My favorite time of day is cocktail hour. Not only because of the cocktails, conversation and anticipation of dinner, but because of the lighting mood:
Shadows, shadows everywhere
This house in particular has excellent shadows come 5PM
But don’t forget the cocktails!
Dinner tonight did indeed involve bourbon. And cinnamon. And APPLES!
Local Pork with an Apple Bourbon Sauce + Hazelberry Green Beans
[Please read the rest of this post in a Southern colonial's accent!]
The pork we acquired from the market and it was local, pasture-raised and very tasty.
Matt pan-seared them in a pan of canola oil so they had an excellent crust.
I was in charge of the apple “sauce”. I cut up 2 big apples into slices and chunks and put them in water on medium heat. You just keep letting the water evaporate and adding more until the apples are nice and soft
Pouring in heavy hands of bourbon along the way!
Plus cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. You’ll know it’s ready when you’re ready to eat it!
The green beans were local too
We toasted some whole hazelnuts in a dry pan, removed them and chopped them. The beans were then sautéed in a little olive oil and then stirred with cranberries, hazelnuts, salt and pepper when they were tender enough to eat.
I do declare that food is meant to be enjoyed with alcohol. Seriously, the thought of a glass of water with this meal was so very unappealing. So we cracked open a beer. A taste for me, a pour for him.
If you thought that was the end of the apples, think again…!
Pie For Two
Oh my heavens, two of my very favorites at once!
Matt made an apple pie for two….or one if you’re extra hungry! He sez:
In making this pie, I tested out some Great Harvest recipes, so unfortunately I can’t share the actual recipes with you! However, as an example, I found this recipe which I have adapted below for a pint size pie. You can make this in just about any dish – ramekins, mini soufflés, basically anything that’s glass or ceramic.
The crust for the mini pie was made from 1 full-size crust, cut in half. It was more than enough crust for our dishes (which are about 6″ in diameter). Here’s an adapted recipe:
Pint Size Pie
- 2 c. whole wheat flour
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 stick cold butter
- 1/4 c. water
- dash o’ lemon juice
Mix the dry ingredients together, and then cut in the butter until it incorporates into pea-sized chunks. Then begin adding your liquids (it’s not a bad idea to use ice cold water) until the dough just barely clumps up. It should still be barely crumbly. Refrigerate for at least an hour before shaping. The whole point of baked goods like pie crusts and biscuits, which are basically in the same family, is that you want the flour to encase little pieces of butter so that when it bakes, you get flaked layers of buttery dough. So make everything cool and keep those hot hands off of it!
To make the filling, just combine all these ingredients together:
- 2 c. thinly sliced apples
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- dash nutmeg
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
Cut the pie crust in half, roll it out, and place in your greased mini-pie container. To grease mine I took an empty butter wrapper and rubbed it around the inside. Place your pie crust in the dish, and working quickly make sure it’s evenly distributed. Pour in the appley mess, and then make your pie topping. We went with a lattice, but you could do pretty much anything. I also like the kind that covers the entire top with just a few slits in it. The internet has lots of videos on how to make a pie top.
Bake at 350* for around 30-40 mins, but don’t be surprised if you have to go much longer. My thought is you should pretty much bake it just until the crust begins burning, especially if you’re using fresh apples because they’ll need a long bake to break them down.
Before we ate pie, we went on a 30 minute walk!! After all, walking is good for digestion!!
Wish I could say this was the most delicious pie ever, but sadly, it wasn’t. The crust was a bit tough and the filling a bit flat. But it did taste delicious! And the effort that went in was the best!
MY GOSH where was the vanilla ice cream!! I almost put my fork down to go buy some on the spot. But I settled for a flute of milk instead.
When round II of this pie crust makes an appearance later this week, there will be ice cream involved!