Thanks and Thankfulness

by Alexandra

Ahhhh. Thanksgiving: My family. My favorite cookbook. Grandma’s warm, cozy house. Food. Lots of food. Crazy sales. Aprons. Christmas starting. Christ. My health. Their health. Everyone’s health. Second chances. Changes. Snow. Shoes. A heater. A dryer (oh wait, ours broke!). Life beyond dryers. Clothes lines?

It always seems like we forget just how good things are until they are gone — and Thanksgiving is the perfect time to remember those little things that we forget, like dryers, and our favorite cookbooks, happy floral aprons, and how good it feels to curl up with a big mug of tea after eating more turkey than we ever imagined was humanly possible within such a short space of time (it’s possible!)

And then there’s pie…mmmmm, pie!

But when push comes to shove, I could do without the pie, or the sales, or the dryers for that matter. I’m truly happy to be around the people I love, to laugh, to play silly games and snuggle up under big fuzzy blankets. Thanksgiving is like a remote control in my life that ssssssslllllllloooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwsssssssssssss everything down for a few hours, so I can savor the flavor (no pun intended) of what is happening right now. When I count my blessings, there’s no time to worry about the future or regret the past.

Living in the moment feels so good!

Alright, enough cheese… about that pie!

Rustic Apple-Pear Pie from The Ski House Cookbook
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons ice water
1 large egg yolk
1 large egg
crumb topping:
3/4 cup choppd walnuts
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
2 medium applies, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch wedges
2 medium ripe but firm pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch wedges
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  1. to make the crust: mix the flour, 1 tbs of the granulated sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until crumbly.
  2. in a small bowl, mix the ice water with the egg yolk. Add to the flour mixture. Stir just until dough forms. (Add another 1 tbs water if too dry to hold together.) Gather the dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.
  3. to make the topping: mix the walnuts, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add the butter and, using a pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture is crumbly.
  4. preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  5. to make the filling: in a large bowl, mix the apples, pears, granulated sugar, flour and lemon juice until combined.
  6. Roll out the dough to a 13-inch round. Transfer to a large baking sheet. Spoon the fruit mixture over the dough, mounding it in the center and leaving a 2-inch border. fold the dough border partially over the filling to form a 9-inch round. top the exposed fruit filling with the crumb topping. whisk the remaining egg with 2 tsp water to make an egg wash. brush the crust with the egg wash and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon granulated sugar.
  7. bake the pie until the crust is golden and the fruit is tender, rotating halfway through baking, about 50 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack to cool for 15 minutes. Serve at room temperature.