giving thanks to good friends and good food.

it’s been a while since i’ve food blogged about a recipe. baking has always been something i’ve loved but i haven’t found time to do it at school. i’ve made a couple of things here and there but i think i’ve realized that the only time and place that i really like to bake is at home. not sure whether it’s because i know where all the ingredients are or because it’s because we have a kitchen aid mixer (yay convenience) or because baking at home makes me feel like i never actually left home to go to college, but every time i come home for a break, i always have to find time to bake.

apple pie is traditionally my contribution to our family thanksgiving dinner. my dad is in charge of the turkey, my mom is in charge of some chinese dishes, and my sister and i usually take care of the more western dishes (mashed potatoes, vegetables, dessert, etc.) my sister wasn’t able to come home again this thanksgiving so i was on my own for the pie making this year. but it was nice instead that a lot of my college friends who weren’t going home came over to help with some cooking and to stay for dinner. i never like to make the same pie nor do i like to buy pie crust so this year i decided to try making caramel apple pie (from a heather cristo recipe) with homemade pie crust and homemade caramel.

pie crust

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, chilled and cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup crisco
  • 1/3 cup ice cold water

combine the flour, sugar and salt. beat in the butter and crisco until it resembles crumbs. gradually add the ice water until the dough begins to form. empty the dough on to a piece of wax paper and make it into a disc shape. refrigerate for at least half an hour. this should be enough dough to make either two one-crust pies or one double-crust pie!

after it’s refrigerated, take half and roll it out into a round disc around 3/4 centimeter thick to be placed in a 9 inch pie pan. it might help to add some flour to the surface the dough is being rolled on.

caramel sauce (makes one cup)

  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

in a saucepan, cook the sugar at medium heat until it turns an amber color (about 5-10 minutes). add the cream (BE CAREFUL! it might bubble over!) be sure to stir constantly and cook on low for another ten minutes. bring the heat back up to medium and continue stirring until a smooth consistency is reached. remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. pour into a container to refrigerate until it’s ready to be used for the pie!

caramel apple pie

  • 2 pie crusts (see recipe above!)
  • 6 cups apples (i just used 8 apples and guess-timated)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup caramel sauce (see recipe above!)

peel and cut all the apples into thin slices. in a bowl, combine the sliced apples, sugar, flour, and cinnamon until the apples are coated.

spread the apples into the prepared pie pan. they’ll pile really high up! i think my pie was like two inches tall. cut the butter into slices and place them on top of the apples.

drizzle the caramel sauce over the apples. roll out the remainder of the pie crust to put on top of the apples and be sure to cut out a few air pockets. bake at 400 degrees for 55 minutes. serve warm. (:

thanksgiving is a holiday that essentially forces us to think about what we are thankful for. but i think it’s important to think about these things not only on some specified holiday that tells us to “give thanks.” i’m so thankful for an endless amount of things and i don’t think i’d be able to list them out. but for now, the things that i’m most thankful for are family, friends, food and love. (:

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