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Homemade Apple Pie

Homemade Apple Pie Recipe perfect any of time of year, super simple to make for every day dessert, and delightful enough to serve on special occassions

It’s pretty hard to go wrong with Apple Pie, and there is a reason for the expression easy as pie – because it is so, so easy to make.  Even the flaky crust.  

(For your convenience this post may contain an affiliate link or two)

Homemade Apple Pie Recipe perfect any of time of year, super simple to make for every day dessert, and delightful enough to serve on special occassions

The Secret to a Great Pie

A great fruit pie consists of fruit, sugar and a great crust.  Now seriously, don’t be scared by the crust.  A lot of people balk at the thought of making a great crust, I did too.  However, as you can see from the photo above, I have totally mended my ways, and have learned how to make a really great crust. You can too.  All you need is the right tool for the job.

An apple pie is perhaps the simplest of fruit pies, and there’s not much to them, that may be perhaps why the crust is so important when you’re enjoying a homemade apple pie.  

“I May Be Bruised, but I Still Taste Sweet”

I can’t help myself but digress here a wee bit.  Pretty much every time I sit down to write about some fantabulous thing to share with you all, I nearly always have a song in my head that goes along with whatever I’m writing.  I don’t think it is possible for me to even consider anything appl-y without breaking into Bad Apple from Over 60 Minutes With David Wilcox.  Does this happen to you?  
 

So about them Apples

When choosing apples for an apple pie, it makes for easier work if you choose larger apples.  A lot of people prefer a tart apple, for their homemade apple pies, but the real trick is choosing apples that aren’t too juicy.  The really juicy apples with leave you with a soppy mess on your bottom crust, and no amount of perfect flakiness skills will save you then.

Typically, the best apples for the job are courtland, jonagold and honeycrisp.  McIntosh apples will do in a pinch as well.  

Homemade Apple Pie Recipe perfect any of time of year, super simple to make for every day dessert, and delightful enough to serve on special occassions

Crust with the Perfect Flakiness

As I mentioned earlier, the secret to the crust, is all about having right tool for the job.  Make sure you have a Pastry Knife / Blender, and you’re good to go.  Yep, that’s it. There is no real secret recipe, you can have tremendous success if you follow the recipe on the box of lard.  Fear not however, I will share with you my favourite pie crust recipe that I have written down in an old faded book, that to tell you the honest to goodness truth I have no idea where it came from, but I’m going to take a guess that it was my Grandmother’s.

Homemade Apple Pie
Homemade Apple Pie Recipe perfect any of time of year that is super simple to make for every day dessert, and delightful enough to serve on special occassions
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Ingredients
  1. Pastry for two shells
  2. 6 cups of peeled, sliced apples
  3. 3/4 cups brown sugar
  4. 1 tsp. cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425F
  2. Prepare bottom pie shell
  3. Core and peel apples, and slice them until you have six cups
  4. Mix sugar and cinnamon and apple slices
  5. Add fruit mixture to pie shell
  6. Cover with top crust
  7. Bake for approximately 30 minutes.
Notes
  1. After your top crust is in place, mix equal parts milk and white sugar, and apply to pie with pastry brush;
  2. Check on your pie in while baking, and if the crust is getting too brown, place a sheet of foil overtop to keep from burning the crust
Nemcsok Farms http://nemcsokfarms.com/
Favourite Pie Crust Recipe
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Ingredients
  1. 1/3 Cup lard
  2. 1 cup flour
  3. 1/4 tsp. salt
  4. 2 tbsp. cold water
Instructions
  1. Mix flour and salt
  2. Cut in lard with a pastry knife / blender
  3. Gently work in water with your hands
Notes
  1. I don't double this recipe for two shells. I make a separate ball of pastry dough per shell;
  2. Fruit pies should have a vented top, so use a lattice top, or cut a few slats into the top - I use an apple shaped cookie cutter, for an extra special touch
Nemcsok Farms http://nemcsokfarms.com/

“I May be the Sweetest Apple on the Tree”

Now, tell me, how can you not love a blog that quotes David Wilcox tunes while pontificating over apple pie?

Send me on message on facebook!  I’d love to hear from you

Homemade Apple Pie Recipe perfect any of time of year, super simple to make for every day dessert, and delightful enough to serve on special occassions

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Cranberries, Sauced.

Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
 

 
Let’s say that you’ve been invited to a Thanksgiving dinner.  Obviously you offer to bring something, wine or bread perhaps?  Maybe you suggest a quick stop at the bakery to grab a dessert?  What if your host says “No, no we’ve got all that covered thanks – perhaps you can bring a side dish?”
Now, either cooking is easy for you or it’s not.  If the former is true, you’ll have no trouble whatsoever preparing the easiest side dish ever, and not to mention, yummy!  If dabbling in the kitchen is not your forte, you may be inclined to skip that dinner altogether and cozy up with a t.v dinner – or search desperately for something in a can to bring along.  

Stop. Right. There.

Even if the thought of slaving in the kitchen causes you to buckle at the knees, this is still the easiest side dish ever to prepare.
Before I go any further, let’s remember Buffy.  Yes, that Buffy.  In the eighth episode of Season 4, entitled Pangs, Buffy is trying to create a typical Thanksgiving celebration.  She has lost her mom, her first year at college isn’t going so well, and she just wants to her friends to gather round for a nice Thanksgiving Supper.  And Willow brings frozen peas. 
You and I both know that there is nothing wrong with frozen peas, just like there is nothing wrong with cranberry sauce from a can.  However, some occasions call for fresh, and some occasions call for homemade. 
Let’s say that this Thanksgiving Dinner invite you received, is one of those occasions.

Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce Side Dish - Some occasions call for Homemade

 

Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

 

Seriously. That’s it.

Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

 

Directions

1. Combing sugar and water in small pot / saucepan, and bring to a boil.
2. Add cranberries to boiling water, and bring to a boil again.
3. Reduce heat, and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Remove from heat, cool and transfer to a pretty bowl.

Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce Side Dish - Some occasions call for Homemade

 
Let’s say you’ve been invited to Thanksgiving Dinner, and straight away you offer to bring some cranberries, sauced.

Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

 
Told you it was easy 😉
 

 
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Homemade Pumpkin Pie

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You know Autumn has arrived when people start whipping out their pumpkin pie recipes.  It’s the ultimate in comfort food, with a soft flaky pastry, and to. die. for. when you serve it up with whipped cream. 
 
(This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. )

The ultimate in comfort food, with a soft flakey pastry, and fresh from the garden pumpkin. Simply to. die. for. when you serve it up with whipped cream.

 
For tips on growing your own pumpkins read my post here How to Grow Your Own Pumpkins and if you’d like to learn how to make your own pumpkin puree, which of course you may as well, read my instruction here DIY Pumpkin Puree
 

Homemade Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients

Pastry
  • 1/3 cup lard
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. cold water
Filling
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 cups pureed pumpkin
  • 12 oz evaporated milk
* Note that pumpkin pie is easiest to make in a heavy ceramic or glass pie plate.  If you don’t have one, and are using an aluminum pie plate, place it on a cookie sheet for before you fill it with the pumpkin pie filling.  You can put the whole cookie sheet in the over for baking, to avoid spilling the pumpkin-y goodness allover the place.  I have included some handy affiliate links for your convenience.

The ultimate in comfort food, with a soft flakey pastry, and fresh from the garden pumpkin. Simply to. die. for. when you serve it up with whipped cream.

 

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
2. Prepare the pastry:  Mix flour and salt into mixing bowl.  Cut in the lard with the pastry knife, or pastry blender until you get coarse crumbs ( see the image above) Add the cold water and mix it with your hand.  This is how you will get a nice flakey pie crust. When it can be made into a ball, it’s ready.
3. Roll out the pastry with a rolling pin into as large a circular esque type of shape as you can.  Don’t over roll it, you want to do as much as you can in as few rolls as possible.

The ultimate in comfort food, with a soft flakey pastry, and fresh from the garden pumpkin. Simply to. die. for. when you serve it up with whipped cream.

 
4. Fit the pastry into the pie plate by gently folding it into a semi circle, and carefully lifting the pastry over and onto the pie plate.  Unfold and arrange to suit the pie plate.  Trim the overhang to about an ince from the edge, and roll the pastry under at the edges, all around the pie plate.  Use your thumb and index finger to pinch the pastry (as seen above)

The ultimate in comfort food, with a soft flakey pastry, and fresh from the garden pumpkin. Simply to. die. for. when you serve it up with whipped cream.

 
5. Use the scraps from your pastry to cut out little pumpkin shapes to decorate your pie, set aside.
6. Combine all of the ingredients for the filling into a large mixing bowl.  Mix until well blended.  Pour into prepared pie shell, and place pastry pumpkins on top of the filling.  The filling will be very runny.

Picture

 
7. Bake for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 350 F, and bake another 45 minutes.
8. Let cool, and serve with whipped cream.  Refrigerate any leftovers.
 

More Than Pumpkin Pie

Got more pumpkin?  Try Mini Pumpkin Muffins, or this super duper yummy (and very rich) Pumpkin Fudge and this family favourite Deep Dish Baked Pumpkin.

And I would be remiss if I did not include 40 Ways to Decorate, Craft, Cook and Play with Pumpkins, from our It’s Friday We’re In Love Series which you should totally be checking out!

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Deep Dish Baked Pumpkin

This fresh from the garden Baked Pumpkin has been served and enjoyed in our home as a side dish, main dish, breakfast and dessert! It is THAT good.
 This baked pumpkin has been served and enjoyed in our home as a side dish, main dish, breakfast and dessert!  It is THAT good.
 This fresh from the garden Baked Pumpkin has been served and enjoyed in our home as a side dish, main dish, breakfast and dessert! It is THAT good.

 

 
For tips on growing your own pumpkins read my post here How to Grow Your Own Pumpkins and if you’d like to learn how to make your own pumpkin puree, which of course you may as well, read my instruction here DIY Pumpkin Puree

Ingredients

This fresh from the garden Baked Pumpkin has been served and enjoyed in our home as a side dish, main dish, breakfast and dessert! It is THAT good.

 
  • 1/3 cup softened butter / margarine
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 oz. evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups mashed / pureed pumpkin ( butternut squash makes an excellent substitute)
  • 1/2 cup crispy rice cereal
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tbsp. melted butter / margarine

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. Lightly grease a deep baking / casserole dish
3. Cream butter and sugar.  Beat in eggs, milk and vanilla
4. Stir in pureed pumpkin.  The mixture will be very runny.
5. Pour into prepared baking dish, and bake uncovered for 45 minutes. 

This fresh from the garden Baked Pumpkin has been served and enjoyed in our home as a side dish, main dish, breakfast and dessert! It is THAT good.

 
* Note that you can make ahead up to this point.  Refrigerate baked pumpkin up until 1 hour before you’d like to serve it.  Just add the topping and pop into warm oven for 20 minutes.
6. Mix together the remaining ingredients, and sprinkle over the top of the baked pumpkin.  Cook 5 – 10 minutes longer.
 

This fresh from the garden Baked Pumpkin has been served and enjoyed in our home as a side dish, main dish, breakfast and dessert! It is THAT good.

 
Got more pumpkin?  Try Mini Pumpkin Muffins, or this super duper yummy (and very rich) Pumpkin Fudge.
And I would be remiss if I did not include 40 Ways to Decorate, Craft, Cook and Play with Pumpkins, from our It’s Friday We’re In Love Series which you should totally be checking out!

 

 This fresh from the garden Baked Pumpkin has been served and enjoyed in our home as a side dish, main dish, breakfast and dessert! It is THAT good.
Enjoy!
 

 
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Carroty Carrot Cake

Extra Carroty Carrot Cake perfect cool weather dessert
This is soooo good!  I can’t believe there’s carrots in it!
Little Helper
Harvest fresh carrots from your garden to make this carrot cake that is a perfect cool weather dessert.
 
(This post contains and affiliate link or two for your convenience) 

Carroty Cake Harvest fresh carrots from your garden to make this ultimate fall treat.

 

Carroty Carrot Cake 

Use fresh carrots from your garden if you’ve grown them, if not store bought is totally fine!  No nuts, no pineapple, just carrots.  That’s all a carrot cake really needs after all.  Well, that and heaps of cream cheese frosting.  I mean, right?

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Cups Sugar
  • 1 Cup Apple Sauce
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 14 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • 3 Cups Shredded Carrots

 

Carroty Cake Harvest fresh carrots from your garden to make this ultimate fall treat.

 

Directions:

1. Prepare two 8″ round cake pans by greasing lightly, and sprinkling with flour
2. Preheat oven to 350 F
3. Mix sugar, applesauce and eggs in LARGE mixing bowl. 
4. Add the remaining ingredients to the applesauce mix – EXCEPT for the carrots and the Cream Cheese Frosting. Mix well
5. Stir  the grated / shredded carrots into the batter.
6. Use a scoop to evenly spread the batter between the two cake pans.  Lightly tap the bottoms of the pans to remove bubbles.
7. Bake for approx. 35 minutes until cake is ready, and cool on wire racks.
8. When cakes are cool, place bottom layer on plate, scoop cream cheese icing  onto first layer and spread around. Place top layer, and continue to frost the entire cake.  Refrigerate
Extra Carroty Carrot Cake perfect cool weather dessert
 
Love this recipe?  You’ll absolutely love our Great Food Ideas Pin Board
 
 
 

 

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Green Bean Salad

Garden Fresh Green Bean Salad
 

 
Raid your garden to make this super quick and best ever green bean salad

Fresh from the Garden Green Bean Salad Recipe

 
This really easy to make side dish packs a big punch in presentation – and it is super delicious also!

I love green beans.  I think I always have.  I have been raiding gardens for green beans, peas and cucumbers for as long as I can remember.

Aside from straight off the bean plant – this salad is my favourite way ever to enjoy them.  I have one other recipe that I totally love – but I’ll save that for another time!

Ingredients

  • Green Beans (if you have already harvested your beans and have put them in the freezer – fear not – you can use frozen beans in this recipe)  approx. a pound or however many you have
  • Cherry Tomatoes approx. 2 cups
  • One very small onion
  • 1/4 ranch dressing
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme

 

 

Directions

1. Thinly slice the onion and mix it with the dressing and thyme.
2. Wash the tomatoes and add them into the onion mixture.  Stir to coat

Grean Bean Salad with Cherry Tomatoes fresh from the Garden Recipe

 
3. Fill a medium sized pot with water and bring to a boil.  Add beans into the boiling water and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from stove, drain beans and add them to serving dish

Grean Bean Salad with Cherry Tomatoes fresh from the Garden Recipe

 
4. Top the beans with the tomato and onion mixture.  Voila!

Grean Bean Salad with Cherry Tomatoes fresh from the Garden Recipe

 
 
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Fresh Pumpkin Fudge

Rich Creamy Fudge made with Fresh Pumpkin Puree perfect for gift giving or indulging. Like a whole lot of pumpkin pie stuffed into one tiny piece of fudge
 

I’m not kidding.  The great big taste of pumpkin pie, wrapped up in a sweet little indulgent square of fudge.  This pumpkin fudge is the ultimate in pumpkin desserts.

 

Rich Creamy Fudge made with Fresh Pumpkin Puree perfect for gift giving or indulging. Like a whole lot of pumpkin pie stuffed into one tiny piece of fudge

 

If you thought growing your own pumpkins was the cat’s pajamas (See my article here on How to Grow Your Own Pumpkins) You can’t even begin to imagine just how happy you will be when you use that same pumpkin that you grew yourself to make your own Fresh Pumpkin Fudge.  Yep.  THAT happy.  For more on Preserving Pumpkins, read my post on DIY Pumpkin Puree

Ingredients

Ingredients for this Rich Creamy Fudge made with Fresh Pumpkin Puree perfect for gift giving or indulging. Like a whole lot of pumpkin pie stuffed into one tiny piece of fudge

 
  • 3/4 cup chopped cold butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk (not sweetened)
  • 2/3 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 12 oz white chocolate
  • 7 oz marshmallows

 

Directions

1. Combine all ingredients, except the chocolate and marshmallows, in a large heavy pot.  Prepare a 9×13 pan by lining it with foil

Combining the Ingredients in the large pot for this Rich Creamy Fudge made with Fresh Pumpkin Puree perfect for gift giving or indulging. Like a whole lot of pumpkin pie stuffed into one tiny piece of fudge

 
2. Affix your candy thermometer to the side of your pot, and heat on low to medium, until boiling. 
3. Use a pastry brush to wipe the inside of the pot, sweeping the crystals back into the candy ( this is one part of what helps to get that fudgy texture, as opposed to the brown sugar candy texture) 
4. Watch closely!  When your candy mixture reaches 235 on the candy thermometer, removed from heat, and beat in with a wooden spoon the chocolate and marshmallows, until all is melted. Beat the mixture with the wooden spoon until it looks glossy.  This is the second part to making fudge fudgy instead of sugary.

Boiling this Rich Creamy Fudge made with Fresh Pumpkin Puree perfect for gift giving or indulging. Like a whole lot of pumpkin pie stuffed into one tiny piece of fudge

 
5. Carefully pour the candy into the prepared baking pan, and level smooth, cover and let harden at room temperature.  Once hardened, cut and serve. 
 

Rich Creamy Fudge made with Fresh Pumpkin Puree perfect for gift giving or indulging. Like a whole lot of pumpkin pie stuffed into one tiny piece of fudge

 
Check out all of our Garden Fresh Recipes, and all of our Vegetable Growing Tips and Ideas
Don’t forget about our Nature Themed crafts as well – such as our Brilliant Cornucopia
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DIY Autumn Burlap Wreath

DIY Burlap Wreath Tutorial
Unleash Your Inner DIY Decor Diva. Seriously – in the way that growing your own food is satisfying, gratifying and entirely achievable, so is DIY decor.  Go ahead, give this one a try.  Ashley from Fehrly Crafty Creations has joined us again for this awesome tutorial she put together for you. This ruffly burlap wreath is just the craft you’re looking for.
 

 

 DIY Burlap and Yarn Ruffle Wreath for fall decor

Burlap Wreath

The ruffly ring ( or rings ) in the center is what makes this wreath unique, and 100% personalized.  Use your favourite colours of yarn, or any other strips of fabric that are lacy, or fine.  Enjoy!

Materials

-Burlap (I used 1 large bag, but a roll is handier)
-Sashay yarn (I used 1 roll, but if you want a fuller middle wreath, use 2)
-2 wire coat hangers
-Scissors and Wire Cutters
-4 small zip ties 
-Embellishments
Directions
  1. Unwind your coat hangers and bend into a circle. Make one slightly smaller than the other.
    I did this by hand, but to make the rounding of the wire easier you can use a large pot to bend the wire around.
  2. This step depends on which kind of burlap you have, if you have a roll – you can skip this step.We used a burlap bag from my local hardware store. Cut the burlap into strips approx. 4″ wide.
  3. On the larger circle thread burlap onto coat hanger alternating each side of the burlap which It makes it bunch nicely. I used all 9 strips of burlap cut from my bag.3108523_orig.jpg
  4. Trim extra pieces of burlap that may be sticking out if necessary.
  5. Twist hanger back together leaving the hook.7052705_orig.jpg
  6. Using the smaller circle, thread the Sashay yarn onto the hanger. I used every few holes.3907726_orig.jpg
  7. Twist wire together to form a circle. Trim the long wire meds with wire cutters. Then pull the material to cover the entire circle. Tip: if you’d like a fuller circle, use another ball of wool. I used 1. You now have both portions done. I made the larger wreath burlap, you can do the opposite and it would look great too.6749871_orig.jpg
  8. Place the smaller circle inside the larger one. Expose the coat hangers and zip tie them together. I attached in 4 spots evenly around the wreath. Cut the long piece of zip tie and bunch materials up to hide it. Tip: don’t pull the zip ties too tight. You can deform your wreath. You just need enough to keep the circles together.3981118_orig.jpg
  9. Fluff and rearrange your materials to look even

Done! Now add any embellishments you’d like to personalize it with. 

Looking for more great DIY projects?  

DIY is so rewarding! After finishing your ruffly burlap wreath, try your hand at making this fun Mother’s Day Bath Pouf or make a little something for yourself with a new set of wavy washcloths! Your kids might like a new pom pom hat or a cuffed neck warmer. Don’t limit yourself! There are plenty of step by step pictures and tutorials in these posts.   
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Brilliant Cornucopia

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In our neck of the world, Thanksgiving is upon us. We likely be doing some turkey crafts, perhaps big beautiful messy handprint ones!  And I would love to set out to make a paper woven table runner… oh yes! But the craft we have put together for you today is our very own Horn of Plenty, or Cornucopia.  And I might add, it is quite brilliant. 
 

Brilliant Cornucopia Kids Nature Themed Thanksgiving Holiday Craft

 
The Horn of Plenty is used to represent a harvest celebration, and you often see tables decorated with various versions. I love the image of a hollowed out gourd spilling over with fresh fruit and vegetables.

Materials for Brilliant Cornucopia

Brilliant Cornucopia Template

Template (click to print)

Brilliant Cornucopia template

Template (click to print)

Template (click and print)

Paper

Scissors

Glue

Colouring pencils or crayons or markers

Directions

1. Download and print the template
2. Using different colour of construction paper – cut out your circles
3. Colour and cut out the fruit and vegetable shapes
4. Here is the brilliant part!  Glue the circles together, smallest to largest, with the largest in front and on top – and offset ( as shown in the picture below)

Brilliant Cornucopia Assembly

 
5. Glue the coloured and cut out fruit and vegetables to the front of the horn.  The more full the better!

Picture