By Angela, Studio Assistant at Packer Creek Pottery
Who doesn’t love Apple Crisp? It is the quintessential fall and winter dessert.
Every October, a small Ohio town located a few short miles from the Packer Creek Pottery gallery in Genoa, has their much anticipated Apple Festival. It’s during that time that my family and friends flock to my house for my home-baked apple crisp made with fresh, local apples.
What started out as just a small family gathering, has slowly spread to include friends and lately, even friends of friends and their families. Before I knew it, I had a living room full of people watching football and anxiously awaiting for that oven door to open.
This year I decided to “up my game” and instead of baking in my shallow aluminum pie pans, I upgraded to pottery pie bakers from Packer Creek Pottery. Everyone loved the new and improved deep dish apple crisp. Now, if only I could upgrade my hand peeler to one of those spinning, automatic things…
The pottery pie baker makes for a beautiful presentation and comes in a wide variety of styles, but the best part is that it practically just rinses clean—making clean up a snap.
So, if you’d like to attract a house full of people via apple crisp aroma, then give this recipe a try in one of the Packer Creek Pottery Pie Bakers—don’t say I didn’t warn you!
In medium bowl, combine crumb topping ingredients with a fork until it resembles small crumbs. Refrigerate while preparing filling.
Apple Crisp Filling:
Combine melted butter and flour until well blended. Then add milk and vanilla, stir well.
Stir in brown sugar and cinnamon.
Pour over apples and gently toss to coat.
Evenly spoon apples into baking dish and thickly sprinkle on crumb topping.
Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until topping is golden brown and set.
Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Let me start this blog by saying "I love my job!" Not only do I get to photograph wonderfully creative hand-crafted pottery, but I also get to experiment with ways to use our Majolica Pottery and that often includes making some really great food. This pottery photo shoot was a family favorite and I had a few teenage boys working as photo assistants and food testers.
Having a party for the "big game" in Ohio and Michigan is a tradition for many and Packer Creek Pottery can help you throw one in style. Our versatile and colorful platters are big enough to hold wings for a crowd. And any dip looks great in a Buckeye bowl or maybe a Go Blue bowl—you choose. If you can’t decide which suits your home best, then you might need our house divided plate.
Keep in mind that our Buckeye and Go Blue patterns are hard to keep on the shelves, so come in early to browse our selection or place your order at least four weeks before the "big game."
Now for the football party food... The one thing I don't like about normal Buffalo wings is that they are often fried, so I experimented with different baked recipes that are healthier and super flavorful without being too spicy. Enjoy!
Baked Chicken Wings with Mild Buffalo Sauce
2 lb. party chicken wings (we used a fresh package of drums and a package of wings)
4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning (divided)
Fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and place a wire rack on a large baking sheet (put aluminum foil on bottom for easy clean up). Coat wings in two batches in a large bowl with 2 Tbps. Olive oil and 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning. Repeat with second batch. Place chicken on wire rack and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Bake in the oven for 1 hour and until golden brown. These wings are great with no sauce, but we like them with some mild Buffalo Wing sauce.
Buffalo Wing Sauce (mild)
1⁄3 cup butter
1⁄4 cup Frank's hot sauce
1⁄4 cup tomato sauce
1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
1⁄2 teaspoon cider vinegar
1⁄4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1⁄2 teaspoon smoky paprika
1 teaspoon honey
In a pan over low heat, melt the butter. Be careful not to burn or brown butter too much. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk together well. If you want wings hotter you can add more Frank’s hot sauce and for milder wing sauce you would add more butter.
Simmer for no more than 5 minutes, whisking occasionally. Pour sauce into a large bowl. Place baked wings into the bowl and toss to coat with sauce. Return the wings to the wire rack and broil for 3-5 minutes on medium, watch closely so they do not burn. Remove wings from oven and drizzle any remaining sauce over the wings.
Blue Cheese Ranch Dip
1 (16-oz.) container sour cream
1 (1-oz.) package Ranch dip mix
1 (4-oz.) package blue cheese crumbles
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (we used green onions and it was great too)
Stir together sour cream, Ranch dip mix, blue cheese crumbles, and chopped fresh chives. Serve with carrot and celery sticks, pretzels and hot wings.
Nothing reminds me of fall more than the taste of pumpkin. When the weather starts to turn colder and the leaves start to change colors that is when I spend a little extra time in the kitchen baking.
It took me several attempts to make the perfect pumpkin cookie and my boys are tough critics. The addition of chocolate chips, walnuts and homemade cream cheese frosting makes these dense little cookies the perfect treat. I also like that these don't require a lot of fancy decorating and the recipe makes enough for a crowd. These babies have been to a few Boy Scout banquets and potlucks to be sure.
I couldn't resist serving this year's first batch of pumpkin cookies on one of the lovely fall patterns we have here at Packer Creek Pottery. My biggest dilemma was which one to choose. In the end, I couldn't resist the whimsical pumpkins on the Trina's Pumpkins pattern paired with the black and white polka dot platter.
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease baking sheets.
Combine flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium size bowl. Beat butter and sugar in a large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in pumpkin, eggs and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for two minutes then remove to wire racks to cool completely. When cookies are cool spread with cream cheese frosting.
Beat cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a bowl until soft and creamy. Then beat in confectioner's sugar a 1/2 cup at a time, until frosting is smooth and spreadable.
As far back as I can remember, there was always a fresh baked pie at every family gathering compliments of Grandma Ruth. Just as iconic as the classic American apple pie, perfect in its simplicity of flavor pairings, was the braided wicker basket my grandmother happily carried to every event and cookout. You always knew you were in for a treat when you saw Grandma Ruth with that basket!
Some of my fondest memories were spent with my grandmother, learning her secrets of baking—which I now realize were a labor of love creating the background for lasting memories and traditions to be shared with family and friends.
Today, I am nostalgic and delighted to carry on the tradition of my grandmother’s famous apple pie, which I always proudly present in one of my colorful pottery bakers. I hope you will enjoy this recipe, and that you create treasured memories with your friends and family as well!
3 cups flour
1 ¼ cup shortening
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon vinegar
6-7 large granny smith apples
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup flour
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup flour
1 cup butter
½ cup packed brown sugar
In a large mixing bowl (I like to use our “batter” sized bowl, as it is the perfect size for mixing ingredients for most baking recipes), combine all ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Knead dough into ball. Sprinkle rolling pin and flat surface with flour to prevent sticking. Roll out pie crust and place into your favorite pie baker, pressing into shape. Use the extra dough to add to the sides, pinching around the perimeter of your crust to create higher sides to hold in all the apple-y goodness that is about to happen! (I LOVE my pie baker in the colorful Julie Stripe pattern with a fluted edge—the colorful pattern on the outside is beautiful for the initial presentation, and as the pie is served it reveals a fanciful pattern detail on the inside!)
Next peel, core, and slice your green apples—I like to slice apples into medium sized apple chunks, as thicker apple slices will add a little crispness into each bite. Any tart apples will work—I prefer Granny Smith. Combine apple slices with sugar, flour, and spices and mix until ingredients are evenly dispersed. Place apple mixture into pie crust.
Now for the magic…otherwise known as crumb topping! Mix flour and brown sugar. Section chilled butter into cubes and cut into dry mixture until mixture is crumbly. I like to use a potato masher, or a large fork, for cutting in the butter. Evenly sprinkle crumb topping over apple filling. Bake 40-50 minutes at 425 degrees. Enjoy!
Recipe credit: Ruth Marie Clark