Star Spangled Apple Pie...


I've always loved the idea of baking pies but it sounds so intimidating that I've pretty much always steered clear and opted for cakes or cookies instead. That is, until I bit the bullet with this deliciously easy streusel pumpkin pie a few years back. I have been itching to try my hand at another pie since but just haven't gotten around to it. When I heard we were having a company potluck for the fourth, I decided it was ride or die time meaning try and if I failed, I'd be picking up something from Target that morning which I was totally ok with. You guys, this couldn't have been any easier and I'm so happy I went for it! Apple pie is my all time favorite of the pie world (and one of the few desserts I actually like/eat) and it just seemed like the perfect summer/fourth of july/americana treat to bring. My co-workers absolutely devoured it and had nothing but sweet things to say so I'm thinking this was a success! They were especially impressed with the cute little patriotic stars which look like they'd be a nightmare to do but between you and me, were actually super easy! Best trick ever, use cookie cutters to cut out festive shapes from dough and layer over top of any pie to take it to the next level hassle free. Another trick I have up my sleeve when it comes to pie baking, just go with pre-made dough for the crust and save yourself the trouble. Honestly, my co-workers could've cared less and still considered it a home made pie :)

Annie Eats Recipe (which I altered), makes a 9" pie

for crust
  • ready made pie dough to make a 9" pie
for filling
  • 4 small granny smith apples (peeled, cored & sliced)
  • 4 small fuji apples (peeled, cored & sliced)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
for topping
  • ready made pie dough to make a 9" pie
  • small star shaped cookie cutter
  • 1 large egg + 1 tbsp. cold water (for egg wash)
  • cherries or garnish of your choice
  • The pre-made dough I got this time already came in an evenly rolled out circle, perfect to fit a 9" pie dish. I just carefully unrolled it and pushed it down into the pie dish with my fingers, making sure all the edges were touching.
  • Cover dish with plastic wrap and set aside in the freezer for 30 minutes. Keep the other dough for the topping in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 F (204 C).
  • In a bowl, combine the sliced apples, sugars, flour, spices and lemon juice. Make sure to toss well to combine, I even used my hands (clean of course) to really get it all mixed good.
  • Pour the apple mixture into the chilled crust as evenly as possible. Pour the remaining juices over the top of the apples.
  • Dot the surface of the apples with pieces of cold butter and in case you don't know what that means (I had no clue) it's just placing pieces of cold butter throughout the top of the pie. I even pushed some in-between the nooks and crannies of the apples.
  • Roll out the other chilled pie dough on a lightly floured surface. Using your star shaped cookie cutter, cut out stars and arrange over the top of the apples. I started from the outside of the pie and worked my way towards the center in a circular motion. I also slightly overlapped my stars but the design is completely up to you!
  • Brush the top and edges of the crust with the egg wash to get the crust nice and golden.
  • Place a baking sheet on the lower rack (I still have no idea why but hey, that's what the recipe called for so...)
  • Place the pie on the upper middle rack and bake until the crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling (about 50-60 minutes). Keep a close eye on your pie to make sure the crust doesn't burn or go too dark too soon. Mine started to look finished 40 minutes in so I just covered the pie with aluminum foil and lowered it a rack for the remaining time.
  • Transfer to a wire rack and let cool down for at least 30 minutes before slicing. I served at room temperature (can also be served warm) with vanilla ice cream and blueberry frozen greek yogurt... enjoy!

***Today I am thankful for another Independence Day to celebrate on home turf... let the festivities begin!***


A Lovely Month: June Edition


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Update on the whole calendar situation I had going on last month (in case you care)... you'll be happy to know that the month on display actually matches the current month! Ok, well it will, just as soon as I finish this post and that my friends is progress. June flew by didn't it?! They all seem to be really but I mean June REALLY disappeared in the blink of an eye! This happens every month... every year... and yet somehow, I always manage to be surprised and caught off guard. Anyways, June was a fun one! It was filled with a lot of cocktail hours at the Beale household and I finally sampled Aperol, a new fave of hubs. His proclaimed summer drink, perfect to thirst quench but not too heavy to spoil an appetite. There were also pineapples involved this month, in many forms. In case you've been living under a rock or something, pineapples are huge right now! I'm talking this season's polka-dot, pineapple is the new stripe, this summer's super fruit and what not. Funny how sometimes the most unusual things become so trendy it's like they are re-born all together. There's also this whole donut trend that's right at pineapples' heels (national donut day anyone?) but my money is on the spiky one. Work has been work... a lot of research and switching gears into summer (hence all my trend comments) and me feeling more and more comfortable which is always nice. Beyonce aka my car for those that didn't know (I named her that) got her very first drive through car wash in LA ever and it was about time! She had all kinds of sand (both beach and desert) on her from all the fun we've been having together. But really, it was time. Even hubs was starting to make comments how dirty she was considering what a clean freak I am. Guess you always have something that slips and she was that for me until recently. I do have a good tip for you all, champagne (I think that's her color) cars are the best at concealing dirty hands down. There's this poor white mustang that was just as dirty but looked a million times worse and got all this abuse finger written all over it.

Sorry for all the tangents tonight... it is late and all.

Moving right along, hubs and I had a movie date night at Cinespia which I totally raved about in this post so I won't again... I had some puppy love and some of the sloppiest kisses ever! That up there is Maggie which hubs fell head over heels for and promptly renamed Bacon Bits which I prefer. He is pretty certain we are ready, I however, am still on the fence about this whole puppy situation. I think I may be more of a cat person, who knew?! Another exciting moment this month was attending The Brand Market workshop (post here) which was beyond inspiring. I got to hear from the loveliest of women, each sharing their tips on how to be successful entrepreneurs. One day I'll stop being scared and just do it... which is what inspired the engraved message on my Giving Key- be brave. A simple but important reminder to myself that I wear close to my heart pretty much daily. Oh yea, and there were actual beach days this month too which for someone who lives somewhat close to the beach, I never go. That's one of my goals for July... make more effort to get down there because you know, once I'm sat on the sand with that salty air in my face, life feels so good. And that my friends, is a wrap!

***Today I am thankful for the every day... life has been good lately!***

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