Thanksgivings Ruminations: Mile High Biscuits and Mom's Apple Crumb Pie

Better late than never as we creep into the morning of the 1st of December. I still haven't a gift for anyone or finalized what I'd like to bake for the approaching holiday festivities but regardless, I'll give the gift of blog this morning!

Thanksgiving was wonderful, full of food and family. I was happy that my mom decided to join us down in South Carolina even though we are returning to CT this weekend (yikes). And what comes with Mom is my favorite dessert. Yes, I am bold enough to say that this dessert is my absolute favorite. I have no mercy when it's comes to mile high crumbs over crisp flavorful orchid apples and perfectly flaky crust. I had it for breakfast for 2 mornings after Thanksgiving (another, yikes); I can't forsake the pie if it's there. The apple crumb pie brought to you by my mother and now myself is a compilation of different recipes from my family. The pie portion comes from the Betty Crocker Cookbook, the crumbs are a recipe from my great grandmother's coffee cake recipe, and the crusts have changed a few times but for this pie I rolled out a wonderful crust from Baking With Julia.

This second attempt at pie crust with Baking With Julia was perfect. Since my Pate Brisee flop, I had read up a great portion on pie crust and was ready to tackle again head on. I decided for the time being to use a recipe that contained butter and shortening. I never grew up with shortening in my house and this was a very scary, foreign object that always perplexed me. For baking sake, I used shortening for the first time. What we had in the house (my boyfriends mother's stash) was Crisco shortening in the iconic blue tub. I would definitely not use regular Crisco shortening in the future given the existing trans-fat in the product but I know there are alternatives. Anyway - Julia's recipe was the perfect blend of butter and shortening to create a flavorful and flaky crust. I detest all shortening crusts; They just taste like air. However, I do love all butter crusts but I do have to better my technique with them.
My next Thanksgiving baking adventure was biscuits. I've been yearning to make delicious buttermilk biscuits from scratch since I moved down to the south. I had my fare share since I've come down here but homemade in your own kitchen is always superior. I had planned to make buttermilk rolls but the timing would have been too tricky. It was the perfect opportunity to make biscuits for the bread quota of the Thanksgiving table. Making them was fun and suspenseful, to see if they were everything they were cracked up to be. I used the recipe from a little cookbook I picked up in the Charleston from The Hominy Grill entitled Mile High Biscuits. I don't feel I should post the recipe from there but it included all of your basic biscuit ingredients: soft wheat flour, salt, baking powder, buttermilk, butter, shortening and lard. Instead of soft wheat flour, I used AP because I had it on hand and is perfectly acceptable and no lard because I never have that on hand but I would interesting in trying it in the biscuits. Lard repulses and intrigues me at the same time.These were the biscuits prior to baking. I stored them in the fridge until we were just about ready to eat; they only needed 10-12 minutes in the oven. I've said it before but these really were everything I hoped they would be. Warm, buttery and flaky, the layers just peeled away and melted in your mouth; I would know, I ate about 5 of the 15.

Well, glad I finally got this written; Can't wait to do it again next year.


peabody said...

Your apple pie is beautiful!

Helene said...

I want some! Pie and biscuits!! My friend is a waiter at Hominy Grill and keeps bringing me some of their breads and bicuits. Lard makes everything tastes good but I am glad you gave an alternative.

Ivonne said...

I'm drooling here!

Anonymous said...

Your Mom's pie looks so good! Perfect. I want a slice with some ice cream. :)

Ari (Baking and Books)

eliza said...

i think apple pie is the quintessential of american food, well maybe pies in general! you're so fortunate to have a hand-me down recipe that's so good.

Brilynn said...

Lauren, I know you want to do some holiday baking and I know you want to post about it... no? A holiday appetizer maybe? Something???

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