I am thrilled to say that I have been a Grandma and Bill a Grandpa since 4:25 a.m. Thursday, February 10th! This is our first grandchild and we are looking forward to many years of loving and spoiling him.
Our younger son Matt, and his wife, Kathy, are the proud parents of Matthew, who weighed in at 6 pounds, 6 ounces and is 19 inches long. He’s tiny, adorable and perfect.
Mom and baby, and Dad also, are doing great and I know Matt and Kathy will be wonderful loving parents. The world is already a better place now that Matthew has arrived!
He is the absolute best Valentine’s Day gift ever! And speaking of Valentine’s Day, I have a great recipe for a Valentine’s Day treat!
Maybe you’ve heard of or even enjoyed Appalachian stack cake. It’s usually filled with dried apples and lots of spices. With wedding cakes being so expensive, the legend goes that stack cake was a community-baked wedding cake. The dough for the cake was rolled into 9-inch very thin layers and baked in cast-iron skillets. Each family attending an Appalachian wedding baked one of the 6-12 cake layers and carried it to the wedding. The bride’s family was in charge of cooking the apple filling and assembling all the layers into the finished cake. It is a practical wedding cake that supposedly took 3 hours or more to make.
A modernized version of it was in the Chicago Tribune the other day. It’s made with pie crust dough, resulting in 3-inch miniature Appalachian stack pies, instead of stack cakes. Practical, delicious and easier to make!
The filling takes about 30-60 minutes to cook, so it could be made the night before you want to serve the dessert. The rest is easy as it uses one roll-and-bake pie crust from the refrigerated section of the market. Cut a dozen 3-inch pastry circles; it’s enough for 4 sweet pie stacks that look pretty also! Serve them immediately after stacking them or the crisp pastry rounds will get soggy and your stack will topple.
Appalachian Spiced Apple Stack Pie
1 roll-and-bake ready-made pie crust
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 package (6-ounces) dried apples
2½ cups water
1 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon allspice
Pinch each: sea salt and ground nutmeg
½ cup cream, whipped, optional
For pie circles:
Heat oven to 450 degrees.
Roll out crust and cut into 12 three-inch circles.
Place on parchment lined baking sheet.
Prick each circle several times with a fork.
Mix sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl and sprinkle a little on each pastry circle.
Bake until golden, about 5 minutes.
Remove sheet to cooling rack.
For apple filling:
Place dried apples in microwave-safe bowl with 1 cup of the water and ½ cup of the apple juice concentrate.
Cover bowl and microwave 10 minutes.
Pour apple mixture into a saucepan, cook over medium heat, gradually adding remaining 1½ cups of the water and ½ cup of the apple juice concentrate as liquids reduce.
Cook until apples are soft and the liquid has reduced, about 40 minutes.
Add the spices and salt; cook stirring often, until liquid has reduced to a small amount of syrup, 10 minutes.
Remove spiced apples from heat.
Place a round of pastry on each of 4 plates.
Spoon some of the apple filling onto each round.
Top each with another round of pastry.
Spoon on more apple filling.
Top with third pastry round.
Spoon a small dollop of whipped cream on top.
These little pies are perfect ~ however you stack ‘em!
Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!
Welcome to the world and our family, darling baby Matthew!