Blue Ribbon Apple Pie

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I first made this pie as a teenager.  My dad liked my version (which has some extra spices) so much that he asked for this pie for his birthday every year after.  Now my husband also wants this pie every year for HIS birthday too.  It’s that good.  I guess I should call it “birthday pie” since it seems to be a yearly request from the people I bake for.  This pie, however, has a new memory attached to it.  I recently helped my daughter make this pie for a 4H baking competition and she won the grand prize!  She cut the 4H emblem in the top crust and, foolishly, I neglected to take a picture of her pie.  It was so pretty!  Sorry, you’ll have to settle for pictures of my pie instead. Here she is with her ribbons though (the blue ribbon is for the pie and the white ribbon is for rolls that she entered as well).

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If you make a pie for Thanksgiving, I urge you to make this one.  It’s a grand prize blue ribbon favorite in my family!  ~Erin

 

Ingredients:

2 deep dish pie crusts (confession:  I often use frozen but Mom’s recipe is below if you prefer from-scratch)

8 Granny Smith apples

1 c. white sugar

¼ c. light brown sugar, lightly packed

2 T. flour

1/8 tsp. salt

¾ tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ tsp. nutmeg

2 T. butter

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Instructions:

In a large bowl, stir the white sugar, brown sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg until well combined; set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

If you made the crust, roll out one disc to ¼ inch thick and press gently in the pie pan, leaving some overhang.

Peel and thinly slice your apples.  Throw them right in with the sugar mixture and toss to coat.

Pour the apple/sugar mixture into your prepared bottom crust.  Don’t leave any sugar behind!

Dot the top of the apples with some bits of butter.

Roll out the top crust (cut a design or slits to vent), then place it on top of the apples and crimp the edges together with the bottom crust.

Place the pie on a sheet pan (in case it bubbles over!) and bake in the center rack until golden brown (about 45 minutes).

 

Mom’s Deep Dish Double Pie Crust:

4 cups flour

2 tsp. salt

2 sticks butter (1 cup)

1/3 cup vegetable shortening

Approximately 12 T. ice cold water

Stir the salt into the flour.  Cut butter and shortening into flour mixture using a pastry cutter or forks, until it resembles a coarse meal.  Add water and knead until the dough comes together and is no longer crumbly, but not to the point of being sticky though.  Divide into 2 discs, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use.

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Cream Cheese Quiche with Sausage, Cheese, & Spinach

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This quiche is one of Erin’s kids’ favorite meals.  It’s often requested for breakfast, brunch, and even supper.  Who doesn’t love breakfast food for supper?!  It’s so quick and easy to throw together and tastes like something you’d get at a fancy brunch.  There are two sets of ingredients noted below (standard & Weight Watchers friendly).  Enjoy!

 

Standard Ingredients (see below for Weight Watchers ingredient list):

7 eggs, room temperature

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

1 c. finely shredded cheddar or Colby-jack cheese

1 deep dish frozen pie crust

8 oz. breakfast sausage

2 c. baby spinach, loosely packed

2 T. half & half or milk

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. black pepper

 

Weight Watchers Ingredients:

7 eggs, room temperature

8 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese, room temperature

1 c. Kraft 2% Mexican shredded cheese blend

1 deep dish frozen pie crust (such as Pillsbury All Vegetable)

8 oz. turkey breakfast sausage, browned (Jennie-O used here)

2 c. baby spinach, loosely packaged

2 T. fat-free half & half

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. black pepper

 

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Make sure your eggs and cream cheese are room temperature.  If not, you can microwave the cream cheese until it’s softened but not warm.  You can place your eggs in lukewarm water to bring them to room temperature faster.

Chop the spinach, removing any tough stems as needed.

In a blender, combine room temp. cream cheese, eggs, half & half, and salt & pepper until smooth.

Layer half the browned sausage, half the chopped spinach, and half the cheese in the bottom of the frozen pie crust.

Pour half the egg mixture over top.

Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Place quiche on foil-lined cookie sheet (in case it overflows!) and bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until center is set.

*If it starts to brown too much, place a piece of foil loosely over the top.

*Don’t have sausage?  No problem.  You can substitute crisp bacon or ham for the sausage.  (Be sure to adjust WW SmartPoints accordingly, if applicable.)

 

Weight Watchers info:  This makes 8 servings at 10 SmartPoints each.

 

No Bake Lemon Cream Pie

This lemon pie is perfect for spring, or it will brighten up any day of the year. We had to share this one right away, with Easter just around the corner.  It’s so perfectly light and tart that you could eat the whole pie, but your family will appreciate it if you share!

lemonpieslicetwist4 oz. cream cheese, softened

1  14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1 Tablespoon lemon zest

½ c. fresh squeezed lemons (from about 4 or 5 large lemons)

Pinch salt

1 cup Cool Whip, thawed

1 9” graham cracker crust

Begin by zesting lemons.   Squeeze lemons into small bowl or measuring cup to reach ½ cup.

In a large bowl, with mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth.   With the mixer on low, add in sweetened condensed milk and mix until cream cheese is completely incorporated, scraping bowl as necessary.   Add lemon juice, zest and salt.   Mix until combined.  With a spatula, fold in cool whip.   Spoon into crust, smoothing the top.   Cover and chill until firm, about 3 hours or overnight.