Date Night In #7 – Italian

Now that the cool, fall weather is here, I am craving warm, comfort foods.  This Date Night In’s theme, Italian, definitely took care of that! For the appetizer, Matt and I had mozzarella sticks.  At first, I wasn’t going to … Continue reading

Making Pie with Joy the Baker!

This weekend, I had the opportunity to take a pie baking class with Joy Wilson of the blog Joy the Baker at King Arthur Flour in Vermont.

             

This was one of the most fun days I have ever had!  There is nothing better than being in a room with a group of people who share the same passion for baking as you do.  And to have it taught by Joy made it that much better.

As you know, I am part of a group called Sundays with Joy.  We are baking our way through the Joy the Baker Cookbook.  So I am definitely a fan of Joy’s and her blog to see what she is always creating.  I am also a hug fan of Carrie and her blog Bakeaholic Mama so I was excited to meet and bake with her.  I am so thankful that she invited me!

Carrie of Bakeaholic Mama

Before I get into the class, let me tell you how AMAZING King Arthur Flour is.  The drive up there was so easy, taking only about 1 hour 40 minutes.  The building is absolutely beautiful.  It is up on a hill and reminds me of a lodge.  It is a café, store, bakery, and school all in one so you can imagine how big this place is.  And of course it smells amazing!

         

The store has everything you could possibly need for baking.  I was overwhelmed.  I wanted to buy everything, but sadly I didn’t.  I picked up a couple of ingredients I always come across in recipes but can never find.  I also got a couple of baking tools and a coffee mug that says “Bake” :).

The pie baking class was absolutely wonderful.  I learned so much in just three hours. We made sweet potato pie and apple pie both with a buttermilk pie crust (click on the links for her recipes!).  Making the sweet potato pie was perfect because that is the next Sundays with Joy recipe.

Joy gave demonstrations and explained why you do certain techniques, such as using your fingers instead of a food processor or pastry blender to cut in the butter to the flour.

Following the demonstrations, Joy came around to see how we were doing and helped if necessary.  For me, the biggest thing I took away from Joy’s demonstrations is how to properly make pie dough and how to roll it out without destroying it.

I am happy to say I no longer fear the pie dough.

      

I am very happy with the way the pies came out.  Whenever I make a pie with dough on top, I roll it too thin and the filling breaks through.  Not this time!  One thing I do have to work on is my crimping technique for the edges of the crust.  I didn’t try to get all fancy because I was afraid I would tear the dough.

      

The pies taste absolutely amazing!.  Matt said the dough is most delicious, flakiest dough he has ever had.  Yes!  I wish Thanksgiving was tomorrow because then I would have two pies all ready to go!

      

Check out that crust!

While we were waiting for the pies to finish baking, we got to chat with Joy and have our books signed.

I am so happy and fortunate to have had the opportunity to go to King Arthur Flour and learn from such a talented baker.  I will be seeing her again among other cookbook authors next month in Boston at the Eat Boutique Holiday Market!  Can’t wait! 🙂

Apple Pie Crostadas

September 1st…the unofficial start to Fall.  So it is only appropriate that this week’s Sundays with Joy recipe is Apple Pie Crostadas, which I did make on the 1st.  This was my first time making crostadas so I really didn’t know what was involved or what it would even look like.  I found this recipe easy to make, but very time-consuming.  It took me about 2 ½ hours from start to finish.  Luckily we had a great morning and early afternoon at the beach so Luke took an awesome nap.

For the crostadas, you have to make the topping, make the dough, make the filling, put it all together, and bake.  So there are a lot of steps.  And we all know how making dough goes for me.  Not good.  But I must say, putting in the time for this recipe is worth it!  And the dough came out great!

Check out my awesome apple peeler/corer/slicer.  If you use a lot of apples for baking, I highly recommend this.  It saves a ton of time!  I got mine at the Christmas Tree Shop for only 8 bucks.  Go get one!

After I filled all the dough, I had a little less than half of my apples left over.

I’m sure I could have filled them more, but I was afraid they would split open or not hold together.  Maybe if I cut them up smaller I could have fit more on the dough.  Even though I had all those apples left, I thought they still had plenty of apples in them.  Now I know for next time!

These Apple Pie Crostadas are like fun, tiny handheld pies with the crust acting like a little package holding the delicious apple filling.  Put some vanilla ice cream on top of warm crostada, and you are in business.  I would not recommend eating it like a handheld pie once you put ice cream on top.

         

I was so happy that I was able to share the Apple Pie Crostadas with our friends Al and Andrea.  After they cooked Matt and I a delicious dinner of chicken, ribs, and corn on the cob on the grill, we sat around a fire enjoying the cool night and this dessert.  Great way to end a great day.

And don’t forget…you can find this recipe and all the Sundays with Joy recipes in the Joy the Baker Cookbook!

Cassie