I LOVE PIE.  Especially homemade apple pie.

I seriously can’t go a single Thanksgiving without making a homemade apple pie.  I make the whole thing from scratch.  My great-grandmother always made amazing pies growing up.  In fact, she would make so many that there was a running joke in my family that the holiday wasn’t complete unless you had “a wheel.”  A wheel equalled one slice of every type of pie available.  Yikes.  So delicious but definitely the reason the holidays are known to pack pounds onto people.

While I LOVE all things pumpkin, apple pie is a must for me.  When I set out to re-create the pie I remembered from my childhood, it took me awhile to find recipes I felt were good enough to even come close to what I remembered.  Holy smokes, I’m not one to boast too much–but I think mine is better than what I remembered (sorry Great-Grandma!).  I should note that I’m not known for my cooking- especially among my family.  If I ever blog about any type of meal (such as the amazing pumpkin lobster ravioli I blogged about)- it’s because my husband made it and it rocks.  I AM however, pretty solid at baking.  The good, old, homestyle baking that reminds me of growing up…here in the desert…which means that more than half the year it’s too hot to turn an oven on.

I make the crust from scratch and I’m a big fan of the flaky, buttery crusts.  I also put more apples in my pie than any other apple pie I’ve come across.  Which, in my opinion, makes it amazing right off the bat.

I also use several different types of apples.  Who says you can only use one kind?!  And, why do they always suggest it? I often wonder why every recipe uses only one type.  Apples actually vary greatly in their taste (my personal favorite are the Pink Lady variety) and when you combine several types into one pie you are in for a mouth-watering treat full of pops of flavor.  I generally try to buy my apples from local farmers markets or Sprouts to make sure they’re super fresh and local when possible.  Only problem is that Arizona isn’t exactly known for their apple orchards–although they do exist!  I’ll do another post on that in the future.  Delicious!

Variations of apples I use combinations of (mostly depends on availability): Pink Lady, Granny Smith, Fuji, Braeburn, Gala, and Honeycrisp. (Braeburn and Honeycrisp are my favorites for this pie).  If you’re unfamiliar with each apple’s flavor, try a slice before putting the whole apple in.  Too many granny smith apples can make the pie too bitter for most.

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I wish I could claim this pie dough recipe as my own, but I found it on FoodNetwork.com.  Oftentimes I modify recipes I’ve found there, but this one is spot on.  To get the recipe I use for my crust, click here.  If anything, sometimes I use 1-2 more tablespoons of water because it’s so dry in the desert (it’s a dry heat– which is still really stinking hot!).  I then drape it over the apples pretty loosely for the top crust.  You’ll notice I pile my apples really high.  That’s because it shrinks when it bakes.

Here are some photos of the pie during different stages:

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What’s your favorite pie (or dessert) for Thanksgiving? Is it a family recipe or something you found and made a staple? I’d love to hear about it!

I’ll be covering different ways we’ve cooked our Thanksgiving turkey here in the desert in an upcoming post- stay tuned for that.  All I can say is: BACON!

Hope your November is off to a great start!

3 thoughts on “November = PIE!!! (Okay, and Turkey!)

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