One of our favorite ways to spend an autumn weekend afternoon is to fill the kitchen with the warm aromas of buttery pastry, juicy apples, and spicy cinnamon. Get your hands on a bushel of apples and bake up a pie, crisp, crumble, or tart.
The layered finish that tops this apple pie from our Pies & Tarts book is created by shingling the leaves. Pastry cutouts in any shape can be arranged in this manner; here, a flurry of leaves accentuates the pie's autumnal nature.
Blueberry pie is a perfect summer dessert. Yes, it's pie; but blueberries are one of the healthiest foods around, and they require no pitting or peeling. Just remove twigs and leaves and refrigerate until ready to rinse, pat dry, and serve -- or add to your blueberry pie recipe. Recipe adapted from "Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook," Clarkson Potter, 2005.
You can substitute whiskey, rum, or rye for the bourbon. If you cannot find all-butter puff pastry, you can use other types of puff pastry and bake at 400 degrees. The apple filling can be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator; bring to room temperature before using.