There is not much that can make a house feel like a ‘warm home’ like the smell of a home-made apple pie baking in the oven. That is probably why when perspective buyers are to walk through a home, the advice usually starts with “bake an apple pie”. Hence the Housewarming Apple Pie! As I have mentioned in past posts, my husband and I have listed our home and what better smell to have wafting through it than this? Absolutely none!
As part of ‘Home Month’ I thought I would list out some great open house tips like these for those of you who might be thinking of listing your home and then we can get right to the business of baking this beautiful autumn treat! Whether you are working with a realtor, which I highly recommend, or listing yourself, these tips are invaluable when presenting what you want people to envision as their next home…
10 TIPS FOR YOUR NEXT OPEN HOUSE:
1. Bake an apple pie or simmer some apple cider with cinnamon sticks on the stove. Smell is one of those senses that are almost subliminal in helping people to feel comfortable in a situation.
2. Clean up. One might think this is self-explanatory, but sometimes we are blind to the “clutter” spots in our own homes, get those too!
3. Play some soft music, think ambiance.
4. Leave. Your realtor should tell you this, but perspective buyers normally won’t feel comfortable if you are hanging around. If you don’t have a realtor, find a trusted friend to handle the open house for you and have them gather information from anyone who tours the home on a sheet of paper with their realtor’s information.
5. Take pets with you. You want people to feel comfortable and even if you have the friendliest animal in the world, you still don’t want Fido panting up someone’s leg. Not to mention you never know what people’s allergies are.
6. Set your dining room table. This helps people to visualize themselves eating dinner in your home.
7. Turn on lights. You want to be sure people can see what they are looking for without searching out light switches. Seems basic, but sometimes very over looked.
8. Let in as much natural light as possible. The more curtains and blinds you can open the better. Natural light tends to make a home feel more open.
9. Make sure people know about it. I can’t stress this enough. Advertize the open house at least one week in advance. Utilize sites like Craigslist, Yahoo Classifieds and Recycler.com. Utilize social media, put your MLS listing with pictures up and advertize the date and time a week ahead asking that friends share the information. Then a couple of days ahead of time, place signs in your neighborhood directing people to your home.
10. Don’t forget about curb appeal. Remember, the first thing people see when they get to your home is the front door and the outside of your home. Be sure your lawn is mowed. Be sure toys are tidy if you have children. And add a pretty touch like the Autumn Wreath we made last week!
Whether you plan on making this home-made apple pie for your next open house, to bring to a housewarming party for someone with a new home or just to enjoy around your family table, you won’t be disappointed with the outcome! You could purchase a ready-made pie crust, but in case you are looking for the full effect, I will start off by taking you through a super tender and delicious home-made crust that can be used for virtually any pie!
And even better than this is Alla-Mode!
Housewarming Apple PieServes 6-10
7-9 large apples, different varieties, peeled, cored and sliced
1/3 cup corn starch
2/3 cup sugar
1 Tbs. cinnamon
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp Allspice
1/8 tsp. fresh nutmeg, ground
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
Ingredients for Pie Crust:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, diced
1/3 cup cold butter flavored shortening, cubed
2 Tbs. sugar, divided
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup cold water
1 egg yolk, beaten with splash of water
Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Prepare pie crust first and refrigerate while preparing filling.
To prepare crust: Place flour in a large bowl. Add in butter, shortening, 1 Tbs. sugar, and salt. Cut together with a pastry cutter until crumbly. Add in water, mix with wooden spoon until water is absorbed fully. Finish bringing dough together quickly with hands. Avoid touching with warm hands as much as possible. Divide dough, form into two discs and refrigerate until ready for use.
For the apple filling: Add apple slices into a large pot on the stove. Add in corn starch, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and stir. Turn on heat to medium and add butter, stir. Heat for 5 minutes stirring a few times to distribute the ingredients as they melt. Add in juice of half a lemon, sitr again. Heat for another two minutes and remove from heat.
Roll out the pie dough. Place one half in pie plate, fill with apple filling and lay the second rolled dough on top. Pinch together edges and form a seal then make into a pretty crust edging. Place vent holes on top of the crust to allow steam out. Brush top with egg wash (1 beaten egg yolk with splash of water) and sprinkle with the remaining 1 Tbs. sugar.
Bake for 45-50 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool for at least one hour before serving.