Saturday, November 12, 2011

Announcing: The MLK Easy Holiday Meal!

We’ve entered the holiday season and those of us at Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen would like to make your holiday a little easier and a little more delicious! How? Well, we’ve come up with an easy holiday menu for you and will post a dish each day over the next week so that you don’t have to come up with your own. Here’s what we’ve cooked up for you:
Sweet Potato and Pear Soup
Turkey Cutlets
Seitan Pot Pie
Corn Casserole
Holiday Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette and Poinsettias (drinks)
Apple Chutney

And true to the style of my Pies & Prejudice heroine, Ella Mae, we’ll assume that life is short and we should therefore start with dessert, so here's the Charmed Ginger Maple Apple Crumble Pie!

1 Charmed Pie Dough (or, if you don’t want to make your dough from scratch, use a Pillsbury crust with the Charmed Egg Wash)

6 cups of peeled and chopped apples (pick your favorites or substitute Bartlett pears for the apples)
1 ½ tablespoons of cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of packed brown sugar

1/4 cup of pure Grade A maple syrup
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
Crumble Topping Ingredients

2/3 cup flour
1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 Roll out pie dough and place in a 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie dish Put in the freezer to set.
2 Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place the chopped apples in a large bowl with the cornstarch, ginger, brown sugar, maple syrup, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Toss well using your fingers.

3 Place the apple mixture into the pie dish. Place the pie into the center oven rack and bake for 45 minutes.
4 While baking take all the Oatmeal Crumb Topping ingredients and place them in a bowl. Using the pulse button on your food processor mix the ingredients until large crumbs form. Refrigerate until use.

5 After the 45 minutes are up remove pie and reduce heat to 375F.
Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the pie and bake for another 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for at least one hour. (I couldn't wait and my piece fell apart as you can see from the photo). Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
What's your favorite holiday dessert? Post a comment and you could win this month's hot chocolate themed prize! (see photo of tea towel and hot cocoa sampler)


  1. Favorite: cheese cake w/ oreo cookie crust.

  2. This Charmed Ginger Maple Apple Crumble Pie sounds amazing! We've been on an apple kick in our house lately, since they're all so tasty right now. Looking forward to our easy holiday meal next week!

  3. Sounds like a wonderful pie! My favorite holiday dessert is a toss up between Red Velvet Cake and Gingerbread Men! OH, someone please bring me some will power for Christmas!

  4. Lori Cimino

    this pie does sound delicious and pretty simple. my mom used to make home made candy for us at holiday time. choc covered cherries, pb cups, choc covered peanuts.....loved it all! these days i like this pumpkin desert thing that some of my coworkers introduced me to. i have made it with splenda and it works just as well. so good. i wonder where i put that recipe!

  5. Favorite? Are you for real? Rarely make dessert except for the holidays, so I go all out-Thanksgiving at our house calls for "a pie a person" so everybody can take some home to enjoy along with the other leftovers. Christmas is just as bad, with cookies galore, fudge, and a sentimental favorite I used to make when my children were young-Jello layer cake with white cake drenched in red and green jello, frosted with whipped topping. I always hope for cooler weather here in Florida so I can pretend I am baking to keep from turning the heat on ;)

  6. My favorite dessert would be pumpkin pie and my mom's brown sandtarts cookies.

  7. I think I will be trying this this weekend (have to have a test run before Thanksgiving). :-)

    I think cookies, especially sugar cookies cut into appropriate shapes. I have never been able to get them as thin as my grandmother made them. Also, meringues - my mother called them "mouth full of nothings" since they melted so quickly and just left sweet air behind.

  8. Happy Thanksgiving, Ellery! I love that we're starting with your dessert. :) I also like the fact that this is a one-crust pie. It looks absolutely delicious. Among my favorite desserts (and there are many!) are the Italian cookies one of my late aunts used to make. She was a pro baker and her cookies were beautiful to look at and heaven to eat!

    ~ Cleo

  9. My favorite dessert for the holidays is pumpkin pie!!!

  10. I have a huge inner struggle going on trying to decide which dessert is my favorite. It's so hard! Pie or cake, pie or cake...or Scottish shortbread? Or chocolate krinkle cookies? Dessert first is a brilliant idea. How about an all dessert meal? Well, maybe have a little salad to make it legit. Okay, I have decided that my favorite dessert is an ice cream cone with Caramel Caribou ice cream.

  11. Mine is Paula Deen's Ain't Your Mama's Banana Pudding recipe. It is mandatory I make it every holiday and potluck. I don't have a choice--family and friends will revolt. Seriously. If you've never tried it. Do. I believe it's one of the highest viewed recipe and highest rated on's page.

  12. I'm not much of a pie person (Team Cake), but this recipe seems like a good mix between pie and Apple Crisp, which I love.

    The dessert I miss the most since my mother died is her green jello. It's not that I like it - heck, no one did except for her. It's for what it represented, the love and caring she would put into a holiday meal.

  13. This is too hard! I'm like Nancy, dithering back and forth...For Turkey Day, mine is pecan pie, double-layer pumpkin cheesecake, or something else "spicey" and cinnamon-y...well, unless it's CHOCOLATEY!

    Can't even think of Christmas yet! (I'm so decisive today, can you tell? lol)It's NaNo on the brain for me.

  14. Mmm. Pie. For Thanksgiving, I traditionally make an apple pie. It's my favorite, and it's the only time of year I can justify making a pie. :)

    This one sounds fantastic, though. Might give my recipe a run for its money!

  15. Ginger, maple, apple? Oh, my, three of my favorite things. I'll have to try this!

    Thanks, Ellery.


  16. What a lovely pie, and so easy since there's no top crust to make. I bet it's delicious. How can anyone choose between all the season has to offer? Cheesecake, pecan pie, pumpkin pie -- and I'm thinking about a triple chocolate mousse cake for New Year's Eve . . .

    ~ Krista

  17. An upside down cranberry tart with a walnut tart/kind of like a tarte tatin. Was introduced to it at a pastry shop and loved it ever since.

    Little Lamb Lost

  18. My favorite desert would be a toss up between pecan pie and pumpkin custard which is really just pumpkin pie filling with more eggs and more milk. My husband doesn't like either one---so I have to really be in the mood for it because I have to eat the whole thing.

  19. Apple pie with streusel topping is a favorite with a scoop of ice cream on top. So this recipe is perfect for me.

  20. Wow, what is my favorite dessert? That is a hard one. I'd have to say NY Style Cheesecake. The heavy one not the soft and fluffy type. But then again give me any good tasting cake, cookie, pit, trifle, etc and I am a happy camper LOL

  21. No holiday is complete without dessert and there are so many to chose from! But, nothing says 'holiday' to me like pumpkin pie with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. And fudge. I make that only around the holidays and it's so yummy! Neither one lasts long at our house!