SEASON of CHANGE

Bacon Latticed Apple Pie | for the love of the south

In this capricious world, I look forward to the promise of the change in seasons. No matter how unbearable summer is, the heat eventually subsides, the trees sigh in relief and leaves begin to transform before our very eyes. In a realm resistant to change, nature inevitably begins to beam one last time before winter.

In life, we don’t possess the ability to control, but we do have the power to embrace. There is security in knowing the blistering days are behind us, and we can hold fast to a brand new season.

Bacon Latticed Apple Pie Prep | for the love of the south Summer has been lovely. I’ve had my fair share of ruby red tomatoes, emerald okra, summer ice creams and fruity lemonades. Now, it’s time for smoky, roasted meats, speckled apples, crisp, honey-scented pears, fragrant cinnamon and warm cider. There is comfort in their seasonality and predictability. Their customary arrival is welcome in my home and celebrated at my table.

{In celebration of the arrival of the new season, I am giving away a copy of Southern Living Bourbon & Bacon: The Ultimate Guide to the South’s Favorite Foods. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below letting me know your favorite fall recipe between now and midnight, September 29th. The winner will be chosen randomly and will be contacted via email on September 30th! Limit 1 comment per person, pretty please! Good luck, y’all!} Congrats to Caitlin who is the winner of the giveaway! 

Bacon Latticed Apple Pie | for the love of the south

Recipe: Bacon Latticed Apple Pie

Inspired by The Loveless Cafe + Southern Living Bourbon & Bacon: The Ultimate Guide to the South’s Favorite Foods

Serves 12

Note: This pie is both sweet and savory, which is my favorite combination for dessert. As the fat renders from the bacon, it actually begins permeating the crust of the pie with its smoky drippings. It’s lovely! If you prefer, you can buy a center cut bacon for this dessert. Center cut slices have more meat and less fat than other bacon slices.

Pie Dough:

1 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon of kosher salt

1 ½ tablespoons of granulated sugar

1 stick (1/2 cup) of unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes

1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

1 cup of ice water

1 egg

Combine flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Create a well in the center and add the butter. Mix on a medium speed until the mixture looks like coarse sand.

In a small bowl, add the vinegar to the ice water. Tablespoon by tablespoon, add the ice water mixture to the flour and butter mixture, mixing in between additions. Add the water until the dough forms a ball. The dough should not be sticky or crumbly. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough until 9 or so inches in diameter. Gently place the dough into an 8” pie plate. Crack the egg in a small bowl. Without breaking the yolk, use a pastry brush and gently brush a thin layer of the egg white onto the bottom of the dough. This will create a barrier between the filling and the piecrust as it bakes. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the filling.

Filling:

5 medium-sized apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

Juice of ½ a lemon

¾ cup of brown sugar

¼ cup of granulated sugar

2 tablespoons of cornstarch

1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg

Combine all of the ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Toss with your fingertips until the apple slices are coated evenly with the juice, sugars, cornstarch and spices.

To Assemble:

8 strips of smoked bacon

Preheat oven to 425oF

After the pie crust has chilled for 30 minutes, place the filling into the prepared pie plate. Place bacon strips horizontally onto the pie. Start placing bacon strips one-by-one vertically, lifting every other strip to create a lattice pattern. Crimp the edges of the pie, tucking in the ends of the bacon slices as you crimp the edges. Slightly beat the remaining egg and brush gently onto exposed edges of the piecrust. Place the pie in the fridge for 20 minutes to allow the pastry to set.

Place the pie on a baking sheet and place in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Rotate, lower the oven temperature to 375oF for another 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Cover the edges with foil if they get too brown. Let cool for 1-2 hours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TURNOVERS FOR A CHANGE

Spiced Pear Turnovers | for the love of the south

As the gilded foliage gently blows from the safety of its boughs, so does the peaceful lull of autumn as we quickly approach the flurry of the holiday season. Midafternoon strolls turn into hurried shopping trips, quiet nights at home are transformed into long evenings at holiday get-togethers, and there is an endless supply of homemade candies that have staked claim in my teeny tiny fridge.

So, I wanted to take a moment before the holidays are in full swing to spend time in the kitchen, peeling, slicing, chopping and stewing these lovely honey-scented pears. Their season is quickly fading with the serenity of autumn days. These turnovers are packaged with love and perfectly puffed pastry, which crunches like leaves under foot as golden flakes of pastry fall onto my wooly plaid shirt. These pear turnovers fill my heart with warmth and craft a beautiful calm before the sensation of the season. I take another bite as I say goodbye to lazy afternoons and say hello to this wonderful holiday season.

Spiced Pear Turnover | for the love of the south

Recipe: Spiced Pear Turnovers

Serves 6

Note: Make sure you allow time for the pear filling to completely cool before placing it into the puff pastry. If you add the filling to the pastry when it is still warm, the pastry will become impossible to work with, and it will become the bane of your existence and you will most likely curse my name! So pretty please, allow the filling to cool!

4 large, firm pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1”cubes

Juice from ½ lemon

1 tablespoon of flour

½ teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice

1 ½ teaspoons of cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling

2 tablespoons of butter

2 tablespoons of honey

1 package of puff pastry, thawed

1 egg, slightly beaten

1 teaspoon of sugar, for sprinkling

Toss the pears with the lemon juice. Add flour, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon to the pears and lemon juice. Toss to combine, making sure all of the pears are coated with the spices and flour.

Place a large sauté pan on medium to medium-low heat and add the butter to the pan. Once the butter has melted, add the honey and the spiced pears. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring every few minutes. The pears are finished cooking whenever they are soft, not mushy (think of the texture of a perfectly ripe pear.) While cooking the pears, you should notice a thick, dark syrup forming. The longer you cook the pears, the darker and thicker the syrup will be! This adds wonderful flavor to the dish. Once the pears have finished cooking, take them off the heat and allow them to cool. If you need to speed up the cooling process, just spread the pears out onto a roasting tray and pop it in the fridge until completely cooled.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Turn out 1 sheet of the puff pastry onto a cutting board. Cut into thirds lengthwise. Cut again down the center across crosswise, creating 6 equal rectangles. Repeat with the second piece of puff pastry.

Place 6 of the cut rectangles on the parchment-lined cookie sheet, leaving about 1 ½-2 inches of room in between each piece of pastry. Brush the edges of the rectangles with the egg wash. Using a tablespoon, fill the centers of the rectangles with the cooled pear filling. Place the remaining 6 pieces of pastry onto the filled pieces, lining up the corners as best as you can. Using a fork, gently seal up all of the edges of the turnovers with the tines of the fork. Using a paring knife, score the tops of the turnovers and brush the egg wash over the entire pastry. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.