Sunday, July 25, 2021

Welcome Guest Esme Addison and her Polish Apple Pie #recipe @EsmeAddison

Mia P. Manansala here! I absolutely loved Esme Addison's debut, A SPELL FOR TROUBLE, so when I saw the sequel, A HEX FOR DANGER, was coming out this summer, I knew I had to get her as a guest for the Mystery Lovers Kitchen! Make sure to read all the way to the end for instructions on how to enter for a chance to win A SPELL FOR TROUBLE, the first book in the Enchanted Bay Mystery Series.

Polish Apple Pie

Esme Addison's Polish Apple Pie


I had a hard time trying to figure out which recipe to share in my Mystery Lover’s Kitchen blog today! 

The Enchanted Bay Mystery series is not a culinary cozy per se BUT it does feature A LOT of food. Since the series focuses on Poland’s the Mermaid of Warsaw myth, Polish food plays an important role in each book. 

I try to incorporate all of the wonderful foods my mother-in-law has prepared for me and our family through the years. So many baked goods. So many pastries – how to choose? I thought I’d go with… simple.

In A Hex For Danger, Aunt Lidia serves apple pie at a family dinner. Known simply as apple pie in her house, others may know it as Polish Apple Pie or Szarlotka (shar-lott-kah).

Apple pie may be American, but it’s also Polish. Poland has grown apples since at least the 12th century. Some may say that the cultivation of apples and the myth of the Mermaid of Warsaw began around the same time!

Polish Apple Orchard


Did you know that Poland is the biggest apple-growing country in the European Union, and is home to nearly a third of all apple orchards in the EU?

How about them apples?

No wonder I’ve heard so many stories about my husband picking apples as a child. Why he loves them so much now. And why going to Asheville, NC for apple-picking season annually is a must-do.

Anyway.

I thought sharing Polish Apple Pie made the most sense. Simple… and simply delicious.

By the way… I’m not telling you how to eat your apple pie… some want to top their slice with whipped cream, while others want a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. As for me? 

I like mine simple. Just me, the pie and a fork. 

That way you can taste the rustic goodness of the apples as they meld with notes of creamy butter, spicy cinnamon and aromatic vanilla. Not too sweet (one of my favorite things about Polish desserts) and very fruit forward. 

This is a recipe and dessert that allows the unpretentious goodness of the apple to shine through!

Apple Pie Filling


Ingredients

3⅓ cups plain flour 

⅔ cup confectioners’ sugar 

2 sticks of butter 

3 eggs 

1 tbsp. vanilla 

3.3 lb. semi-sweet apples 

1 cup super-fine white sugar (or less, depending how sweet your apples are) 

1 tbsp. cinnamon 

Confectioners’ sugar for sprinkling


Instructions

I prefer to use a deep rectangular baking tray (18x27 cm / 7x10 inch), but any shape will do 

Take out the butter for half an hour in advance to let it soften

Knead together all the ingredients (flour, confectioners’ sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla), form a smooth mass, wrap into cling film and place in the refrigerator. 

Wash the apples, peel them and then slice 

Place the apple pieces in a pot. Cover in sugar and start cooking until soft. Add cinnamon and vanilla mid-way through.

Grease the baking tray and/or line it with baking paper. Roll out half of the dough and place in the tray. Pierce with a fork.

Heat the oven to 350°F, bake the crust for 5-10 minutes until it starts to turn golden-brown.

Remove crust from the oven. Pour apples into the pan. Roll the remaining dough and use it on top to cover the apples. Bake for 1 hour in 350° F

Serve cooled or warm with confectioner’s sugar sprinkled on top

Notes

I like Honeycrisp apples for this recipe. (Not too sweet, not too tart.)

The smaller the apple slices, the more chance you’ll end up with an applesauce-y pie. Bigger chunks/slices are better.

You can sprinkle confectioners’ sugar on top of the crust

I love using a deep rectangular baking tray for this pie but you can use what you have or like

Let your finished pie sit for a while so the filling can “settle”


For fans of Ellery Adams and Heather Blake will be charmed by Esme Addison's new Enchanted Bay mystery series.

The small town of Bellamy Bay has its share of skeletons in its closet, but it isn't used to bodies turning up in the local history museum. After all, this coastal North Carolina town is much like any other...except, of course, for the mermaids.

Helping to run the family business, an herbal apothecary while keeping her supernatural secret hidden is no easy feat for water witch Aleksandra Daniels.  But somehow she's still found time to help her friend Celeste, who has her own Caribbean mermaid heritage plan the annual Mermaid Festival. As fun-seekers throng the beaches, Alex gets to know and is intrigued by renowned artist Neve Ryland, who's in town to decorate the local park with a mermaid-themed mural. Celeste, however, is less enamored with the artist, as Neve has been spending entirely too much one-on-one time with her boyfriend Jasper, director of Bellamy Bay's history museum. Then, a reception for Neve ends abruptly when the artist is found dead in his office. 

The police investigation nets Celeste who asks Alex to find the true culprit. With the help of her magically-inclined aunt and cousins, Alex dives in to clear her friend's name. But there was more to Neve Ryland than met the eye...and Alex fears she may be in way too deep. Will she catch the crook or be next on the hook?

























Author Bio

Ever since Esme discovered Nancy Drew, she’s wanted to solve mysteries. As a mystery author, she’s finally found a way to make that dream come true. Esme lives in Raleigh, NC with her family. When she’s not writing or dreaming up new mysteries for her sleuths to stumble upon, you can find her dancing her calories away in Zumba, patronizing her local bookstores or visiting the beach, the mountains and all historical sites in between. 

You can learn more about Esme at https://esmeaddison.com. Follow her on Goodreads, Bookbub, Amazon Authors, Facebook @EsmeAddisonAuthor, and on Twitter and Instagram @EsmeAddison. 

Keep up to date with the latest by subscribe to her newsletter at https://esmeaddison.com/newsletter/.

Purchase the first book in the series A Spell For Trouble at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Bookshop.org or request from your local bookstore.

You can also purchase autographed copies of Esme’s books at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, NC. 

GIVEAWAY! For a chance to win A SPELL FOR TROUBLE, ask Esme a question in the comments. Make sure to leave your email so she can contact the winner.

49 comments:

  1. What is your all time favorite Polish dish?
    Kitten143 (at) Verizon (dot) net

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    1. That's a hard one - but the apple pie recipe I share here is definitely a favorite. I also love Zupa Ogórkowa, a dill pickle soup with a creamy potato base.

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    2. With Polish grandparents on both sides, I have to answer Christine's question. I love pierogi with sweetened farmer's cheese as a filling. Savory pierogi with potatoes, mushrooms, or other non-sweet fillings is easy to find at markets, but the dessert version my grandmother and my aunt made is less common.

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    3. Esme, that soup sounds amazing. I am a lover of both potato soup and dill pickles. This would be a double win. egoehner(at)roadrunner(dot)com

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  2. How sweet is the finished pie?
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

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    1. Not as sweet as an American pie but you can add more sugar if you like. This recipe (and most Polish dessert recipes) are just sweet enough to taste the fruit - maybe 50% less sweet than a traditional apple pie - if that makes sense?

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    2. Thanks. I don’t like really sweet desserts

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  3. What began your fascination with mermaids?

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    1. I've always had a passing interest in mermaids as a child - same with fairies and other whimsical creatures but nothing serious. I've also really been interested in the mythologies of the world - and so when I decided to write about.a Polish-American family I wanted to add an interesting backstory so I researched and discovered the Mermaid Of Warsaw myth and thought that would be an interesting element to weave into a series.

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  4. Thank you for the delicious sounding Polish Apple Pie recipe. My family loves anything connected with apples so this recipe will be tried - and soon. Always looking for different ways to serve apples not in the typical cake or pie. This sure sounds like it fits that bill. How long does this finish dessert last? Not sure how long it would last around out house, but thinking about if I made it for someone else. Does the bottom and top layers get more moist the longer it sits? Any need to refrigerated if left over one day?

    Thank you for the fabulous chance to win a copy of "A SPELL FOR TROUBLE". Shared but oh so hoping to be the very fortunate one selected.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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    1. You can leave the pie out for awhile but refrigerate the pie overnight - it also tastes delicious cold. This pie never lasts long in our house, certainly not long enough to be refrigerated. lol I haven't had issues with soggy crust.

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  6. Apples are my favorite fruit to bake with. Have you ever baked an apple cake? Every fall I create my famous apple cake for the holidays. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I have not. But my mother-in-law has... I need to get her recipe. :) They are deliciously moist.

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  7. I have recently discovered a new kind of apple here in San Antonio. It's called Cosmic Crisp, and is very large, crisp and juicy - delicious! Do you have a favorite apple? bobandcelia@sbcglobal.net

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    1. It depends on the purpose. I love very sweet apples with peanut butter - one of my favorite snacks - but I guess the same for pies - so I don't have to add extra sugar... okay, just really sweet apples. Probably Fuji and Gala - but it's amazing to see how many different types of apples there are. It's almost like choosing a wine with the different notes, etc.

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  9. You answered my question as to what type of apple you recommend.
    There is such a wide variety. It's marvelous.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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  10. This sounds delicious. I also like desserts that aren't too sweet. Living in Minnesota, we visit the apple orchard every fall. My 2 year old granddaughter loves apples!🍎

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  11. Welcome, Esme! Our readers love debut authors -- and congrats on the Agatha Best First nomination! The recipe looks terrific.

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  12. Welcome and congrats on your Agatha nomination. As a 100% Pole, I left a comment above about my favorite Polish dish. ~Maya

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    1. I didn't know you were Polish. :) We should do a chat about Polish food. I would love to do a deep dive into the food I feature in my series and get your take.

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  13. Esme, that apple pie recipe looks delicious. Cinnamon-y but not overly sweet. Who in your family is Polish? Who did you learn Polish cooking from?
    patdupuy@yahoo.com

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    1. My husband was born in Poland but moved to the US as a tween. His parents have since moved back to Poland but I learned 100% of my recipes from my mother-in-law. Although he did teach me how to properly cut and grill kielbasa with onions to his liking. :)

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  14. When I visited relatives in Poland in 2019 they showed me the apple orchards and talked about the importance of apples. I hadn't known that before! If you were able to visit Poland, aside from visiting family, where would you like to go and what would be the food you'd want to eat first?

    cozyupwithkathy@gmail.com

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    1. We went to Poland a few years ago - I think 2019 also. We were there for 3 weeks, so a nice slow visit and spent time in Krakow, Warsaw and Białystok (where my in-laws live). When we first got there we ate ALL the Polish food. But in our last few days, we had pizza, seafood, American and Chinese. lol

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  15. This sounds excellent. I love a good apple recipe. Have you ever been to Poland? Do you have any favorite places there or places you want to visit?

    kozo8989(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. I've visited Krakow, Warsaw and Białystok. I love visiting the castles and royal grounds but also seeing the rural villages and beautiful countryside.

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  16. Can you substitute the butter with anything?

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  17. Big on apples...do you make apple jelly or Apple butter? We did every summer when my grandfather had several trees.

    Virginia Maynard
    Vhmaynard65@gmail.com

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    1. I do make jam. It's on my to-do list to make apple butter... maybe this fall. Here's a pic of raspberry jam I made last summer. https://www.instagram.com/p/CE43lcTAhok/

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  18. This sounds so yummy, Esme. Welcome to the blog!

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  20. What was the first mystery series or author you remember reading as a child or youth?

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. Even though I love Nancy Drew, I think Encyclopedia Brown was the first. I recently listened to the audiobook of those stories with my sons - and that was one clever boy. And solving mysteries so fast!

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  21. Do you cook many Polish dishes? I'm Polish and I don't cook many Polish dishes, but we weren't raised with many Polish dishes. I usually but6my dumplings and pierogis from the Polish deli. Looking forward to reading about the mermaid myth in the story.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Not that many but I EAT many Polish dishes when my mother-in-law is visiting. :) I will never cook her dishes as good as her so my hubs doesn't want me to try. lol Though he does love many of my other dishes - and I get it - who can cook like mama? But it's still fun to try especially with desserts which is usually what I attempt to make.

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  22. What is your favorite Polish memory as a child? I too am Polish and remember all the food we ate and the holiday traditions. (akallas@loyola.edu: AnnaLouise Kallas)

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    1. I'm not Polish so I don't have any childhood memories of that but I would say visiting Poland for three weeks and having my children meet Polish great-aunts and uncles and cousins they'd never met was memorable.

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  23. I don't have a question. But, I definitely want to try this pie recipe. Thank you.

    kvmatlock (at) gmail (dot) com

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  24. What is your favorite memory as a military spouse? aut1063(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. There are so many - that's a good question. I'd say one that stands out was flying to the island of Okinawa, getting off the plane and realizing we were going to live on a gorgeous, sunny tropical island for three years. It was a really beautiful place to live.

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    2. Congratulations, Autumn. You've been selected as the winner for my giveaway. Lookout for my email!

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  25. Did you always want to write cozy mysteries and how old were you when you started writing? Cozies are really fun to read! lindaherold999(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I started writing stories in elementary school. I didn't discover cozy mysteries as a reader until around 2012-ish and I really enjoyed them. It wasn't until a few years ago that I realized I wanted to write my own.

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  26. What is your favorite book? Thanks for the chance!

    jarjm1980(at)hotmail(com)

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