Who doesn’t love fall? (Some people I’m sure.) But I, love fall. Aside from the obvious, (pumpkins, apples, foliage, and fabulously chill cozy cooking weather…) this fall is off to a great start. Last night I got to reconnect with a middle school best friend of mine- the kind of friend you don’t really get too often in life- which is something you can sometimes appreciate more when you’re older I think. Somehow, high school pulled us in different directions. Not in a bad way, but in a “I barely even realized it happened” way. We played different sports, met different people, and just sort of veered. And that’s okay- it happens. And it happens even more frequently as you keep getting older. People go to different colleges, get jobs, buy houses, have kids, move… the list goes on. And that’s okay too.
I will say however, Facebook makes it easier to keep up with people that you may otherwise have completely lost track of. This is where I discovered that Tracy, my long lost friend, had started her own food blog- ScratchItCook.com -what are the odds? I’ve know no one else with a food blog, unless I’ve “met” them virtually. Okay, I thought. That’s really cool- should I reach out? Should I say something to her? Will I look creepy if I do? (An all too-common question we all have I think.) Luckily my excitement about her blog overruled my other concerns. I’d make a small comment to her here, maybe another one there… and these comments were all reciprocated. (I knew I liked her!) We then reconnected further by creating posts about our love for Poutine, which we both discovered in Canada when we’d visit my mom’s side of the family during the summer. Before I knew it we were texting each other on at least a weekly basis. It all made me wish that we never lost track of each other. She’s a real keeper and will always have a huge place in my heart.
So time went on, and Tracy had a brief NH trip planned (she is one of those that moved far away, unfortunately). I received a message from her, asking if I was free to meet up during her brief visit to my part of NH. Not only was I honored that she wanted to spend part of her very quick visit with me, but I was ecstatic. Of course after going so long without seeing one another, you never really know. We could have been a couple of deer in the headlights- wide-eyed, silent, and awkward. (Yikes.) So we met at a place of my choosing, which I selected specifically because they have… well…Poutine. Something you rarely find on menus here in the States 🙂
All I can say is, thank god that our blogs reconnected us. We talked for the better part of four hours, which I’m sure would have been longer if time had allowed. We caught up on everything we had missed in each other’s lives. From high school, to college, jobs, and marriage. By the end we were already saying the same things at the same time, (corny, yes) and we were laughing up a storm. Tracy, thank you for being a best friend to me when we were younger and thank you for reaching out to me now! <3
Oh. And these apple pies are like ridiculously good. Especially the crust. Yup.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 sticks cold butter, cut into cubes
- ½ cup cold sour cream
- 2 cups small Granny Smith apples, peeled & diced into very small cubes
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 8 soft caramel candies, roughly chopped*
- A few pinches of sea salt
- 1 egg lightly whisked with 1 Tablespoon water (i.e. egg wash)
- Crystal sanding sugar (optional)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.
- Add the cubed butter an use your hands to combine.
- Stir in the sour cream and turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface.
- Knead the dough until it’s well combined, and add a few teaspoons of flour gradually to reduce the stickiness of the dough. Roll the dough into an 8x10-inch rectangle and sprinkle both sides.
- Roll it back up into a ball and cover it with plastic wrap. Refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes while you make the filling.
- In a small bowl, mix together the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar and flour, until well combine.
- Pie Assembly
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and unfold it onto a well-floured surface, rolling it out to a 14x14-inch square.
- Use a 3-inch glass rim or cookie cutter and cut out as many circles as you can. Use the remaining dough afterwards to roll back out and cut out additional circles until you have no dough left. You’ll want an even number of circles. (You’ll have approximately 20-24)
- Line baking pans with wax paper and place half of the circles on them. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of filling onto each circle, leaving a small border around the edge. Evenly distribute the caramel pieces on top of each circle, and add a pinch of sea salt.
- Top each circle with another dough circle and seal around the edge. Press the end of a fork around the border to create a pattern.
- Brush the top of each pie with egg wash and use a sharp knife to cut 2-3 holes on the top of each pie.
- Sprinkle the top of the pies with crystal sanding sugar (optional).
- Bake the pies for about 15 minutes, or until they're golden brown.
- Remove them from the oven and allow them to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
*I used Jarred caramel topping instead of candies, and drizzled it over the apple filling. It worked well, however solid candies are less likely to leak off the side as you're trying to seal each pie. I was just avoiding a trip to the store ;)
Recipe Adapted from: JustaTaste.com