Happy Thanksgiving

November 26, 2009 · 4 comments

I became a believer in Robin Hood and Tenderflake today.

Not that I was ever really on the fence on this, but wow, never has a better pie emerged from those two basics (flour and lard) supported by modest contributions by vinegar, water, salt, and a barnyard egg.

But I digress. Kathy baked a pie today. This pie:


…made with ingredients brought with love from Canada throughout the year by visiting family:


When we cook, uncork a bottle of wine, set a table, and enjoy a meal, we are thankful.

Thankful for a food supply chain that begins in the field and manifests at our bountiful markets. Thankful for family, friendships and each other. Thankful for a kitchen, good tools, the senses of sight, smell and taste… and hearing minced garlic hit hot olive oil in the saute pan… and discerning temperatures and textures on the tongue.

Thankful for every blessing large and small, and thankful for the holidays that are our reward for another year lived (and all of what that means).

Happy Thanksgiving… and if you’re still interested in the topic of food after today’s feast, I highly recommend the following:

(BTW, it’s best to pull the dough together to step 5 below, and then set the wrapped dough in the fridge while you prepare the apple mixture. Then remove the chilled dough from the fridge, set the oven to 400 degrees to preheat and then roll out the dough.)

Pie Crust

  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 lb. Tenderflake (non-hydrogenated lard)
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • cold, fresh water
  1. Mix the flour and salt together
  2. Cut in the lard with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse oatmeal
  3. Combine vinegar and egg in a measuring cup, adding water to complete a full cup
  4. Stir the liquid into the flour/salt/lard mixture — just enough to make the dough cling together
  5. Gather into a ball and divide into 6 portions (wrap whatever you don’t use in plastic wrap and freeze)
  6. Roll out each portion on a lightly floured surface
  7. Transfer dough to pie plate. Trim and add the filling of your choice. Here was our choice today…

Pie Filling for Apple Pie

  • 6 crisp apples (8 if they’re puny)
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 2 T. unsalted butter, melted (if all you have is salted, for heaven’s sake, don’t let this stop you)
  • 1/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1.5 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1.8 t. nutmeg
  • 1 large egg beaten with
  • 2 T. heavy cream
  • 1 T. white sugar mixed with 1.5 t. cinnamon

Peel, halve, and core the apples, then slice 1/4″ thick. In a large bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. (If the apples are particularly juicy, slip in 1 T. cornstarch when no one is looking.) Stir until blended, then roll out the dough for the pie base and upper crust and lay the bottom crust in the pan.

Give the apples another stir, then spoon the mixture into the crust and smooth them into an even layer. Position the top crust over the filling, trim and flute. Without brushing the fluted edge, brush the top of the pie with the egg mixture, then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. (You won’t use all the egg goop.) Cut pretty steam vents in the top crust. Go nuts. Cut ’em in any pattern that makes you feel thin and like Martha Stewart.


Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and cook until the top crust is lightly browned, the apple filling is bubbling, and the apples are tender when tested with a sharp knife through the slit in the crust (about 40-45 minutes).

Then, just for how thankful it will make you feel, about an hour before dinner, cut two smallish pieces of pie, adorn with a few shavings of your favorite *cheese, pour a couple of lovely Old Fashioneds, break out the cribbage board, and eat your dessert first for a change.

*Yes, cheese! The sharper the cheddar, the better, ’cause you know how the old Canadian saying goes: “Apple pie without a cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze!” (Bet you didn’t know Canadians were so poetic, or such culinary innovators, didja?)

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Sue November 29, 2009 at 10:11 am

I want some now.


Dad November 27, 2009 at 11:34 am

KL – We’ll be more than happy to bring more of the essential ingredients next time we’re down that way (driving) as long as we are promised a sample of the end product.
One addition to the serving I might suggest is a scoop of vanilla ice cream
(sugar-free for me) on the side.


Kate November 27, 2009 at 7:28 am

Sure do miss that pie! Happy Thanksgiving to you both!
Love Kate


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