No, no, I didn't drop off the face of the earth! My three month absence from the blogosphere can be easily explained. Basically, I was without a kitchen - no kitchen, therefore no baking. See? But now I'm back and making up for lost time. Thanks to all of you who haven't given up on me.
This Thanksgiving I hosted fourteen of my family. If ever there was a reason to freak out that may have been it. Luckily, with some pre-planning, preparation and lots of help from my mom and sisters things went as smooth as could be. The 19-lb turkey was brined and roasted in three hours using a fantastic Cook's Illustrated recipe. I've made it for the last few years and it always comes out absolutely delicious - so plump and juicy with super crispy skin every single time.
As for Thanksgiving dessert, pumpkin pie is my all-time favorite but apple is definitely the runner-up. I had been waiting to make CI's Deep Dish Apple Pie specifically for this occasion. The recipe can be found at their online cooking school. [You may recall that I was lucky enough to win a 1-year scholarship to the school many months ago. I highly recommend checking it out if you're really interested in learning to cook or becoming a better cook].
The crust uses vodka along with water to make it super flaky and pre-cooking the apples on the stove avoids the common issue of a soggy filling. Accompanied with vanilla ice cream it was absolute bliss.