Thanksgiving is almost here, and this is the time to plan your fabulous dinner. If you’re like me, with all the prep for the turkey, appetizers, and side dishes the desserts on Thanksgiving are an afterthought. We have them but not much planning and making is going to create a perfect dessert to go with dinner. As a result, you pick your desserts up from the bakery.

This harvest apple pie is worth planning for. This pie is delicious and will be a great dessert for your Thanksgiving table.

Whether you pick your own or leave that up to your favorite supermarket, Jersey fresh apples are a staple in many fall recipes, especially when it comes to making a tasty pie. Select the Jersey Fresh apples for this recipe.

I enjoy a nice slice of a good apple pie. Not being a great baker, I have left that recipe up to the professionals, great home cooks who have been honing their recipes.

This recipe comes from Cindy Bott of Lawrenceville and after tasting her apple pie I knew I had to add it to my first cookbook. Cindy writes how this recipe came about:

The pie crust recipe is a family tradition beginning with my grandmother (from Riverdale, NJ). The apple pie filling recipe represents many years of apple-picking at Jersey's best apple orchards and finding just the right combination of ingredients to make the best pie!

Well, thank you, Cindy, I can’t describe how good this pie tastes. I was looking forward to tasting this pie when we had some of our listeners show up for the recipe photos in my sold-out cookbook, Cindy made the pie for the photo shoot, and we all had a little taste. It’s the best apple pie I ever tasted! (Sorry Alice, my niece) Great dessert and thanks for sharing it with New Jersey.

For the filling you'll need:

6 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples* (*Use fresh-picked apples from your local farmer/orchard. They will identify the season's best for baking, usually Wine Sap, Rome, etc.)
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp. flour
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. nutmeg (optional)
1 tbsp. lemon juice

For the pie crust you'll need:

1/4 tsp. butter
1 1/2 cups flour
1 three-ounce package cream cheese
A pinch of salt

How to put it all together:

Prepare pie crust first: Mix ingredients together. Do not knead. Divide dough in half (for bottom and top pastry). Roll flat and thin. Line a 9-inch pie pan with the bottom pastry. Set aside.

Prepare filling next: Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all the filling ingredients. Mix lightly. Spoon into pastry-lined pan. Top with remaining pastry. Fold the edge of the top pastry under the bottom pastry. Press together to seal and flute the edge.

Cut slits in several places in the top pastry (center and several diagonals). Sprinkle additional sugar lightly over the top of the pie.

Bake at 425 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until the apples are tender and the crust is golden brown. Cover the edges of the pie crust after the first 15 minutes to prevent overcooking. Place on cookie sheet to prevent spillage. One pie provides about 8 servings.

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The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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