Food

apple & cranberry crumble pie

Its pie season, the best kind of dessert season. We don’t eat pumpkin pie or apple pie in my family sadly, my life is full of pecan pie that I lobby against every year to no avail. However, just because it won’t be on my thanksgiving table doesn’t mean I can’t take it to a different thanksgiving. Honestly the best part of ‘friendsgivings’ is that there are no limits, multiple meals means multiple menus. So this pie (and some veggies) came to one friendsgiving already and is headed to another (along with this BA pumpkin pie) tomorrow. Its tart enough to not get lost in the richness of seasonal desserts, filled with warm spices to make it feel like autumn in the best way, and fuss free thanks to a crumble topping that saves you from latticing pie crust until you cry.

I love this pie crust from Erin McDowell (the pie queen, I am very excited for her upcoming pie cookbook), and this video is great for really showing each step! I like to leave mine in the fridge for a day or two so it’s nice and cold and saves time when it comes to assembling and baking.

pie crust

1 pie crust (the recipe above, or any other)

  • par-bake pie crust until just taking on colour (about 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven) – this will keep the bottom of the pie from getting soggy from the filling and help it travel well
  • let cool before filling

filling

3 medium tart apples (peeled and sliced)

2 c cranberries

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cardamom

1/2 c brown sugar

3 tbs butter

2 tbs cornstarch

  • in a large pan on the stove, melt butter and add spices and sugar
  • add in cranberries and apples, cook until cranberries have burst and apples have softened
  • add cornstarch tbs at a time until filling is thick, but still easy to stir

crumble topping

1/4 c brown sugar

1/4 c demerara sugar (or granulated sugar if you don’t have it)

4 tbs butter

1 c oats

1/2 tsp of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom

  • combine in bowl, rubbing in butter until crumble forms

assemble and bake

  • pour filling into pie, and top with crumble in the middle
  • in a 400 degree F oven, bake for 20 minutes or until crumble is golden. If using a glass pie pan, crust will have take on colour
  • let cool before slicing, but the filling should hold its shape to slice. best with ice cream and or spiced whipped cream

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Food

peach jam

If summer was a fruit, it would be a peach. It’s peaches from road side stands all over the city, the strange feeling of peach fuzz against your tongue, peaches over vanilla ice cream.

It turns out even though peaches don’t grow all over england like they do central texas, summer is still peach season and therefore there have been peaches in my kitchen non-stop for a month now. Occasionally creative things are done with them, savory dishes, interesting salads, but mostly they’re eaten over the sink with juice dripping everywhere, as god intended.

However, a large number of peaches were made into jam this summer as the filling for this chocolate and peach cake I made for a friend’s birthday. It had been a while since I’d made a layer cake, and to go all out and make the jam as well. And while peach and chocolate may sound like a strange combination, they absolutely work wonders together.

This recipe made 2 jars of jam (someday I’ll measure things, but today is not that day). Most of one went into the 3 layers of cake, so it’s one you could easily cut in half if needed. Peaches don’t have quite the pectin content of something like berries, so there is a fair amount of lemon juice in here.

  • 4 (ish) lbs of peaches (peeled and cut)
  • 3 c white sugar
  • 3 tbs lemon juice

to peel peaches: boil a large pot of water. Cut an ‘x’ into the bottom of each peach. Drop peaches into the boiling water for 30 seconds, then place directly into cold water. This should help the peel come off easily. If not, turns out a vegetable peeler works pretty well (thanks Q for peeling all the peaches that went inside the cake)

Remove pits and cut peaches into pieces, (quarters or slices work).

Add all ingredients to a large pot and stir till combined, bringing to a simmer. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes, peaches will fall apart. From here, begin the wrinkle test (I do this by putting a spoon or two in my freezer while the mixture comes to a boil and then testing if the jam sets when dropped onto it), jam should come up to about 220F if you like to measure things by temperature.

When the jam is set, feel free to run an immersion blender through it (off heat) if you want it smoother.

Store in sealing jars, or can if you so desire!

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