Fall's arrival in Florida means a respite from summer's heat, and therefore more time enjoyed outdoors. To me, nothing says fall and winter like gathering with my friends for evenings around backyard fires.
These nights are all about community, and it's important to us that we intentionally carve out time to spend time together, even in midst of the busiest season of the year. We keep it simple with potluck meals and impromptu music. The sounds of conversations, laughter, and little ones playing are accompanied by the chirp of crickets as the moon shines through the trees above.
On this particular evening, dinner consisted of fire-roasted organic hot dogs, homemade macaroni and cheese, and fresh green bean salad. Craft beer from two Florida breweries (Inlet Brewing Company in Jupiter and Cigar City Brewing in Tampa) was enjoyed along with a delicious sangria that is practically legendary in our little group, and just perfect for fall. For dessert, the choices were glazed apple pie, banana muffins and roasted marshmallows (of course!).
Glazed Apple Pie
by Kelly Charron of Oodalollie.
*Note, the amounts listed will fill a deep pie plate
What you'll need:
1 15 oz. package of pre-made refrigerated pie crusts (or you can make your own if you are feeling ambitious)
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup butter
4 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 medium/large size, tart baking apples – peeled, cored and thinly sliced (I like gala or pink lady)
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon softened butter
How to make it:
Heat oven to 400º F. Prepare your pie crust by placing one crust in the bottom of the pan. Keep the other crust refrigerated until you are ready for it.
To make the custard filling, combine sugar, milk, whipping cream and butter in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until the butter is melted, stirring occasionally. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and milk until smooth. Pour this mixture into the custard filling and stir constantly until thickened, approximately 7 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla then set aside. To prepare the apple layer, grab a medium-sized bowl and combine apples, flour and cinnamon and toss to coat.
Pour your custard filling into the crust lined pan, then layer the coated apples evenly over the filling. Take your second crust out of the fridge. You can either place it over the pie as is, or get creative and cut out shapes with pie crust cutters. I have cut circles, leaves, acorns and apples before. (It looks adorable but the glaze will cover up some of the detail.) Top with second crust of your choice and seal edges. Cut slits in several places in top crust, or leave small openings if you use crust shapes.
Bake at 400 degrees for 30 – 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Cool for 30 minutes.
While the pie is baking make the glaze. In a small bowl, combine all glaze ingredients; blend until smooth. Pour and spread glaze evenly to the edge over the pie while it is still quite warm. Refrigerate 1 1/2 hours before serving. Store remaining pie in refrigerator.
I'm looking forward to many more evenings like this one over the coming months. What are some of your favorite ways to enjoy Florida's winter weather?