Ok, I know, it's almost Christmas, and I am still talking about Thanksgiving. But to be honest, December has been pretty quiet in the kitchen and pretty busy everywhere else. Also, these pies are just awesome and deserve to be blogged, late or not.

Apple pie was never my favorite. In fact, until I was in college, pumpkin was the only pie that I would even give the time of day to. That all changed when I met the apple pie above. Cinnamon and nutmeg are delightful, but this pie was like nothing I'd ever tasted. Sweet, but also bright and enticingly herby, I've made it every year since. It is the Apple Pie with Rosemary and Lemon, and it is magical.

Another exciting and nontraditional pie joined the lineup this year: my friend April's new Haroset Pie. It's all the deliciousness of haroset, but in a pie. Although it was experimental, it turned out perfectly, and holds promise for endless variations. Recipes below!

Also, get a load of those bubbly buttery flakes on this crust:

Apple Pie with Lemon and Rosemary

  • From Plenty, by Gay Nichols.

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F.

  • Prepare
  • • One greased pie dish
  • • one batch of pastry for a two crust pie.

  • Peel, core and slice
  • • 5-6 large cooking apples--brameleys, courtlands, or jonagold, though granny smith will do too.

  • Mix
  • • 3/4 cup sugar with
  • • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • Pour this over the apples and mix well.

  • Zest
  • • 1 lemon and
  • take the leaves off
  • • 1 sprig of rosemary.

Roll out the pastry and put it in the pie dish. Wet the edges. Arrange the apple slices and put in the rosemary and lemon zest spread evenly over the apple. Make the lid, lay it on top of the pie, crimp the crusts, make a hole for the steam in the center, and bake at 400 F for ten minutes, then 350 for 40 minutes, or until a cake tester through the center hole finds mushy apple slices, not hard ones.

[Note: I always glaze the top of the pie with milk and dust with sugar for a sweet and crunchy crust.]

A first draft: Haroset Pie

  • A work in progress by April Holm, based on this Honey Apple Pie and haroset.

  • • One batch of pastry for a two crust pie.
  • • 8 Granny Smith apples (or other pie apple)
  • • 1/3 cup honey
  • • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • • 1/2 cup raisins
  • • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
  • • 6 tablespoons sweet red wine

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Place the raisins and four tablespoons of the red wine in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Quickly take them off the heat (they can easily burn), cover, and let cool.

Mix all remaining filling ingredients, including the other 2 tablespoons of wine. Roll out the two pie crusts, and place one in the pie dish and trim. Transfer the filling into the pie dish and cover it with the second crust. Seal and crimp the edges and decorate the pie as desired, making sure to include steam vents. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 and bake for another 30 minutes, or until done.

You can adjust the amount of raisins and walnuts to taste, or add any other traditional haroset ingredients - next time, April is planning on adding ginger, for example, and I was just thinking about orange zest and almonds.

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