I know I'm late in writing about Thanksgiving, so I'll write about how good it was for me. First, I didn't have to cook a big meal. That was the original plan, but when our neighbors invited us to their place for dinner, we took their offer, on the condition that I would make dessert.
So I got up mid-morning, and started to make my pies. It is a family tradition to make the Pumple Pie every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas. In fact, the years I spent the holidays alone (like last year), I will make the pie, just for me. This year, I tried to make the apple part from scratch. I prefer it to the canned apple pie filling, which is good in it's own right, but making it from scratch lended such a nice flavor to the pie, not to mention, improved the texture. Sorry, Mom, but I gotta tell it like it is...
I will not make pie crust from scratch. Anyone who ate a pie where I made the pie crust from scratch, would not survive... It is traditional in my family to use Pilsbury pie crust, but I find I don't like to have to put it in the pie plate. So I buy Marie Callendar's frozen pie crust. It's already in it's own pan and it holds up nicely to any pie I make. Make sure to get the "deep-dish" kind.
The apple part was simple... The recipe I used is found in the Joy of Cooking, (Apple Pie II) but I had to modify it since I wasn't making an entire apple pie. I ended up using 4 Braeburn apples, 2 Tbsp of butter, 1/2 c. sugar, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Peel and slice the apples (I quartered, then sliced into approx. 1/4" slices). I used my wok to saute the apples, but only because it was handy. The recipe calls for covering the apples while cooking, but I did not. Melt the butter over high heat and add the apple slices. Stir to coat, then cook for a couple of minutes. The apples should be starting to soften, but still be crisp. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Turn down the heat to medium and stir to coat the apples. Cook for 5-8 minutes. Turn the heat back up to high and boil the juices until it starts to thicken and turn syrupy, about 3 minutes. Pour the apples into a baking sheet (I used a pyrex 9"x13" cake pan) to cool to room temp. Spread out into one layer, if possible. - If you don't want to make apples from scratch, we have always used Wilderness brand apple pie filling.
Prepare your favorite pumpkin pie filling. If you have a really good "from scratch" pumpkin pie recipe, please let me know. I used the big-can of Libby's pumpkin, and just followed the recipe on the side of the can.
To construct... layer the apple in the bottom of the pie plate. (The above apple recipe will make 2 9" deep dish pies) Spoon some of the syrup on top of the apples. Pour the pumpkin on top of the apples until it reaches the top. Bake like a pumpkin pie, but make sure it's on a foil-covered cookie sheet. This is what it should look like afterwards... can you see the apple on the bottom?
I took one Pumple Pie and one Pumpkin Pie to dinner. We got to meet some nice people in addition to our neighbors. Everyone loved the combination pumpkin-apple. Seriously, you should try this pie. If you don't like it, you are the only one. That is, unless everyone else is lying to me to spare my feelings and then to make me feel better, keeps asking for more of it.
Oh, and if you haven't figured it out yet, pie is my favorite part of Thanksgiving. Don't get me wrong, I ate enough Turkey and Potatoes and Stuffing to feed a family of 5, but I definitely left room for 3 pieces of pie...
I am thankful that I was able to share today with my husband and make some new friends. I am thankful that I was able to share my favorite family recipe with everyone. I am thankful for the comforts that I have in my life. I am thankful to all my friends and family, the ones who know and love me most, the ones I know and love the most. I am thankful for all the silly things in life, because if you can't laugh... what can you do? I am thankful to you out there who read my blog. You are a wonderful outlet for me, one that helps me maintain my sanity (such as it is...).
I can now officially declare it's Christmas time! (I can't stand it when radio stations and businesses start playing Christmas music BEFORE Thanksgiving... I mean, let's celebrate one holiday at a time here...)