We all change our menus as the seasons come and go. I'd never think to make beef stew in the summer or have a yen for a pineapple-mango smoothie in December (unless I was lounging by a pool in Puetro Vallarta).
So when a local restaurant alters its menu, my tastebuds go into high gear. The Pie Pantry in downtown Belleville, with Tim Faultus and Chef Ellie Miller concocting, are now offering fall menu items like white chicken chili, turkey, brie and pear sandwich and a green salad with grilled chicken, cranberrie, pears and pecans.
Of course, no one can leave The Pie Pantry without pie. Here's one of the fall recipes you can make at home, or simply order by the slice or the whole pie.
And check back next week for more fall apple recipes in this section.
Sour Cream Apple Pie
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
5 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
5 tablespoons cold shortening
4 to 6 tablespoons apple cider
2/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
5 to 6 tart apples, peeled and sliced
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts
1. Crust: Sift flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon into bowl. Cut in the butter and shortening with a fork until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Moisten with just enough apple cider, tossing ingredients lightly with fork. Form dough into a ball. Wrap and refrigerate 2 hours.
2. Reserve 1/3 of the dough and return it to the refrigerator. Roll out the other 2/3 and press into a 9-inch pie pan.
3. Filling: Whisk all filling ingredients except apples in a bowl. Add apples then spoon into the pie shell.
4. Topping: Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over filling.
5. Roll out remaining dough from refrigerator and cut into strips and arrange in a lattice fashion over topping; trim ends and crimp.
6. Bake pie in center of preheated 350-degree oven until juices are bubbling and the apples are tender, 55-60 minutes.
If you're like me, you're still picking veggies out of the garden. Try this yummy dish as a main course. Use any vegetables that you'd like. This recipe is from food blog ohsweetbasil.com.
Easy Garden Skillet
6 turkey meatballs, cooked and chopped, optional
1 small to medium zucchini, chopped
3/4 cup sugar sweet or sunshine tomatoes
3/4 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
1 heirloom tomato, chopped
1/3 cup marinara sauce
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
Olive oil and salt and pepper
Basil, chopped, optional
Drizzle a little olive oil in a skillet and heat to medium heat. Add the zucchini and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute for one minute and add the meatballs, tomatoes and sauce. Cook until the tomatoes are big and bursting, zucchini is tender and everything is hot. Sprinkle with cheese and add the lid to help melt the cheese, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Serve with fresh basil and more salt and pepper if needed.
Here's how to reach me: Phone, 239-2664; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org; or write, Suzanne Boyle, Belleville News-Democrat, P.O. Box 427, 120 S. Illinois St., Belleville, IL 62222-0427.