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.

bourbon peach crostata

I’m really sorry for disappearing for the past few weeks.  School started the Tuesday after Labor Day, and since then things have gotten truly insane.

There is so much hype about junior year.  It seems like when my classmates used to talk about The Bachelor and the scary new P.E. teacher, they now talk about AP classes and college apps.
 
All of this hype freaked me out a little bit.  My label-maker went into overdrive, I felt as though my life was scheduled down to the minute, I was constantly writing myself illegible notes on my phone,  I had calenders solely dedicated to keeping track of my other calenders. 

Then I took a step back.  I realized that while jamming my label-maker and staring down at my bi-weekly calender, I was missing a heck of a lot.   Things were just passing right by me.   The air started smelling like fall, Carly got a haircut, and I desperately needed a manicure… and I didn’t even notice.  Missing out is a scary thing.  I realized that sometimes, I need to get my face out of my agendas.  Sometimes, it’s absolutely necessary to do something “pointless.”

I did a dryer load of fuzzy socks, so I could put them on when they’re still warm.

I painted my nails this electric peachy pink color.

I went on a long walk blasting “Don’t Drop That Thun Thun” and looking at the trees. Then I started noticing things again and how beautiful everything was.  I noticed how the light reflects of the wavy windows in my neighborhood, how birds manage to nestle into precarious little crevices of brick walls without falling down, and how simply tilting my chin can give me a whole new perspective on my neighborhood. I wondered what the world would look like if I were 6 feet tall, or what it looks like to Carly.  Before I knew it, I was eighteen blocks away from home.

Most of the time, I bake for a purpose (bake sales, birthdays, sports games), and I absolutely love my classic cookie/blondie/brownie repertoire (i.e. things that can be eaten with one hand on the way to English class or on the sidelines).  But I think that sometimes, it’s important to make something impractical and crumbly.

Like this crostata.  It’s not particularly ridiculous like some of the other things I make.  It doesn’t have the “wow” factor of a triple-decker Nutella cake or oreo-stuffed chocolate chip cookies.

It’s a little crumbly, a little rustic, and the dough looks a little like a six-year-old’s play-dough creation.

But it’s really delicious.  It’s one of my favorite things to make.  It’s pretty simple and great for sharing.  Perhaps some would say that it’s a little “pointless.”  But maybe “pointless” isn’t such a bad thing after all.

With love,
Erica

Ingredients
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
11 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
2 eggs
zest of one lemon
pinch of salt
1 small jar of peach jam (mine had a hint of smoky bourbon in it)
1 peach
raw cane sugar for sprinkling


Preheat oven to 400 F and grease a 9″ tart pan.
Place flour in a large mixing bowl, make a well in the center and add
the eggs. Using either your hands or a fork, incorporate the eggs
into the flour. Work the butter into the dough until it forms clumps.

Add the sugar, lemon
zest, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Keep working the dough until is it very crumbly and slightly sticky.


On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough a
couple of times, then take off about 1/3 of the dough (for the lattice pattern on top). 

With a rolling pin, roll out the bigger piece of dough
into about a nine inch circle and press into the tart pan. Prick a few times with a fork, then spread the jam evenly on top.
Break off little pieces of the small piece of dough and roll them between your hands into long strips. Place the strips
over the jam, pressing lightly at the edges so they stick to the crust.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is lightly golden.


© 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.

chocolate chip cookie pie

I got this recipe from one of my lovely readers, The Cooking Actress.  She refers to this pie as “the most delicious thing you’ll ever eat,” and after tasting it, I can see why!

The theme for baking club this past week was “pies,” in the spirit of Thanksgiving and autumn.  I made two apple pies, two home-churned ice creams, and there were many other pies available as well. But guess which pie disappeared first in a crowd of hungry high-schoolers?

This chocolate chip cookie pie.

 I mean, who wouldn’t want a warm, gooey, chocolate chip cookie the size of their head?

This is nothing like those stale, chocolate chip “cookie cakes” that you find at the supermarket. This is super chewy, buttery, and dense… imagine the best chocolate chip cookie in the world on steroids.

Oh, and did I mention this pie is about 10 times easier to make than regular chocolate chip cookies?

This recipe is the newest edition to my permanent repertoire, and will be making an appearance at my Thanksgiving table, Pi Day at school, and every other occasion that requires pie.

With love,
Erica

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup (which equals about 16 tbsp) butter, melted and cooled 
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 homemade or store bought pie shell (I used a Ritz Cracker pie crust)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
In a
large bowl, beat eggs until foamy. Then beat in flour, sugar, and brown
sugar, until well blended. Then blend in melted, room temperature,
butter. Stir in (with a spoon, etc.) chocolate chips. (The
consistency will not be like regular cookie dough, and it won’t taste
that awesome, so don’t be disappointed. Just wait, the pie will be worth
it.)

Pour in to pie shell. Bake for 50-60 minutes.
 
From the Cooking Actress

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.

dorie’s crunchy and custardy peach tart

Lately, the farmer’s market has been overflowing with ripe peaches. My mom and I picked up around a dozen on Sunday. My dad was returning from Newport, and picked up another full bag on his way home. Since we had so many peaches rolling around the kitchen counter, I decided to make one of the many peachy recipes that I had saved. I cannot tell you how glad I am that I did.

All of the elements and textures of this tart come together so harmoniously.
Fruity sweetness from fresh peaches.
Satiny richness from the custard
Crunchy flavor from the streusel. 


The streusel topping really gives this tart an extra layer of nutty, buttery, crunchy goodness. The custard filling bathes the peaches in a voluptous, sweet, creamy mixture. And what really makes this tart so stellar are the fresh, aromatic summer peaches.

My mom especially loved this tart, proclaiming that it was the best dessert I have baked yet (even better than my morning buns!). Please, do yourself a favor and whip this up while we still have such a plethora of perfect, summer peaches.

What is your favorite peachy dessert?
With love,

Erica

Ingredients
*note I baked mine in an 8″ tart pan

1 pie crust of your choice (if you are making your own, sweet tart dough with nuts is perfect!), partially baked and cooled

For the streusel
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped almonds
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

For the filling
1 or 2 very large peaches, sliced thin
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar 
  
To make the streusel:
Working with your fingertips, blend all the ingredients together in a
small bowl until evenly combined. Cover the streusel tightly with
plastic wrap and refrigerate it until needed. (Wrapped well, the
streusel can be refrigerated for up to 2 days)
Center a rack in the oven and
preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet
lined with parchment or a silicone mat. 

To make the tart: Slice the peaches thinly and arrange them in a spiral pattern in your prepared pie crust. Set
aside while you make the creamy filling.

Whisk the cream, egg, sugar and
almond extract together in a small bowl. When blended, rap the bowl on
the counter to knock out the air bubbles, and pour the filling over and
around the peaches.

Bake the tart for 10 minutes.
Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F, and bake the tart tor
another 20 minutes, at which point you should add the streusel.

Remove the streusel from the
refrigerator and, using your fingers, break it up into small bits.
Carefully pull the baking sheet to the front of the oven and sprinkle the streusel evenly over
the creamy parts of the tart.

Bake for another 20 to 25 minutes
(total baking time is 50 to 55 minutes), or until the filling is set and
the streusel is golden. Remove the tart from the oven and transfer t he
pan to a rack to cool until barely warm or at room temperature.

Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours