Home-made Apple Pie w/ Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream; Linguine w/ Marinara and Zucchini Fritters

It’s finally fall in Texas! Rainy outside and the leaves are beginning to turn beautiful and vibrant colors.  The only conclusion I could come to was to bake a pie. I used a Martha Stewart recipe for the dough and the apple pie, it’s definitely one of the best I’ve ever had. Also it makes the house smell divine the whole day. There’ s something very therapeutic about baking pies.

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Home-made Apple Pie w/ Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream

Pie Crust
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into pieces
1/2 cup ice water

Place the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. Using a pastry cutter add the butter and combine until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the water slowly until the dough holds together.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide in two. Place each half on a sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten and form two discs. Wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

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Apple Pie
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6-8 large green apples, peeled, cored and sliced (about 8 cups)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon all-spice
1/2 teaspoon ground clove
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoon heavy cream

Preheat oven to 400º. On a lightly floured surface roll one disc of pie dough into a 12-inch round that’s 1/8 inch thick. Fit it into a pie plate and place in the refrigerator.
In a large bowl, combine apples, sugar, flour, spices, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt. Stir to combine. Pour into lined pie plate. Dot with butter. Roll second disc of dough into a 12 inch round and lay dough over the apples. Cut vents into the top crust. Trim edges to 1/2 inch over pie pan, and seal, crimping edges with thumb and forefinger. Chill for 30 minutes.
Remove pie from refrigerator. Brush crust with heavy cream, and sprinkle with sugar. Place on a baking sheet (this will catch any juices that may overflow during baking). Bake until pastry is golden 45-60 minutes. Cool 1 hour before serving.

Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 vanilla bean
1 teaspoon sugar

In a large bowl combine all ingredients and using a wire whisk whip until light and fluffy, about 7 minutes.

Marinara from scratch

1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 large can peeled cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup water
sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

In a large saucepan heat the olive oil on medium heat and add the onion. Cook onion until it begins to carmelize and add the garlic. Reduce heat to medium low and add the tomatoes and 1/2 cup water. Let simmer for about an hour. Season with salt.

Zucchini Firtters

4 large zucchini, shredded
1 small bunch chives, minced
1 egg
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 teaspoon oregano
sea salt
black pepper
2 tablespoons peanut oil

Place the shredded zucchini in a large colander lined with paper towels and sprinkle with sea salt. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Wring out as much liquid from the zucchini as possible by twisting the zucchini filled paper towels over the sink. Place the zucchini in a large bowl and add the egg, flour, cornstarch, oregano, chives and sea salt & black pepper. Mix together well. In a large cast iron skillet or saute pan heat oil on medium high heat. Working in batches, form the zucchini mixture into small balls using about a tablespoon and place in the skillet. Using a fork roll the balls in the pan until all sides are lightly browned. Remove from the pan and place balls in a baking dish lined with parchment paper. These can be kept warm in a 300º oven for up to 20 minutes.

Boil spaghetti noodles until al dente, drain and place back in pot. Add 3 tablespoons butter, optional.

To serve, place noodles in bowl and scoop marinara sauce over. Place a few zucchini fritters on top and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

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