Holiday French Apple Pie

I used to live with my Grandpa in Van Nuys California. My Grandpa had a VERY distinct personality and was very vocal about what he liked and did NOT like. He loved french apple pie but did NOT like apple pie with a double crust. Every holiday he was in charge of bring the pies that he would buy from a restaurant. He would always buy the french apple and would always make a comment about how much better it was than a double crust. It cracks me up just thinking about it. He passed away two years ago and I still miss him so much. He had so many funny quirks that will forever be missed. Love you Grandpa!

The apple filling  is from my very battered and loved Better Homes and Garden’s Cookbook. 😉 The pastry is my recipe adapted from the “Baking with Julia” cookbook. And the topping I found online!

Filling Ingredients:

6 cups thinly sliced, peeled cooking apples (granny smith)

1 tbs lemon juice

3/4 cup sugar

2 tbs flour

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

Pastry Recipe: (makes double)

2 3/4 Cups Flour

½ Tbs Salt

4 Tbs cold unsalted butter cut into pieces

1 Cup Shortening

½ Cup Ice Water

French Apple Topping:

2/3 cup flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

5 Tbsp. cold butter

Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Add the butter and using your fingers cut in into the flour until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Break up the shortening an add it in little bits and cut it into mixture with your hands. Continue working the mixture until it has small clumps and curds. Switch to a wooden spoon and add the ice water, stirring to incorporate it. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and fold it over on its self a few times. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or for as long as 5 days.

Take chilled pie dough out of refrigerator and lay out on floured work surface. Separate into equal amounts. Roll out the first portion of dough and transfer to a glass pie plate. (Freeze the second half in plastic wrap for future use). If the pie crust isn’t even on all sides then use excess dough to fill in open spots.  With your finger, pinch the sides of the pie crust to create an edge.

In a large bowl thoroughly mix together filling ingredients and pour into pie crust. Combine french apple topping ingredients and mix until crumbly. Sprinkle over pie. Bake at 425 degrees for 12 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees, and bake 25-40 minutes longer, until apples are tender when pierced with fork and juices are bubbling. Cool pie on wire rack.

Andouille Sausage and Potato Soup

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I am a big fan of hearty soups with a side salad because I love to eat something healthy along side a heavier dish. I decided to put whole broccoli florets on top of the soup to substitute for a salad and it turned out great. This way you feel indulgent while also giving your body a pat on the back. This is the perfect soup for winter because its hearty, warming and just a big bowl of love. Serve this with some crusty bread and butter and dinner is done.

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Recipe:

6-7 Golden Potatoes quartered

4 cups Chicken Stock

1 yellow onion chopped

8 oz sour cream

1 tsp salt

pepper to taste

3 andouille sausages (fully cooked) sliced in half moons

¾ cup fresh parmesan cheese

3 cups fresh broccoli

Sauté onion in olive oil until translucent. Add potatoes and stir. Add 3 cups chicken stock and simmer until potatoes are soft. Using a potato masher, mash potatoes until a chunky consistency. Stir in sour cream, sausage, cheese, remaining chicken stock & salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

Steam broccoli and drain. Ladle soup into individual bowls and top with a few broccoli florets as an garnish. Make sure they are bite size. Serve immediately.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

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I HATE HATE HATE raw banana’s.  BUT I like them cooked. You can fry, flambé or bake a banana and I’m good to go. But a raw banana makes me gag. So needless to say I had my husband do the mashing of the banana’s when I made this recipe… Banana bread  is so comforting and delicious and I like to make it that much more decadent with a some delicious chocolate chips. And if you want, spread some butter and maybe even some nutella on top and you’ll be in heaven. Enjoy!

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Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Recipe:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 beaten eggs

1 1/2 cup mashed bananas (about 5 medium)

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup cooking oil or melted butter

1 cup chocolate chips

Streusel Topping (recipe follows)

1. Grease bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of one 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Set aside. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl combine eggs, bananas, sugar, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. STirr just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle Streusel-Nut Topping over batter

3. Bake in 350 degree oven for 55 to 60 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle of the bread. (If necessary, cover loosely with foil the last 15 minutes of baking to prevent over browning). Cook in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack. Wrap and store overnight before slicing. (Truthfully we never get to this last step because we’ve already gotten into the hot bread before we have a chance to cool it down….)

Streusel-Nut Topping Recipe:

In a food processor or small bowl combine 1/4 cup packed brown sugar and 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Pulse the processor (or just mix with a fork)  2 tablespoons butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/3 cup chopped walnuts.