traditions are a funny thing. growing up, my family created some of the most amazing holiday traditions. and i’m so lucky because not only did i have two brothers to grow up with but i also was surrounded by so many cousins.. my childhood was everything a kid could dream about.
over the years, we’ve all grown up and drifted apart slightly, but our strong bond has also kept us close. we may not speak daily or see each other every weekend, but we get together sporadically through out the year for birthday parties, cookouts and other celebrations.
more recently, the holidays have created some disagreements amongst my generation and our parents/grandparents. as we start creating families of our own, we also are wanting to create our own traditions.. something our parents are having a difficult time with. this year i’m feeling the need for change more than in the past.. probably because ben and i are starting to think about planning a family and i can’t wait to make our own traditions together.
i love my extended family, but i’m ready for change.. for a simpler thanksgiving and christmas. for a day filled with my husband, our parents and siblings, and our children.. not so many people that i can’t even have a real conversation or find a seat. simpler and more meaningful days are becoming more and more important to me.
this year, traditions are finally starting to change and i’m pretty sure it’ll break some hearts and that makes me so sad.. but change is good. our family will stay close.. we just won’t cram 45 people into one room for dinner. and although we are starting to separate for big holidays, i plan to make it a point to spend more time together throughout the year.. why wait until thanksgiving of christmas to get together?!
so on that note, one tradition i’ve always enjoyed is our apple pie baking contest.. probably because i’ve won the past 6+ years.. don’t think i’d enjoy it quite so much if i lost (i hate losing)!
i’ve always used a betty crocker recipe (probably from 1962) but sometimes you can’t mess with a classic. this recipe is traditional apple pie and so so so yummy! make it and impress everyone on thursday!
Apple Pie Recipe
6 cups peeled & thinly sliced apples (about 2lbs, i used macintosh apples)
1 cup sugar, plus some extra to sprinkle on top
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
A few dashes of apple pie spice.. for good measure
1 tablespoon butter
1. Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and apple pie spice in a small bowl.
2. Add sugar mixture to sliced apples and toss together until apples are coated.
3. Place one crust (see recipe below) on the bottom of a pie plate and dump apples into dish.
4. Place second crust over apples and seal pie edges. I use my fingers to make a swirl edge but you can also use a fork to press the two crusts together.
5. Using a sharp knife, slice a few slits in the top of your crust to create a design and allow the pie to breath while it cooks.
6. Place pieces of butter over the top of the pie and sprinkle with sugar prior to baking.
7. Using thin pieces of aluminum foil, wrap your pie crust edges to avoid burning.
8. Place pie on a cookie sheet (in case your pie leaks.. sugar burning inside your oven is the worst!) and bake at 375F for 25 minutes.
9. Remove aluminum foil and return pie to the oven for an additional 20-25 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
10. Cool and serve.. preferable with vanilla ice cream!
Pie Crust Recipe
1 and 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
4-5 tablespoons cold water
1. Sift together flour and salt.
2. Using two butter knives or a pastry blender, cut shortening into flour mixture until pieces are the size of small peas.
3. Sprinkle mixture with cold water and continue to blend until just combined. Use a little water at a time.. you can always add more!
4. Once all ingredients are moist, use your hands to form dough into a ball and flatten on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin.
5. Use a flat spatula to assist folding the flattened dough in half and then half again.. much easier to pick up this way.. and place in pie dish.
This recipe is for one crust only.. so you’ll need to make it twice for an apple pie. I suggest making it two separate times instead of just doubling the recipe.. I’ve tried that and it just doesn’t seem to cooperate with me as well.. making pie crust is hard!
happy baking and happy eating friends!