Hey, y'all! (I've noticed that I open with "Hey, y'all" quite often....oh well.)
We have this week and next week of TMTT. I can't promise the week of Thanksgiving, as my kids will be out of school, DH will be home (for his first day off before the next tour...to fly out Friday...and a 3 day turn-around is hard to do). Not only will we be cleaning and getting ready for the big day, but we will be having to wash, dry, fold and pack hubby's clothes for his next tour.
My blogger friend, Lisa, and her sister host a blog carnival called "Tempt My Tummy Tuesday." Loads of bloggers link up to share tips and/or recipes. It is a lot of fun. (Be careful...it leads to "blog gluttony." HAHA!)
Anyway, a few weeks ago, I started sharing stuff about Thanksgiving. I love the feedback I have gotten. Several said that they had never roasted a turkey and felt that they were ready to try it. That is so cool!
Today, I'm going to share my recipes for mashed potatoes and apple pie.
First: Mashed Potatoes (Some people call them "smashed" or "creamed." I don't see the difference in mashed or smashed...except maybe using a hand mixer or a potato masher. To me, creamed potatoes are a lot smoother...almost a thick gravy-like consistency. I don't usually do that.)
Here we go:
potatoes (I like red skinned as they are a LOT silkier, but you can use almost anything. I also like Yukon Golds for their buttery color and texture. Russets will work just as well.)
cream, or milk
First you need to peel, clean and cube your potatoes. They don't have to be too small.
Put the potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Add salt...not too terribly much. Bring to a boil. Boil until tender.
Once the potatoes are tender, drain the water. I take butter (I use real butter, not margarine) and put a hunk in to melt. I also put about 1/2 - 1 block of cream cheese in. (The cream cheese will not add taste, but adds a silkiness that is wonderful. These taters can be eaten without gravy.)
Mash this all up. Start to add milk, or cream, a little at a time, until the potatoes are the texture you want. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder, to taste.
6 cups peeled, cored, thinly sliced apples (I like Granny Smith)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
dash of salt
2-pastry crust for 9-inch
Now, pie crust. Use what you want. My Martha (Martha Stewart) has a wonderful and easy pie crust recipe. Crisco has a good and easy pie crust recipe. Pie crust is like gravy...it is so easy to make, but if you have never made it, it SEEMS a bit difficult. Just try it. You'll be glad you did. If you don't want to try it, Pillsbury has a good crust in the refrigerated section (usually with their biscuits and rolls) They come with 2 rolls per box. I use these when I'm in a hurry or just don't feel like making a crust. Do NOT use the frozen in the pan crust or the Pillsbury look-alike. One word....NASTY!!!
OK....unroll 1 crust and put it in your pie plate. (I don't do a deep dish on this one.) Set aside.
Put your lemon juice in a bowl. As you slice your apples, put them into the lemon juice. Toss to coat. The lemon juice will not add flavor, but will keep your apples from turning brown.
Core, peel and thinly slice apples to get to 6 cups. (A good measure is about 1 large apple per cup. You might need 1 or 2 more to reach 6 cups.)
Once you have all your apples, add your sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Toss until the apples are coated. The flour will thicken the juice released from the apples.
Pour your apple filling into the pie crust. It will fill it. Use the rest to mound up in the middle. They will bake down a lot. Don't worry about getting it too full.
Take your 2nd pie pastry to cover the pie. Seal up the edges. You need to cut some vents into the crust for the steam to escape. If you don't, you will have a huge mess. You don't want the pie to explode in your oven. LOL!
Bake at 425 for about 45 minutes. You might want to check the color of your crust at 35 minutes. You want it golden, not too brown. BUT, your apples won't be ready. Just take a sheet of foil to cover the pie and keep it from turning darker. It's also a good idea to put a cookie sheet under the pie as it might bubble out.
To make a nice presentation, I take my top pastry and fold it in half, then in half (making a quarter circle). I then use a mini-cookie cutter....usually apple, or something for the season) and cut through all 4 layers.
I put the top crust on. Seal the top and bottom crust edges by mashing together. I use a fork to decorate the edge, or make scallops with my fingers. I brush the top with egg white. The apples that I cut out, I put between the apple-shaped vent holes. I brush the apple cut outs with egg white. I think sprinkle sanding sugar over it. (Sanding sugar is the thicker "crunchy" sugar crystals.)
You don't have to do an egg wash. If you do, it will definitely need to be covered with foil at about 30 minutes as this pie browns quickly.
** Thanks to my friend for the picture. This is actually a pie that I baked last night for our Bunco party!