deep-dish apple pie pizza

Deep-dish apple pie pizza. Nothing’s really that simple.

On this blog, I often worry that I am compelled to portray myself as this
teenage Martha Stewart-wannabe, but that’s not reality.

If I were Lauren Conrad or Martha Stewart, this would be different.  It is their job to look super fabulous and manicured for their readers — exhibiting guru-like knowledge on flower arrangements and sock buns that don’t look stupid.

For me, this whole blogging thing is a little different.  I don’t have endless funds to spend on peonies, my hair will never look good in a sock bun, and I have no authority to tell you all how to mix a pink mimosa.

my beautiful, blank pizza canvas

My goal is to get closer to you all as readers and tell it like it is.  I
want you to be able to read my blog posts and be all like “whoa, she
gets it!,” or “omg me too.” Definitely not a “my life is in shambles,
how can I be more like her” (because believe me, my life is in shambles
sometimes too).

Yes, I have a collection of vintage mason jars and milk bottles, I have a bin dedicated to washi tape, and I make my own granola.  But that is just one side of me.

The part that you don’t see as much is the fact that I am a worrier, I
enjoy a little bit (lot a bit) of mess in my room, and I am often very
stubborn. Thus, along with the baker’s twine, DSLR shots, and
confectioners sugar comes real feelings, real mistakes, and the real joy beyond making a photogenic batch of cupcakes.  Also, I often eat things straight out of the fridge (i.e. not plated with perfect lighting and garnishes).

One of my favorite things to eat standing up at the fridge is apple pie.
My dad used to always buy those grocery store apple pies, and I’d always
keep standing up, sneaking over to the fridge and eating just a little
sliver (by the end of the hour the pie was usually half eaten).  That
apple pie tasted so much better than warm apple pie all served up with
ice cream and whipped cream and a mint spring (mint does not belong on
apple pie).  Something about the cold, gooey, finger-food nature of it
made it just that amazing.

Pizza is another classic “fridge food,”  cold pizza straight from the fridge is a delicacy of its own.  It tastes nothing like pizza, but it tastes pretty good!

look at that big, fat crust!

Enough chit-chat.  Let’s talk about this pizza. This is a real life recipe.

Ain’t nobody got time to make real apple pie on a school night.  But we’ve got time for pizza pie. This pizza version of apple pie is all of the cinnamon-y apple goodness without the opressive pastry/pie crust rolling! (especially if you usestore-bought pizza dough… that’s real life)

The thing is, real life often tastes better than “ideal life” (a life in
which I made a mile-high apple pie with a rum syrup reduction with
apples that I picked from my garden). This strange amalgamation of the
classy, the trashy, and the unique creates something truly spectacular.
This pizza is a wonderful hybrid between you’re grandmother’s apple pie
(classy), Domino’s Cinnastix (trashy), and a cream cheese frosting
drizzled cinnamon buns (unique?).

The end result? Something perfect to eat standing up at the fridge.

If you’re looking for more easy-peasy pizza recipes to eat standing up at the fridge, you’re in luck. It’s Pizza Week on NoshOn.It! Checkout the hashtag #PizzaWeek on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or check out the Pizza Week Pinterest Board.  The inspiration is endless!

Some favorites are:
Gerry’s Prosciutto, Pistachio, and Burrata Pizza  
Amy’s Kimchi Pizza
Shanna’s Grilled Pineapple, Crispy Pork Belly, Burrata and Arugula Pizza

With love,
Erica

it’s so gooey I’m gonna die!!!!!

Ingredients

for the dough:

  • 2 packets of active dry yeast 1/4 oz. each
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups all purpose flour plus more for surface
  • alternatively, you could use store-bought dough

for the filling:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 8 oz block of cream cheese softened

for the topping:

  • one small apple thinly sliced
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter
  • cinnamon

Instructions

  1. First, make the pizza dough.
  2. Pour 1 1/2 cups of warm water into a large bowl, stir in yeast, and let stand for about 5 minutes until foamy.
  3. Whisk
  4. in the sugar, oil, and salt.  Add flour and stir until the mixture
  5. forms a sticky dough.  Transfer to a clean, oiled bowl and cover with
  6. plastic wrap.  Set aside in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size (about 1 hour).

  7. Preheat the oven to 460 degrees F.
  8. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll the ball of dough out into a big circle.
  9. Now, make the filling.  Beat together the sugar and cream cheese until it becomes a uniform mixture.  Spoon this mixture evenly around the crust, about an inch from the edge.  Fold the edges over the cream cheese to seal it inside the crust.

  10. Lay the sliced apples out on the dough.  Sprinkle generously with cinnamon.
  11. Now, prepare the streusel.  Crumble together the 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour, white sugar, brown sugar and butter until the butter is the size of pebbles.  Sprinkle this mixture generously all over the pizza.

  12.  Give the pizza another nice sprinkling of cinnamon.

  13. Bake in the preheated oven for 8-12 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.  Remove from the oven, and enjoy while warm!

 

© Cannella Vita. All images & content are copyright protected. Please
do not use my images without my permission/linking back to Cannella
Vita. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this
post.

whole wheat apple blender pancakes

This past week has been pretty tough with exams and all.  I really wanted to treat myself to a big, luxurious, Sunday breakfast this morning, but I couldn’t muster the energy to beat any egg whites, slice any bread, or even preheat the oven. Polynomials can really wipe a girl out.

This is a recipe was made for the extremely lazy morning — the I-can’t-even-stoop-over-to-grab-a-bowl-and-wooden-spoon kind of morning.  Dump the apple (peel and everything), some flour, and some milk in the blender, and voila, super cinnamon-y apple pancake batter with the push of a button!

These pancakes are not only embarassingly easy to make, they’re also mindbogglingly healthy and delicious too!  They have lots of fiber from the whole wheat flour and apples, and are low in sugar.  So go nuts with the maple syrup!

What’s your favorite lazy breakfast?
With love,
Erica

Vegan Apple Blender Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 apple cored and quartered (peel on!)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup AP flour

Instructions

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in the blender. Blend on "batter" setting. 

  2. Heat a lightly greased skillet over medium-high heat and cook pancakes until golden brown on each side.

  3. Serve with butter and maple syrup.

© Cannella Vita. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission/linking back to Cannella Vita. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

caramel apple crepes

As much as I’ve been trying to focus on my exams, all I can think about is breakfast.  My eyes wander into cookbooks and onto blogs — ogling pancakes, waffles and frittatas. Those of you who follow me on Pinterest know that I’ve been clogging your dashboards with every single granola recipe under the sun. #sorrynotsorry 🙂

Since I’m in a breakfast-y mood, let me tell you about those brown butter crepes that I made on Sunday.
 

The farmer’s market in my neighborhood has the best honeycrisp apples ever.  Every Sunday, my dad picks up a huge bag of about a dozen apples (along with a gallon of apple cider).  Sure enough, all of the apples are gone by the following Sunday.  An apple a day keeps the doctor away! My favorite way to have my “daily apple” is slathered in warm caramel sauce and tucked inside a fresh crepe. ;). That should keep the doctor away.

With love,
Erica

Ingredients:
1 batch whole wheat brown butter crepes
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2-3 apples, cored, peeled, and diced
whipped cream for serving (optional)

Heat pan over medium heat and add butter. When it starts to bubble,
add apples and cook until softened. Add brown sugar and cinnamon and cook 3-5
minutes, until fully soft and coated in butter and syrup. (Yum.)
Generously spoon apple filling onto crepes, roll up, add a dollop of whipped cream, and enjoy!

apple cornbread stuffing

 Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and I’ve been busy planning my menu for a while now.  I’ve already found the perfect cornbread, we’ve ordered a turkey, I have six pie crusts in my fridge… the only thing left is the stuffing! Stuffing has always been my favorite Thanksgiving dish, so this year, it better be good.  We usually make stuffing from a mix, but  I want to make homemade stuffing this year.  I was getting frustrated finding a recipe that measured up to Kraft’s Stove Top Stuffing Mix.  The recipes that I tried all have either too much chicken broth, are to mushy, or are too oily.

Luckily, this one is different.  It’s not a traditional stuffing (i.e. you can’t actually stuff a turkey with it), but boy is it good. It’s technically a bread pudding, but when served in a casserole dish, it can totally pass for stuffing. It is a wonderful medley of sweet and savory flavors.  Apples, fluffy bread, and whipping cream complement sage, cornbread and onions.

This recipe is from the restaurant Ris in Washington D.C.. The Washingtonian has a series called “recipe sleuth” where they track down awesome recipes from famous restaurants in Washington D.C.. I love knowing that I can save time and money making real, restaurant food at home.  It makes me feel like I’m beating the system.

When I tested the recipe, I used a loaf of brioche from Whole Foods. However, there was a sale on panettone at the grocery store this weekend, so I am planning on replacing the brioche with panettone for our Thanksgiving feast.  I use homemade cornbread in this recipe (bake up a double batch, use half in this recipe, and serve half as a side dish); however, store bought cornbread would work just fine as well.

With love,
Erica

NOTE: The panettone makes this recipe absolutely delicious! Brioche and challah are good, but panettone makes this casserole absolutely legendary. If you can get your hands on one, by all means use panettone.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing ramekins
1 cup peeled, ¾-inch diced Honeycrisp or Braeburn apples
1 cup finely julienned onions
2 cups ¾-inch diced cornbread, from a favorite recipe or storebought
2 cups ¾-inch diced brioche or challah (I use Panettone which is DELICIOUS)
4 tablespoons chopped fresh sage (blanch the leaves before chopping)
4 tablespoons fresh thyme
4 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
½ teaspoon ground pepper
4 ounces apple butter (see recipe below)
4 large eggs
1 egg yolk
½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
2 cups heavy cream

Butter
the bottom and sides of eight 8-ounce ramekins and set aside. Preheat
the oven to 300 degrees for a convection oven or 325 for a conventional
oven.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a pan over medium-high heat.
Add the cut apples, letting them sit briefly to gain color. Stir and
allow them to cook a few minutes more until they’re lightly brown but
still firm. Remove from pan and set aside.

Melt the other
tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions, stirring
occasionally until they’re soft and lightly colored, about 5 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper. Set aside and let cool.

In a large
bowl, combine the cornbread, brioche, herbs, salt, white pepper, apple
butter, and the caramelized apples and onions once they’ve cooled. In a
separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, Tabasco, and cream.
Add the egg mixture to the cornbread mixture and let soak for 10
minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Divide the mixture into each of the buttered ramekins, filling
each to ¼ inch from the top. Place the ramekins in a water bath and bake
for about 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
(This recipe can be prepared in a larger casserole form, which bakes for
a longer time, roughly 45 minutes. Again, test the doneness with a
toothpick.)


Apple Butter

2 Honeycrisp or Braeburn apples, peeled and sliced (roughly ¼-inch thick)
1 tablespoon butter

Melt
the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the sliced apples, letting
them rest a minute or two to get color. Stir and cook a few minutes
longer so the apples are lightly brown and soft. Purée in a blender, and
let cool before mixing with other ingredients.

From the Washingtonian

recipe showdown: apple pie

Last year when we went to my grandma’s house for Thanksgiving, I made Grandma Ople’s famous apple pie and it was a huge hit.  But I have never believed the saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” So I invented my own saying.

“Even if you think it’s the best, try everything else to make sure that it really is the best. Only then can you earn bragging rights.”   — Erica

Pretty profound right? That’s basically  the philosophy of Recipe Showdown, and why I encourage you guys to challenge me to try your recipes.  The quixotic task of finding the perfect recipe is never-ending, but the process is delicious.

As soon as the leaves begin turn orange, I start thinking about Thanksgiving.  Stuffing, cranberry sauce, green beans, mashed potatoes, and the essential assortment of pies.  Chocolate pie, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, boysenberry pie, and my personal favorite, apple pie. 

This year, I want to make sure that I make the best apple pie yet.  I saw a very enticing recipe on one of my favorite blogs, A Cup of Jo, and decided to put it against the reigning champion (Grandma Ople’s Apple Pie).

For both pies, I used Smitten Kitchen’s All Butter, Really Flaky Pie DoughI believe that pie crust should always be all butter, and always be very flaky; hence, this is the perfect recipe.

Caramel Apple Cider
Grandma Ople
An all-American apple pie, with a lovely caramel made from
reduced apple cider!
This pie has over 1000 5 star ratings on All Recipes for a
reason!
Taster’s notes
·     
Nice notes of cinnamon
·     
More “normal”
·     
Very liquid-y (from caramel)
·     
Pretty crust (with egg wash)
·     
Very apple-y
·     
European taste
·     
Notes of vanilla
·     
More unusual, exotic
·     
Needs cinnamon

The verdict:
Both of these pies are absolutely delicious; however, good ol’ Grandma Ople did better in the taste tests. I made two, small changes to the recipe.

  1. Pour the sweet, syrup mixture onto the apples before adding the lattice crust. Last year, I did it afterwards (as the recipe suggests) and I ended up with burnt, sugar pieces on the top. 
  2. The tasters suggested adding cinnamon to the recipe, so I added two teaspoons of cinnamon to the syrup. 

With love,
Erica

Ingredients:

  • 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie (I used Deb’s)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 8 Granny Smith apples (peeled, cored, and sliced)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon (*my personal addition to the recipe 
Melt butter in a
sauce pan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add white sugar, brown sugar
and water; bring to a boil. Reduce temperature, and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon.
Meanwhile, place the
bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over
the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off. Cover
with a lattice work crust.
Bake 15 minutes at
425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F
(175 degrees C), and continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes.

apple pie ice cream

You may be under the impression that I have boundless energy.  Decorating pumpkins, taking endless pictures of leaves, and churning my own butter in my spare time.  Confession, I’m one of the laziest people I know.

Here is why.  When an apple pie craving strikes, the thought of cutting myself a slice, walking to the freezer, finding the vanilla ice cream under all of the frozen fruit, searching every single drawer in the kitchen for the ice cream scoop, warming the slice in the microwave for an entire minute and a half, and scooping the ice cream is way too complicated.  I usually end up eating the pie cold. With my hands. And that’s no fun.

That’s why I invented this little concoction, apple pie ice cream.  This recipe does not require an ice cream maker.  Mainly because I am too lazy to order one. But boy is this stuff good.  Apples sauteed in butter, graham cracker crumbs, and homemade caramel sauce make this ice cream taste just like apple pie.

Funny how I’m totally willing to churn my own ice cream, yet too “lazy” to reheat a slice of pie in the microwave.

With love,
Erica

Ingredients 
 
2 cups heavy cream
1 (14 oz.) Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 apple, diced
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup caramel sauce of your choice
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

Whip heavy cream to stiff peaks in large bowl.
In a large frying pan, sautee the diced apple with 2 tablespoons of butter.
Whisk sweetened
condensed milk, melted butter, and cinnamon in large bowl. Stir in apple slices and caramel sauce. Fold in whipped cream.

Pour into a 2-quart container and cover. Freeze 6 hours or until firm. Store in freezer.