Colleen Houck

“Chapped rats and bats' wings, brandied worms and adders' stings, Goat's wool and owl's hoot, fish's tongue and dog's foot. Into the potion, all you go, add clockwork hearts, positioned so…" The Lantern's Ember

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  • Falling for Apple Pie!

    November 11, 2016

    apple-pie                                                 Falling for Apple Pie

    November is here and that means Thanksgiving is right at our doorstep, so I thought it would be fun to share some of my personal favorite pie recipes with you. After all, there is no dessert that says “home” or “holiday” like a pie.
    Here’s a holiday rhyme to start things off,

    When all the leaves are off the boughs,

    And nuts and apples gathered in,

    And cornstalks waiting for the cows,

    And pumpkins safe in barn and bin,

    The Mother says, “My children dear,

    The fields are brown, and autumn flies;

    Thanksgiving Day is very near,

    And we must make Thanksgiving pies!”

    My husband’s birthday falls on October 22nd and when I asked what special dessert he’d like, he asked me to bake a pie.

    Starting from scratch we will make a buttery, flaky pie crust.

    Pie Dough








    *Makes enough dough for one double or two single crust pies.

    ~2 ½ Cups flour

    ~1 Tablespoon sugar

    ~1 Teaspoon salt

    ~2 sticks (1 Cup) unsalted butter, very cold

    ~1 Cup water (drop a few ice cubes in and set it aside)


    1. Whisk the flour, sugar and salt in large bowl.
    2. Dice butter into ½ inch pieces.
    3. Sprinkle butter cubes over the flour and begin working them in with a pastry blender (you can also use a large fork). When all of the butter pieces are the size of tiny peas (this won’t take long), stop. Yes, even if it looks uneven; you’ll thank me later.
    4. “Glue it together”. Start by drizzling ½ cup of the ice-cold water (but not the cubes) over the butter and flour mixture. Use a rubber spatula to gather the dough together. You’ll probably need an additional ¼ Cup of cold water to bring it together, but be careful to add 1 Tablespoon at a time. Once you’re pulling large clumps with the spatula, take it out and get your hands in there. Gather the damp clumps together into one mound, kneading them gently together.
    5. Divide the dough in half, and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Let the dough chill in the fridge for one hour, but preferably at least two, before rolling it out.(If you look close enough you can see specks of butter in the dough)

    *You can prepare this dough in advance and it will keep in fridge for about a week, and in the freezer longer.


    Lattice Apple Pie
    ~ ½ Cup unsalted butter

    ~ 2 Tablespoons flour

    ~ ½ Cup white sugar

    ~ ½ Cup brown sugar (packed)

    ~ ¼ Cup water

    ~6-8 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced



    1. Peel and slice Granny Smith apples (thicker slices for crunchier pie, thinner for softer bite)
    2. Preheat oven to 425 Fahrenheit (220 C)
    3. In a bowl, toss the sliced apples with enough cinnamon to coat them lightly
    4. Melt butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add white sugar, brown sugar, and water; then bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and simmer 5 additional minutes.
    5. Take pie dough and roll into circular shape about ¼ inches thick. *Can you see specks of butter? This is perfect because it will make the crust flaky and buttery! Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, and use lattice method for top crust. (You do not need to bake the crust before filling). *Notice that the pie filling is still sitting in a saucepan while you made a lattice top pie crust? This is very important.
    6. Now gently pour the pie filling mixture over the top of the crust, being careful not to spill over the edges. First try to fill the gaps in the crust, and then feel free to cover the pie entirely.
    7. Bake at 425 (220 C) for 15 minutes. Lower temperature to 350 F (175 C) for another 35-45 minutes. Watch for the crust to be a light golden, bubbly state.

    *Because the sauce is on top of the crust, it not only forms a nice presentation with an amazing top crust, but the bottom crust does not get wet, so is able to quickly cook and set in the first 15 minutes of baking. After that, the sauce moves down, blends with the juices and sugars from the apples, and results in what I consider the best apple pie ever.


    Thanksgiving Feasting

    When the Halloween pumpkins are gone,

    And the leaves have all fallen to ground,

    When the air has turned windy and cold,

    Then Thanksgiving will soon be around.

    Thoughts of loved ones all feasting together,

    Pleasant pictures from past times appear

    To dwell in each heart and each mind-

    Then Thanksgiving is finally here!

    The kitchen has scrumptious aromas,

    The dining room looks oh, so fine,

    Decorations with pilgrims and turkeys,

    And now we are ready to dine!

    First the napkins are placed on our laps;

    Now the prayer for the meal to be blessed,

    Then we stuff the good food in our tummies,

    And we hope for it all to digest!

    By Joanna Fuchs


    ~ “Till next time,


    Linda Louise Lotti


    This entry was posted in Holidays, Uncategorized.

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    Author Bio

    I’m Linda Louise, one of the bloggers on this website and Colleen’s little sister. I’m just a girl in her mid-thirties who feels thirteen when I play outside with my boys, fifteen when I sing my heart out listening to tunes while driving by myself, and sixty five when I go out past ten at night. I have a thing for junior mints, Mt. Dew, shrimp and kale (though not all at once) and I have a crush on Superman. I still get girlish butterflies when I read Twilight, cry when I read These is My Words, and smile from ear to ear when I read Anne of Green Gables. I have nightmares about aliens on a regular basis and I have a bad habit of midnight snacking. I love everything sports, except golf (although can that honestly be considered a sport??), and I hate anything that slithers, hisses, or stings. I have a problem with giggling at inappropriate moments and I sometimes wish life was a musical. I love science, hate math, love Dr. Seuss, and hate olives. My family is my world and my joys come from their happiness. I’ve learned I don’t know much about anything and I live for a good adventure, naps, cuddles, stories, exceptional food and The Shire.