Apple Pie

I had been shying away for pies for years, for no good reason. My aunt makes the most amazing pies but it always seemed complicated to me. Then I decided I wanted apple pie. So I made this rustic version and it’s deeply satisfying…

Minot Doré is an apple brandy type of liqueur done by a local cider place. Feel free to substitute any apple liqueur of your choice.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks frozen butter  (unsalted)
12 tablespoons Minot Doré
1/2 cup honey
3 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
8-9 apples (I use a mix of Gala, Spartan and Empire)


1. In a large bowl, mix the all purpose flour, salt and sugar.

2. Grate the frozen butter using the coarse side of a box grater. I got this trick from watching the Micheal Smith shows. It works and it’s awesome.

3. Gently toss the flour and butter until the butter curls are covered in flour.

4. Add the Minot Doré. Make sure it is ice cold. Seriously. If it’s not cold enough by the time you get to this step, stick the flour and butter mix in the freezer until the liquor is cold enough. You will need to work quickly to knead the dough together without the butter melting from the heat of your hands.

5. Split into 2 parts, making sure one is slightly bigger then the other. Flatten into disk, wrap in plastic wrap and allow to rest in the refrigerator over night.

6. The next day, pre-heat the over to 375F. Peel, core and slice the apples. In this batch I sliced them a bit too thick, it’s better to make them half as thick as they are pictured here.

7. Add the honey, cinnamon and whole wheat flour to the apples. Make sure all the apple slices are covered.

8. Sprinkle flour on a work surface and unwrap the larger of the two pieces of dough.

9. Roll the dough until thin and flexible then transfer to the bottom of a glass pie plate.

10. Pour the apples (and any honey left at the bottom of the bowl) into the pie plate.

11. Roll the second piece of dough and cover the pie. Brush with a beaten egg and cut vents on the top.

12. Bake for 1 hour or until the crust is golden and you can see the juices bubbling around the vents. Allow to cool before cutting.


Pork Chops, with an apple brandy cream sauce

I need to find a more colorful side dish for these pork chops, but the recipe itself is rich and tasty, with the tanginess of the crème fraîche contrasting nicely with the sweetness of the caramelized apples. The recipe calls for Calvados, but I didn’t have any so I used a nice local apple brandy style cider called Minot Doré.

The quantities below could easily make enough sauce for 4 chops. I tend to eat the left over sauce with any left over mashed potatoes as a slightly sinful snack.

1/2 cup crème fraîche
1/2 cup cream (15%)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/8 of a cup of apple brandy
2 thick pork chops
3 tablespoon butter
2 table spoon olive oil
1 coffee spoon brown sugar
2 apples, cut in eights and cored.
2 french shallots, thinly sliced
salt and pepper, to taste


1. In a small pot, melt 2 tablespoon of the butter over low heat. Add the apples and the brown sugar. Toss gently to coat and cook over low heat until the apples start to caramelize, but are still firm.

2. In a large pan, heat the olive oil and color the pork chops. Remove the excess fat, add the apple brandy and allow to reduce (if using calvados, you can flambé the alchool). Remove the pork chops and keep warm.

3. Melt the remaining butter in the pan and add the shallots. Cook on low heat until the shallots are translucent.

4. Add the crème fraîche, cream and applesauce. Stir to blend well then salt and pepper to taste. Heat to a simmer.

5. Add the pork chops back into the pan and allow to simmer for 3-4 minutes, until warm throughout.

6. Serve with the caramelized apples and a side dish of your choice (here some Mashed Potatoes).