4th of July

Summer is officially here and school is out!  4th of July always reminds me of picnics, Mom’s potato salad, and apple pie. I’ve got the easiest, best tasting apple pie recipe for you along with a twist on some baked beans.

What I love about this apple pie recipe is that you can make the apple mixture ahead of time, cool it and freeze for a later pie.  Or you can also assemble the whole pie and freeze it before baking.

Apple Pie Filling:

2 tbls freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 lbs. baking apples (Golden Delicious or Cortland)

2/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling on the pie

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

generous pinch of ground nutmeg

1 large egg, beaten (for topping)


Put the lemon juice in a medium bowl.  Peel, halve, and core the apples.  Cut each half into 4 wedges.  Toss the apple with lemon juice.  Add the sugar and toss to combine.  In a  large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the apples, and cook, stirring until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to simmer, about 2 minutes. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the apples soften and release most of their juices, about 7 minutes.

Strain the apples in a colander over a medium bowl to catch all the juice.  Shake the colander to get as much liquid as possible.  return the juices to the skillet, and simmer over medium heat until thickened and lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes.

In  a medium bowl, toss the apples with the reduced juice and spices.  Set aside to cool completely.

*This filling can be make 2 days ahead or frozen up to 6 months.*

You can make your own crust or buy a pre-made one.

Line the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan with one disc of dough.  Put the apple filling in the pan and mound is slightly in the center.  Brush the top of the dough with egg.  Place the second disc of dough over the top. Fold the top layer of dough under the edge of the bottom layer and press the edges together to form a seal. Flute the edge as desired.  Brush the surface of the dough with egg and then sprinkle with sugar.  Pierce the top of the dough in several places to allow steam to escape while baking.  Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place a rack in the lower third of the oven.

Bake pie on a baking sheet until the crust is golden brown about 50 minutes.  Cool on a rack before serving.  The pie keeps well at room temperature for 24 hrs. or refrigerated for up to 4 days.

*You can freeze the uncooked pie, but don’t brush it with egg or dust with sugar.  Place the pie in the freezer for 30 minutes, to harden slightly. Then double wrap with plastic wrap.  Freeze for up to 6 months.  When ready to bake, unwrap the pie and brush with egg and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake from the frozen state until golden brown, about 1 hour 10 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Food Network 2001

When I used to live in Michigan, there was a restaurant called A & W.  As a kid, those cool twirled straws with a bear’s head on them made drinking their famous root beer even more fun. The root beer floats were out of this world too.  Vanilla ice cream with root beer over the top- I can still taste it.  It’s been over 30 years since I had root beer and can’t believe A & W is still around. Unfortunately, today’s root beer has high fructose corn syrup, caramel color and artificial flavoring.  So sad.  After some quick and easy research, I found a few companies who are making root beer the old fashion way.  One is Boylan’s.  This company is family owned, been around since 1891 and hails from good old New Jersey!

Root Beer Baked Beans

4 slices of applewood smoked bacon, cut into 1″ pieces

3 1/2 cups chopped onions

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 – 15 ounce cans of Cannellini beans, rinsed & drained

1 1/2 cup  (12 oz) root beer

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

3 tablespoons molassses

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper


Preheat oven to 400. Cook bacon in a large ovenproof pot over medium heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels.  Add onion to drippings in pot; cook until beginning to brown, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic; stir 1 minute.  Add beans, root beer, vinegar, molasses, tomato paste, mustard, chili powder, salt, and pepper; mix.  Stir in bacon; bring to boil.  Transfer to oven; bake uncovered until liquid thicken, about 30 minutes.

Recipe from Bon Appetit- July 2010

Have a great 4th of July and enjoy the  recipes!


1 Comment

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One response to “4th of July

  1. Pingback: Books, Events, & Some Treats « Mindful Meals

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