Thanksgiving: Dessert edition

My favorite Thanksgiving course: dessert. If I were to be honest, I would skip the turkey and the stuffing and green beans and go straight for the dessert. Every. Single. Time.

If you’re still in need of something to bring to family dinner, or you want to change up your menu at the eleventh hour, here are 3 Thanksgiving desserts I’ve made in the last week. Each one delectable!

Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake from Betty Crocker

My layers didn’t turn out quite so exact, but it still tasted great. Even if you’re not a pumpkin pie person, this one is tasty. Mostly cream cheese, with a hint of pumpkin, on a crust of gingersnaps. Delicious.

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Apple Pie from allrecipes.com

This is the only apple pie I will ever make. For a tutorial on lattice tops, click here.

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Spiced Apple Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting adapted from Naturally Ella

IMG_0873You’ll need:

  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 green apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thinly

For the frosting, you’ll need:

  • 1- 8 oz package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and butter a bundt pan.

2. Add the milk to a small sauce pan and whisk in the spices and vanilla. Heat over medium until the milk simmers. Remove from heat, add butter, and stir until the butter is fully melted. Allow to cool.

3. Peel and core your apples, slicing them thinly.

4. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. In a smaller bowl, combine cooled milk mixture, eggs, yogurt, and sugar.

5. Pour a small amount of batter in the bottom, and then layer on about 1/3 of your apple slices. Continue to repeat, making batter the last layer. The original recipe recommends three layers of apples.

IMG_08696. Bake for 40-45 minutes at 375 degrees. Allow to cool in pan. Once it is nearly cool, flip cake onto serving platter.

7. When the cake is entirely cool, make your frosting. Cream butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add vanilla and heavy whipping cream. Add half of the powdered sugar. Once incorporated, add 1 more cup. If the frosting is still not this enough, add the remaining half a cup. Frost your cake! Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you will be filled with good food and refreshed with good fellowship.

Apple Pie: how to make a lattice top

So you want to make a pretty pie? A pie that you serenely pull out of the oven and place on your kitchen window sill, allowing the steam to waft peacefully over your perfectly manicured garden. The kind of pie that a mischievous neighbor boy would want to sneak off the windows sill and have all to himself. The kind of pie that you, in your heels and your apron, proudly serve your family after dinner. You know the kind of pie I’m talking about. It’s more art than food. It makes you think of a Norman Rockwell painting, in all its peace and perfection.

Let’s do it. Let’s make a perfect pie.

In order to make it happen, you will want to follow this recipe. Take it from me, this is one amazing apple pie recipe. Remember my theory about recipes that come from Grandma? It’s legit. And it doesn’t have to be your grandma, either. Anyone’s grandmother will do. They know their stuff.

First things first, make your pie dough. Then follow the recipe to make your filling. Read carefully! The filling gets set aside, and not dumped on the apples right away.

I deviated a bit and made one simple change: toss your sliced apples in cinnamon before you put them in the crust. Mmm….delicious.

Once your crust is rolled, and your apples are piled, you need a lattice top. It’s not complicated. You can do this. Roll out the second half of your pie dough, as though you were going to use it for a top. Cut the dough into strips, no wider than 1 inch.

Lay two of the shorter strips on two of the outside edges of the pie.

How easy is this? Now, see the strip that is going toward the upper right hand corner of the photo? We’re going to call that direction vertical. Flip it back over itself. Like so:

Now lay another horizontal strip of dough, parallel with its friend, leaving some space between them. Lay the vertical strap back down on the pie, and flip back the new horizontal strip.

Now it’s time for another vertical strip. Like you did the horizontal one, lay it next to it’s vertical friend, but leaving some space between. Return the horizontal strip to it’s original location. You starting to see a pattern here? It’s starting to look like pie!

Now things get fun. Next up is another horizontal strip. We need to flip some of the vertical ones back, but only the ones that are underneath the most recent horizontal strip.

Horizontal strip!

Now do the same thing for a new vertical strip. You’ll have to flip back two of the horizontal strips.

Same thing for the next horizontal strip:

Get it? Got it? Good! Keep going until the top is covered, and you’re satisfied with its beauty.

Dip a finger or two in some ice water, and “glue” the edge down. Use a fork to crimp the edges.

From here on out, follow the recipe. You won’t be sorry!

Forever and for always, this will be My Apple Pie Recipe. It will be making many an appearance at family reunions, celebratory dinners, and the occasional Tuesday night. Because sometimes, you just need a slice of pie. Even if it’s only Tuesday.