We are a group of home bakers helping each other to achieve baking perfection.  Baking partners was begun by Swathi at Zesty South Indian Kitchen.   In order to achieve the best results, a perfect recipe and the right techniques are required.  We are a small group of home bakers, who love to bake and want to learn more about the tips and secrets of baking and baking well.  We are planning to try out recipes from books/magazines and cooking shows.  Every member gets a chance to present their choice of recipe and share important points with the rest of the group. The main purpose of this group is to learn the techniques, critic procedures if there are ways to improve and to eat delicious food.  

This month we had 3 choices and I found the time to make 2 of them.  I also got to pick one that I’d been dying to make, Upside Down Apple Pie.  We LOVED it!! The one thing I am going to do different next time is make them all individual pies – more crust and gooey wonderfulness that way.

UPSIDE DOWN APPLE PIE Yield: 8 servings.
original recipe from Taste of Home

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons shortening (Crisco stick)
2 tablespoons cold butter
5 to 7 tablespoons orange juice

6 tablespoons butter, melted, divided
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
1 cup Imperial Sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (sifted)
1/2 teaspoon rum extract (optional)
1/2 teaspoon maple extract (optional)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
8 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (I like honey crisp or Granny Smith) (about 1/8-inch thick)

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 to 3 teaspoons orange juice

  • In a large bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in shortening and butter until crumbly.
  • Gradually add orange juice, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball.
  • Divide dough into two balls. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Line a 9-in. deep-dish pie plate with heavy-duty foil, leaving 1-1/2 in. beyond edge; coat the foil with cooking spray.
  • Combine 4 tablespoons butter, brown sugar and nuts; spoon into prepared pie plate.
  • In a large bowl, combine the apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and remaining butter; toss gently.
  • On waxed paper, roll out one ball of pastry to fit pie plate.
  • Place pastry over nut mixture, pressing firmly against mixture and sides of plate; trim to 1 in. beyond plate edge.
  • Fill with apple mixture.
  • Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pie; place over filling. Trim to 1/4 in. beyond plate edge.
  • Fold bottom pastry over top pastry; seal and flute edges. Cut four 1-in. slits in top pastry.
  • Bake at 375° for 50-55 minutes or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown (cover edges with foil during the last 20 minutes to prevent over browning).
  • Cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack. Invert onto a serving platter; carefully remove foil. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over pie. 


note: I made these as individual pies and they were a HUGE hit.  I also made a few changes based on what I had on hand or available locally.  One of my changes was to hide the mushrooms from hubby.  He swears he hates cooked mushrooms, but I’ve gotten quite crafty at disguises them visibly while keeping their flavor.
adapted from


  • 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  • 1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 medium onions, chopped, divided I used 1 large onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped, divided
  • 5 whole black peppercorns plus freshly ground black pepper I used Indonesian White pepper
  • 5 sprigs thyme I used Penzeys French thyme, 1 teaspoon
  • 2 bay leaves I omitted
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), cut into 2″ pieces
  • Kosher salt I used Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 8 medium button mushrooms, stemmed and finely chopped I used Marx Foods dehydrated Chanterelle rehydrated in the white wine
  • I added a celery stalk, sliced and
  • I added a large carrot, sliced to disguise the mushrooms from hubby
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine I used Savignon Blanc
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground pork
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup grated, peeled russet potato I used Yukon Gold
  • All-purpose flour (for surface)
  • 1 large egg yolk, beaten to blend


  • A 9″-diameter deep-dish glass or ceramic pie dish
  • Directions:


  • Pulse flour, butter, and salt in a food processor until pea-size pieces of butter form. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add 1/4 cup ice water and stir just until shaggy clumps form, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dry. Divide dough in half; flatten each half into a disk. Wrap disks in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD:Dough can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.


  • Preheat oven to 325°. Combine broth, 1/2 chopped onion, 1 chopped garlic clove, whole peppercorns, thyme, and bay leaves in a medium pot. Add pork shoulder; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Cover pot. Transfer to oven; braise until pork shoulder is tender and shreds easily, about 2 hours. Remove from oven; let cool.
  • Transfer pork shoulder to a work surface. Shred meat with your fingers and transfer to a medium bowl. Strain pan juices through a fine-mesh sieve; add 1/2 cup juices to pork; discard solids in strainer.
  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add remaining 1 chopped onion and 3 chopped garlic cloves; cook, stirring often, until soft, 5–7 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring often, until almost all liquid is evaporated, 5–7 minutes. Add wine; stir, scraping up browned bits. Bring to a boil; cook, stirring often, until liquid is almost evaporated, about 5 minutes.
  • Add ground pork, cinnamon, and cloves. Cook, stirring to break up into small pieces, until pork is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add potato. Cook until potato is soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in shredded pork with juices. Season to taste with salt and pepper; let cool slightly. Chill until cold, about 1 hour.DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep chilled.
  • Roll out 1 dough disk on a lightly floured surface into a 12″ round. Transfer to pie dish, leaving overhang. Fill with cooled meat mixture. Roll out remaining dough disk into a 10″ round. Place dough over meat filling. Fold overhang over top crust and crimp edges. Brush crust with egg yolk. Cut three 2″ slits in top crust. Chill for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 400°. Bake tourtiere for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°; bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling, 40–50 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes before serving.