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November 23, 2011

Since I’m a cooking instructor at an upscale grocery store it’s only natural that the pace would start amping up as we near the holidays. The chefs from downstairs will come upstairs to visit with us while we’re prepping to take a breather from the 800 lbs of gravy they’re constantly tending. And us, well…we may not be making 800 lbs of gravy, but prepping enough fillings and pie crusts for 21 people to bring home 2 pies each is more of an endeavor than it sounds like.

Our menu tonight was:

Mile High apple Pie

Sweet Potato and Bourbon Cranberry Pie

Dried Fruit Tart

Chocolate Pecan Pie

My prep duties were to work on the apples. If anyone has made one apple pie they know that there is a lot of peeling, coring, slicing, and mixing involved. I peeled, cored, and sliced 72 apples (a case). I am convinced I have developed carpal tunnel. But the pie turned out beautiful and my group absolutely loved making the lattices.

Next up was the Sweet Potato and Bourbon Cranberries. Beforehand we had to soak the dried cranberries in bourbon…and when you strain those suckers you have the makings of a fabulous cocktail I tell you what…Overall, I would have to say this one wasn’t my favorite and it didn’t look all that pretty. It was kind of like the ugly half-cousin you really don’t want to be a bridesmaid in your wedding but your mom insists so you make it work.

The Dried Fruit Tart sounds plain but it had to be my favorite of the whole group. We re-hydrated a plethora of dried fruits from blueberries and apricots to papayas and peaches in apple cider (It probably would have been even better if we added that left-over bourbon). After re-hydrating we combined the mixture with fresh baking apples, dark brown sugar, flour, spices, and vanilla. It thickened up beautifully and bubbled right up through the lovely lattice work with little dough apples, pineapples, cherries, and turkeys my group created. I am definitely going to play with this recipe.

And last, but certainly not least, Chocolate Pecan Pie! I think everyone was most excited for this one and it took the longest to bake. I have never seen so many grown-ups hovering around an oven with the light on watching the chocolate chips melt and praying the pie would set up faster.Well, pecan pie takes it’s time, so tomorrow I may get to take home a pie.

All those pies took a pretty long time and we didn’t get out of there until 10:30 pm. I have to be back at 8:00 am tomorrow to get ready for our Thanksgiving Sides classes. So what do I do with my precious little amount of time until I have to get back to work? Well, I poured myself a little old vine Zinfandel, broke off a piece of Gorgonzola and proceeded to prep the recipes for more turkey leftover ideas to post tomorrow morning. Don’t miss it!


From → The Good Stuff

One Comment
  1. Karen permalink

    The Dried Fruit Tart /does/ sound like it would be the best one

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