange peel
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
4 tsp. cold sliced butter
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 cup milk
1 cup grated zucchini

Mix flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, cinnamon and grated peels together. Cut in the butter until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Mix the egg with milk. Add to flour mixture with the grated zucchini. Stir with a fork until a soft dough forms. Turn on to a lightly floured board or waxed paper. Roll into a ball. Cut in half and pat each half into a 6-7 inch round. Dip a knife into flour and cut each round into 5 wedges. Place on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 12-15 minutes at 425degrees. Makes 10 - 12 scones.

Pumpkin Ginger Muffins

1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
5 tbsp. applesauce, room temperature
2 egg whites, whipped
1/2 cup apple juice, room temperature
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
4 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare muffin tins with cooking spray and flour. In a mixing bowl, combine pumpkin,applesauce, whipped egg whites, and juice. In another bowl, combine sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, and nutmeg. Mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients just until moistened. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar as soon as taking out of the oven if you wish.

Cinnamon Apple Fritters

1/2 cup cake flour (sift all purpose several times)
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 large tart, firm apples
1 Tbsp. butter
3 inches oil for frying
1 large egg
powdered sugar
Warm maple syrup
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

In small bowl, combine flour, buttermilk, sugar, melted butter, egg yolk, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well with whisk. Beat egg white until it holds peaks but is not dry. Fold into batter. Heat oil in deep fryer or heavy pot until 375 degrees. Working with 3-4 apple slices cut 1/4 inch thick,dip slices into batter-shake off excess. Immediately drop into hot oil and fry until the apple is tender and batter is browned and puffed, turning once, about 2-4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer in single layer to a baking sheet or plate lined with paper towels; keep warm in 250-degree oven until all are fried. Serve hot with sugar or syrup. Makes 4 side servings.

On OFL we have tips, history and suggestions for using fresh pumpkin instead of canned in your recipes: