With the temperatures dropping and the leaves falling, I’m looking to get cozy. I have pulled out my wool socks and oversized sweaters. The apple cider is in the fridge. I am so very ready for fall. To me, fall always feels like a time of renewal. The start of a school year, a new program year at my work, and the crisp air always make me feel equal parts nostalgic and hopeful.
One of my favorite ways to warm the house during the cooler months is by baking. My personal favorite baked good is anything that comes in a pie dish. So, dust off your rolling pin, because today, I’m sharing my favorite cozy recipes for fall that are all served in a pie dish.
Before I link you to some recipes, let me tell you about my relationship with pie. Yes, it’s serious and yes, we’ve made it Facebook official. Pie and I have been exclusive dessert loves for as long as I can remember. Our love only deepened when I discovered savory pies and quiche and realized that I could eat pie for every meal.
My love language is pie. Pie is the thing I go to for comfort. When I eat a pie, it’s like a giant hug from my mom.
It’s how I often express love to family and friends, too. If you have a baby, I’ll bring you a pot pie. Promotion at work? Chocolate cream pie for you. Invite me to a summer barbecue and I’m bound to bring my signature, Four Berry Pie. When I am really struggling with life, I’m bound to do two things, in this order: dye my hair purple and then bake a pie.
My family doesn’t have many heirlooms, but there is a rolling pin, passed down from my father’s grandmother to my mom. It doesn’t go to the next generation, but rather to the best baker of pie. I have been in training for that rolling pin since I was a pre-teen. I can remember spending Thanksgiving morning watching my mother roll out pie crust. On hot, humid summer evenings, she would fill the crust with freshly picked berries from the backyard, the smell of the lake still in our hair. I would study her moves carefully on chilly, September afternoons as she prepared the annual birthday pie for my brother. Now, when I make pies, as I roll the crust and prepare it for baking, I think about my mom. I think about her mom and my dad’s mom. I think about his grandmother, who I never met. For me, the act of baking the pie is just as sweet as eating it. It’s a way to connect with the generations of strong women who made me.
Now, throw on your favorite record, brew some tea, and put on some cozy socks because it’s time to get autumnal. Here are my favorite four cozy recipes for fall that you can put in a pie dish.
Mom’s Apple Pie
A lot of people ask me for my apple pie recipe. The secret is that there really is no secret at all. I use my mom’s recipe, which is actually Betty Crocker’s recipe. As it turns out, many of our “family recipes” are actually Betty Crocker recipes. Who knew? As mama says, “Betty Crocker… swear by her, not at her!”
Both of our cookbooks’ bindings are permanently creased to the recipes for double 10” crust and apple pie. My personal twist on this recipe is that I substitute half of the white sugar for brown sugar, and don’t peel the apples. I also always use McIntosh apples.
Nutmeg-Maple Cream Pie
This pie is a showstopper in the taste department. It’s super-rich, so just a sliver will do. Though if you’re like me, you can’t just eat one and will keep going back for more. My cousin brought it to Thanksgiving about 15 years ago and I’ve been making it ever since. I’ve found that the trick to making this recipe truly successful is to use high-quality syrup and always blind bake the crust. Blind baking is a process that involves pre-cooking your crust to avoid the disastrous soggy bottom. (Please read with your best Great British Baking Show voice).
Turkey Pot Pie
I love pot pie, but I didn’t know it until I’d met my husband. Chicken pot pie is his favorite food and I make it often enough that I have the recipe memorized. Do you know what I love more than chicken pot pie, though? Turkey pot pie. Take your favorite chicken pot pie recipe and substitute turkey for the chicken and voila! It’s even better with Thanksgiving leftovers. I’ve been known to make a turkey pot pie that used some leftover green bean casserole, roasted root veggies, and pearl onions in the filling. I need my stretchy pants and a nap on the couch just thinking about it!
End of Summer Crisp
What I love about my new favorite fall recipe is that it’s perfect for September. You can use the last of the berry harvest and first of the apple harvest to make a colorful and flavorful dessert. Or breakfast. I’ve definitely had it for breakfast.
For the Topping:
- 1 ½ cups quick oats
- 1 cup flour
- ⅔ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Dash of group nutmeg
For the Filling:
- 4 large apples, washed, cored, and sliced
- 1 cup frozen mixed berries
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- Heat oven to 350 degrees
- Combine ingredients for the topping and set aside.
- Combine filling ingredients. Spoon into a deep pie dish, at least 9”.
- Evenly cover the apple mixture with topping.
- Bake for 45 minutes
- Serve warm with vanilla ice cream