Many people will enjoy the harvest and gather with family over the long weekend, enjoying good food and practising gratitude for everything the fall has to offer. Here are two recipes from Georgian chefs to help you celebrate with your loved ones.
Chef Borgo’s fall apple pie recipe
Yield: One nine inch pie
Ingredients (pie crust)
- 500g of pastry flour
- 375g of lard or butter
- 190 ml of cold water
- 10g of salt
- 25g of brown sugar
Ingredients (apple pie)
- pie dough
- 6 apples
- lemon zest
- 125g of granulated sugar
- 90g of brown sugar
- 25g of cornstarch
- 2g of cinnamon powder
- 30g of cold melted butter
Preparation method (pie crust)
- Rub lard into the flour, until the mixture is ‘pie sized’ in shape.
- In a separate bowl, add salt and brown sugar to the cold water.
- Pour the liquid into the flour/fat crumble and mix until it resembles a smooth dough.
- Allow the dough to rest for 20 to 30 minutes in a cold fridge.
Variation: Butter can be used instead of lard
Preparation method (apple pie)
- Peel apples, using a peeler in order to prevent the waste of apples and to retain the maximum amount of pectin (which is concentrated under the skin) and cut into one inch pieces.
- Mix the lemon zest, sugar, brown sugar, cornstarch, melted butter and cinnamon powder with the apples to create your filling.
- Roll out the dough, dusting your roller and surface with flour to prevent tearing. Brush off excess flour.
- Cut out the dough into two even disks, 1 inch larger than the pie plate. Since you are working with a nine inch pie plate, cut two 10 inch disks for the bottom and top of your pie.
- Place the bottom layer of your crust into the pie plate. Press firmly into dish so there are no air bubbles.
- Fill the pie with your apple mixture in the centre of the pie. Don’t worry as it cooks the pie mixture will spread out more evenly in the plate.
- Cover the filling with the second pastry disk, sealing the edges with your fingers or a fork.
- Cut a small whole on the top of the crust to allow the steam to escape.
- Create an egg wash using eggs and water at a 1:1 ratio, brushing it lightly on the top crust before baking in order to create uniform colour.
- Bake at 180 degrees Celsius (360 degrees Fahrenheit) for approximately 50 minutes until golden brown.
- Allow the pie to cool and then serve with your choice of Ontario blue cheese or aged cheddar, clotted cream, warm maple custard or cinnamon ice cream.
Chef Leach’s sage and onion stuffing recipe
Yield: to fill 1 large bird
- 1/2 loaf of white bread, cut into cubes
- 200 g of spanish onions, finely diced and lightly sautéed
- 16 fresh sage leaves, chopped
- 9 g of fresh curly parsley, chopped
- 2 eggs
- 300 ml of chicken or vegetable stock
- 120 ml of melted butter, unsalted
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place all the ingredients into a bowl and fold together.
- Fill the turkey cavity with mixture (front and back).
- Roast the turkey in the oven – after the first hour, baste every 20 mins. I like to start at 375 degrees for 30 mins, then turn down to 300 degrees until turkey reaches the internal temperature of 160 degrees.
- Allow the turkey to rest for 30 to 40 mins after removal from oven.
- Remove the stuffing and place into a serving dish.
- Slice turkey thinly, to serve.
Variation: Stuffing may also be placed in an oiled baking dish and baked in one batch.
Chef Leach’s top five tips to prepare the perfect turkey
1. Buy about one pound of raw turkey per person
People tend to buy either too much or too little turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. To get it just right, you want to buy about one pound of raw product per guest.
2. Measure the temperature of the whole bird – including the stuffing
Some turkeys come with a pop-up turkey timer – a little plastic gadget that you insert into the flesh, that’s supposed to pop up when the bird is cooked. These timers aren’t reliable. Most people stuff their turkeys. Stuffing is delicious! But stuffing changes the dynamic of how pop-up timers work. The best way to see if your turkey is fully cooked is to insert a thermometer all the way into the center, so that it reaches the stuffing and the juices inside
3. Remove your turkey from the oven a bit earlier than you think
A turkey is fully cooked when it reaches 165 degrees, but I take mine out at 160 degrees because turkey has a 5- to 10-degree carryover after it is removed from the oven.
4. Allow for a 30-40 minute resting period
Don’t slice and serve your turkey as soon as it’s out of the oven. If you start slicing it right away, the juices will run out of it and it’ll taste dry. I recommend a 30-40 minute resting period, uncovered and out of the oven, before serving. If your bird is going to rest for an hour or more, cover it with a lid or foil to keep it warm.
5. Don’t buy pre-made stuffing
Stuffing can really make your dish, and it doesn’t have to be complicated to prepare. A little fresh sage and some eggs can go a long way. Here’s my stuffing recipe, to get you started.
Chef Leach has been a Georgian faculty member since 2007. His varied background includes working as a chef in exclusive restaurants and hotels in England, as well as numerous high-end private golf clubs in Canada. He specializes in bread, cheese and wine making. In 2009, he was named Chef of the Year by the Muskoka and District Chef’s Association, of which is he is an active member.
Chef Leach’s stuffing recipe and turkey tips were originally posted in October 2018. Chef Borgo’s pie recipe was published in October 2019. These recipes were combined into a single post and re-shared in October 2021.