People, 14 more days until it’s acceptable to cover every item on your dinner plate in turkey gravy. Don’t even act like you don’t do it. In all the days of the year, Thanksgiving is the one day that it’s appropriate for you to have a mound of potatoes and squash casserole on your plate the size of ant hills, to wear the loosest pants possible, and to nap at least two different times on the same day. At least those are all examples of a Harper Thanksgiving. Words can’t express how excited I am to head back to Florida for nine days of sunshine (hopefully), family & friends, and all the turkey my little heart desires.
To make things even more fun and memorable this year, Thomas’s family is coming to Florida from Norway for Thanksgiving! This is their first American holiday experience, so I think it will be really cool for them to see what it’s all about. I hope they brace for Chinet plates that are so heavy with turkey they start sagging! It’s a hilarious/mildly disgusting competition between the men in my family every year to see who can eat the most. Do you remember that episode of Friend’s when Joey eats the entire turkey and gets the meat sweats? Yep…that’s my fam. Thomas was a contender last year, but I don’t think he had prepared himself for what was in store.
Tryptophan aside, this year with Thomas’s family I foresee an epic corn hole competition, boat rides, good conversation, lots of laughs, and wine. Lots of it. My mom told me today that she bought 24 bottles of wine from her favorite winery just for Thanksgiving…ha.
We obviously can’t talk about giving thanks without pie being in the picture. I give thanks to the human who came up with the idea of mixing butter, sugar and apples into a serendipitous blend of sticky deliciousness. I mean come on. How does it get better than that?!
Thomas and I took a drive to Douglas farms last weekend and got the last of the Golden Delicious apples of the season. It’s sad to say, but that was my first time picking apples. It was so fun! It’s the perfect day date. I also found the cutest mini pie pans the day before, so of course I wanted to practice making pies for Thanksgiving. The pies turned out so cute! If you want to make this even easier, buy frozen pie crust. I know that´s cheating, but it´s still super tasty I promise. For these, I thawed the pie crust and ended up re-rolling it out so I could make the lattice. Obviously, homemade crust is best but if your short on time I would recommend frozen pie crust that you can roll out yourself.
Mini Apple Pies
-4 pounds of Golden Delicious apples (honey crisp, gala, or any other variety would do as well)
-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
-3 tablespoons bourbon
-1 tablespoon vanilla extract
-4 tablespoons unsalted butter
-1/3 cup white granulated sugar
-1/3 cup brown sugar
-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
-2 rolled out pie crusts (I just needed enough for 4 mini pie pans)
-1 egg (for the egg wash)
What to do
1) peel the apples and slice about 1/4 inch thick. Toss with the lemon juice, bourbon, and vanilla extract.
2) melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apples and sugars. Cook, stirring until the sugar dissolves and the liquid starts to simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the apples soften and the mixture thickens, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool completely.
For the Crust:
1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
2) Rub butter on the insides of the pie pans. Roll out the 2 dough pieces on a floured surface until it’s about a 12 inch round. Place the mini pan pans face down and cut around the edges, leaving a little room. Flip the pans over and either crimp the sides using your thumb and forefinger or use a fork to press down the sides.
3) Fill with the cooled apple mixture.
4) Follow this article by Saveur on how to make lattice for the tops of the pies
Cut out a little top and fit and pinch into the sides. Cut slits to let out the steam.
5) Brush the tops with the whisked egg wash and bake roughly 45 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.