Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Individual Pies... In a Jar!!

These little pies are delicious.  I first saw the idea at Our Best Bites and knew I had to try it. I even had a bunch of Northern Spy apples at home just waiting to be made into pies.
But I didn't have the proper jars.  They need to be one-cup, wide mouth jars with straight sides.  The straight sides are important because without them, you won't be able to get all of the delightful pie goodness out!
I looked at prices online for these jars and was disappointed that nobody had them on sale and that they were approximately a dollar a jar.  I thought that seemed steep, but my husband pointed out that I will have the jars forever and I spend more than a dollar on tea, that is gone after a short while, each week when I meet my friend. (Every Monday I spend $1.35 on a tea and meet my friend for an hour or so)  So, with that, we went out and bought a dozen jars!


I got to work and made some pie crust dough.  One quarter of a single crust recipe appears to be what these jars take.  You don't even have to mess with rolling the crust out.  I just took a ball of dough and pressed it into my jars.  Pressing it along the bottom, then up the sides.  Next batch, I will make the dough reach a little higher, I went as high as the bottom of the threads for the lid.  I will also remember to save a piece of dough for the top of the pie!

Next, I made my filling.  I got this recipe from my daughter who just has it written down so I have no idea where it came from.  I diced the apples since they were going into a little jar, rather than slicing them like you would normally do for a pie.  I used four small apples.  Once the apples were peeled, cored and diced, I added  a ½ Tablespoon of lemon juice, 6 Tablespoons of sugar, a ½ Tablespoon of cornstarch, a generous ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon and a sprinkle of nutmeg.  I mixed that all together and spooned it into my jars, pressing it down gently to fit more in.   

I placed my (pathetic excuse for a) top crust on my little pies, placed the jars on a baking sheet and placed them in a cold oven.  Then I turned the oven on to 375 degrees.  Once it reached that temperature, I set a timer for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes, I had adorable, fully cooked pies!  There isn't enough room on the top of the jars for a good sized scoop of vanilla ice cream, so I added a little spoonful to look pretty, then gave everyone a little bowlful on the side. 

While these are no substitute for an actual, full sized apple pie, they are a great little treat!  A full size pie has more filling per slice than these little jars do, but that was the closest thing to a complaint that I heard.

Apparently, you can make these, put the lid on the jars and freeze them, unbaked.  Then when you want a treat, Pull them out of the freezer, remove the lid and place them on a baking tray.  Then you just put them in a cold oven and set the temperature for 375 and bake them for an hour, starting to time them when the oven heats up.  I am going to try that in the next couple of days.  I'll let you know how they work!  And when I report back that they were amazing, I am going to make a dozen and freeze them for later. Pin It

Friday, November 2, 2012

This is Halloween, this is Halloween!!

Okay, I know that this is really November 2 but I am posting about Halloween.
First I have to go backwards to Halloween 2011. I saw the most AMAZING life-sized Jack Skellington at Running With Scissors .  Jess was not only so cool that she made it in the first place, but she shared how she did it.  So last year I used her basic directions and made my own.
This year, since I  was giving out candy for the first time in about 18 years (I always took the kids out while Dad stayed home to hand out)  I decided that I was going to have fun and dress up.  And that Jack needed a Sally.  So I looked at the licenced costumes for sale and didn't like what they call "Sassy" Sally (you know the type of costume... short skirt, low neckline...) and I certainly didn't like the price tag on the more authentic costume. Sixty dollars!  Can you imagine?  For $60 I could have purchased a low-quality, very thin dress, a yarn wig and sleeves.  No thanks.  I decided then that I was going to just dress up as my daughters' Mom and hand out candy.
My husband, however, told me that I should make a costume. 


I'm not that good with a sewing machine.  I have a huge problem with seam allowances and I have no idea how to make a dress.

But he was insistent that I could do it.  So I went out and bought what I thought was appropriate fabric.  For a whopping $12.65.

Then I washed it and ironed it. (See?  I do know to do some things!)  I think my next project may be a new ironing board cover...

Then I got to work.  I looked at pictures of Sally's dress and did my best to piece together colours the same way that they are on her dress.  I was determined to do a good job with this.  I even pinked and pressed all the seams.  something I usually don't bother to do, which I am sure has added to my past failures.

Once I was done that, I had two big pieces of fabric to work with.  I admit, I only used three large pieces on the back.  Plus a little black patch to disguise a mistake. (shhhh)

Then I used a T-shirt as a guide and sewed my pieces together, adding sleeves.  Once I was pretty happy with the dress, I pulled out my paints and added details.  I have to say, at this point, I had impressed myself!  I wasn't totally happy with the fit of the dress, but if I fixed that now, the day before Halloween, I would lose a bunch of my painted details and I didn't have time to re-paint them.

Sorry it isn't a great photo.  It was taken with no flash at night and was the best I could do.

Next year I want to add Zero, Jack's ghost dog to the family, but for this year, I put Zero on my pumpkin.

I want to make a stuffed Sally as a decoration.  My plan is to make her a big doll (because Sally is a rag doll!) but have a zipper up her back so that stuffing (Hubby suggested shredded newspaper) can be removed so she can be easily stored.  And she can borrow my dress and wig and I will just take them back when I want to wear them!  Jack is a nightmare to store, (See what I did there? haha) so Sally has  to be manageable.  I also plan to make a better wig.  I got this one for $5 and it is too sparse and too short.  Hopefully I can still use it and add to it rather than start fresh.
I have a whole year to forget about these plans and scramble next October.

Here I am with the Jack Skellington I made last year:

And here are the real Jack and Sally, in case you are not familiar with them.
This picture is from the Disney Store. Check out all the Nightmare stuff they have!

Thanks for looking!! Pin It