Apple Slab Pie • {Gooey} Apple Pie Recipe

By Rebecca Blackwell

Gooey Apple Slab Pie with Crumb Topping

AKA, Caramel Apple Crisp Baked in Shortbread Pastry

Apple Slab Pie. Crisp apples are coated in a brown sugar caramel glaze, layered over tender pate brisee and piled high with buttery crumb topping.

Apple Slab Pie. Gooey Caramel Apple Pie with Crumb Topping.

If you’re looking for an Apple Slab Pie recipe that slices up into nice, neat squares – this isn’t your recipe. If you’re looking for the kind of Apple Slab Pie that you scoop out with a spoon into bowls that will catch ribbons of gooey caramel apple deliciousness, search no further.

This is what I like to call a bowl and spoon dessert, a phrase coined (in my mind, at least) by Sally Schneider, author of A New Way to Cook. The dessert chapter of her cookbook includes an entire section devoted to “bowl and spoon” desserts, a phrase for which I was instantly enamored. It’s not like eating desserts with a bowl and spoon is a revolutionary idea, of course. I just love giving sloppy, gooey, saucy desserts their own category. The very idea of a bowl and spoon dessert is both homey and elegant. And that’s pretty much the best way I can think to describe this Apple Slab Pie.

Apple Slab Pie. Gooey Caramel Apple Pie with Crumb Topping. | www.ofbatteranddough.com

This Apple Slab Pie is kind of a simpler, homey version of tart Tatin.

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Thanksgiving Pies | The Best Thanksgiving Pie Recipes

By Rebecca Blackwell

8 Delicious Thanksgiving Pie Recipes

Thanksgiving Pies are one of my favorite things about the holiday. The only thing better than baking and eating pie on Thanksgiving, is deciding what Thanksgiving Pies I’m going to make. This involves two of my very favorite things to do: Sift through cookbooks and magazines in search of ideas, and then test, tweak and refine pie recipes.

Best Thanksgiving Pie Recipes

At my house, even though I like to make at least one non-pie dessert for Thanksgiving, the pies still take center stage. I always make way too many. This is both a blessing and a curse because, well, having leftover Thanksgiving pies around the house begging to be eaten is both a blessing and a curse. The problem is that I want to give people plenty of options. Yes… I could just make 2 or 3. It would be plenty. But, it is Thanksgiving after all and it seems appropriate to offer up an abundant selection on this day, of all days. Besides, I can always send leftovers home with the guests.

This year, most (if not all) of the following pies will make their appearance on my Thanksgiving dessert table. All of them are well tested, well loved recipes. I hope a few of them will make it to your Thanksgiving dessert table as well.

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Chocolate Pie with Almonds and Bourbon

By Rebecca Blackwell

Easy Homemade Chocolate Pie

Chocolate Pie with Almonds ~ An Alternative to Chocolate Pecan Pie

Chocolate Pie with Almonds and Bourbon. This rich and gooey homemade chocolate pie recipe that’s packed with dark chocolate, roasted almonds, and a touch of bourbon just might replace your traditional Thanksgiving pecan pie.

Easy Homemade Chocolate Pie with Almonds and Bourbon

It struck me this week that Thanksgiving is about a month away.

How did that happen?! Seriously.

I know I’m showing my age by saying things like, “The year has gone by so fast! Where does the time go?” Let’s face it. These are not something teenagers and twenty-somethings say. I don’t know why time seems to speed up with every passing year. I just know that it does. Which is just wrong… because when you’re young you’re always looking forward to something – the next year in school, graduation, birthdays, Christmas, your 21st birthday – and time seems to drag. And then something peculiar happens. Time keeps speeding up. No matter what you do, it seems to get faster. And faster. And faster. It’s the New Year and then it’s Christmas.

Betcha you thought this post was about Chocolate Pie.

Easy Homemade Chocolate Pie with Almonds and Bourbon

Yeah, yeah. It is. The point is, I’m thinking about Thanksgiving even though I feel like Thanksgiving just happened. Which, honestly, is totally fine. While I whine about time moving too quickly, I actually love everything that goes into Thanksgiving…. especially the pies.

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Chocolate Eclair Dessert Recipe

By Rebecca Blackwell

Homemade Chocolate Eclairs | French Pastry Recipes

This Chocolate Eclair Dessert Recipe makes it easy to create one of the most delicious French pastries in the world any time you like.

chocolate eclair dessert recipe | French pastry recipes | ofbatteranddough.com

In my humble opinion…

The Chocolate Eclair is one of the most delicious French pastries ever created.

Tender pastry filled with lucious pastry cream and covered in chocolate… Seriously. What’s not to love about that? Actually…. I’ll tell you what’s not to love about that: Making the pastry, that’s what.

I have a bit of a love hate relationship with choux pastry (A.K.A, cream puff dough, or pâte à choux). My attitude is simple to explain: I love it when it works and hate it when it doesn’t. When choux pastry works, you are rewarded with buttery pastry that is crisp on the outside, soft and custardy on the inside, and absolutely begging to be filled with pastry cream and covered in chocolate.

chocolate eclair dessert recipe | French pastry recipes | ofbatteranddough.com

Unfortunately, in my experience, there are many ways to mess up this lovely French pastry dough. Such as when it spreads out in the oven into a large, buttery mess. Or, flattens into dense hockey pucks – either while the pastries are baking or after I’ve removed them from the oven. Watching them deflate after removing them from the oven is particularly cruel because you think your moments away from enjoying a delicious chocolate eclair only to discover that you either have to start again or just resign yourself to eating pastry cream directly from the bowl (not that I’m opposed to that).

This week, I decided enough is enough. I was on a mission to master choux pastry once and for all. I would not fail. Chocolate eclair victory was mine! I could taste it. (Literally…. I was licking the pastry cream spoon.)

chocolate eclair dessert recipe | French pastry recipes | ofbatteranddough.com

I did some experimenting to discover exactly what works and what doesn’t, and here’s what I’ve learned about…

Making the perfect pastry for Chocolate Eclairs (choux pastry):

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Napoleon Dessert | French Mille Feuille Cream Pastry

By Rebecca Blackwell

Napoleon Dessert Recipe

French Pastry (Mille Feuille Cream Pastry)

Napoleon Dessert. Layers of flaky French pastry and the most perfect vanilla pastry cream come together in this popular cream pastry, also known as a Mille Feuille.

Napoleon Dessert Recipe French Pastry Mille Feuille Cream Pastry

This Napoleon Pastry is my new favorite dessert. I want to eat it morning, noon, and night. It’s everything I love about most French pastries – it’s rich and delicate, not too sweet and filled with pastry cream. I want to eat it morning, noon, and night. Ok. I actually want to eat anything filled with pastry cream morning, noon, and night, but this is what’s in front of me. So in this moment, this cream pastry is IT.

Napoleon Dessert Recipe French Pastry Mille Feuille Cream Pastry

“Mille Feuille” literally means a thousand leaves, which is a lovely name, is it not? The name comes from the “thousand” layers of puff pastry used to make it. Puff pastry is a beast to make, requiring the baker to roll out the dough, fold it over on itself, refrigerate, roll it out again, fold it again, refrigerate…. and repeat. At least 4 more times. Who has time for that?

Happily, you can pick up a package of frozen puff pastry in nearly every grocery store. This little fact makes this show-stompingly gorgeous and delicious classic French pastry SO simple, you’ll wonder (as I did) why you’ve never made it before. Which brings up an important question…

What has taken me so long to make a Napoleon Dessert?!

Napoleon Dessert Recipe French Pastry Mille Feuille Cream Pastry

The answer to that is simple: I’d simply never tasted a classically prepared (i.e., really good) Mille Feuille before. All that changed earlier this week with an unexpected trip to Vail, CO on a gorgeous Fall afternoon.

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