Duchess Apple Pie

I have a craving for a dutch apple pie. But of course I have to be fancy and I can’t just have any old dutch apple pie. So today I made: a duchess apple pie. What’s this you may ask? Well, first we have to define the term “duchess”. According to Merriam-Webster, a duchess is a commoner that marries into “royalty”. So basically a duchess is just a regular person, just like you and me!

But none of us are just ordinary people. We are all so unique and individual. We have different likes and dislikes, we have different style, and our names may be the same but none of us are exactly alike! One thing is for sure, baking and food can bring us together in a magical sort of way. In creating this recipe I added a little something extra, to open up our palette and bring us all together in a flavorful way.

The addition of garam masala pairs so so well with the apples. It’s a warming spice that effortlessly mixes with the other flavors in the pie. The almond extract may seem out of place, but I assure you it isn’t. It just helps to bring out those nutty flavors and adds a mysterious, yet familiar subtlety to the spice shower the apples get. It’s just a slight change but can have a big impact with our flavor profiles. This duchess apple pie really is something special. I urge you to make the pie; share it with your friends, family and neighbors and be kind!! No matter what is happening in the world know that we are ALL united through food 🙂 Scroll through for the recipe!


@mccormick @nielsenmassey


1 refrigerated pie crust of your choice (leave on the counter for a bit to soften)

Ingredients for the filling:

7 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced (I like a mix of tart and sweet and used Granny Smith and Gala)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

3 T all-purpose flour

1 t cinnamon

1/8 t garam masala

1/8 t nutmeg

1/4 t pink himalayan salt

1/4 t almond extract

1 T lemon juice

Ingredients for the crumb topping:

1/3 cup cold butter, cubed into small pieces

3 T butter melted

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 t cinnamon

1/8 t garam masala


Preheat oven to 400°. Carefully place your pie crust on a 9 inch pie plate. Crimp the edges of pie however you fancy! Poke bottom and sides of crust with a fork.

Place your sliced apples in a large bowl. Add all of your filling ingredients by order listed above and mix until the apples are well coated in their spice shower. Pile those apples high in to the pie crust doming them slightly more in the center. Don’t worry if it seems very high, the apples will cook and the pie will sink a bit during baking. Set to the side.

In another medium size bowl, add your 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 3/4 packed brown sugar, 1/2 t cinnamon, 1/8 t garam masala and stir to combine. Add the 1/3 cup cold butter cubes and mix until you get crumbs. I started with a fork and switched to my hands, using a squeezing motion to form the crumbs. In another small bowl, melt 3 T butter. Add melted butter to the crumb mixture and stir. The crumb topping should resemble wet sand with chunks. Top your apples with crumbs evenly. Bake pie 55 minutes. Halfway through baking, around the 25 minute mark, cover your pie loosely with tin foil. This is so your crumbs don’t burn! Transfer your pie to a cooling rack on the counter and let it cool for a couple of hours. Cut yourself a slice worthy for a duchess and top with a big scoop of vanilla bean ice cream! Enjoy!! Let me know if you try this, and how you liked the addition of garam masala and almond extract.

Banana Almond Pancakes

Pancakes. We all love them, but they’re not the most healthy food in the breakfast chain. I love to eat them, but always get that “my pants are too tight, I must unbutton” feeling after consumption. These are a refreshing addition to the many healthy options out there. They leave you feeling energized and ready to start your day, but not over the top full. I have spent almost 2 years perfecting this recipe!! These pancakes are refined sugar free and gluten free. They’re made with almond flour, but you can also sub in oat flour if you would like! If you want them to be dairy free, you can also use Flax eggs! You can use frozen or fresh super ripe bananas. It does take a little finesse to flip these, but remember Rome wasn’t build in a day, and pancakes weren’t either! Let me know if you love them as much as I do!


1 cup Almond Flour

2 large, RIPE bananas

2 eggs

1 T olive oil

1 t baking powder

1 t cinnamon

1 t vanilla extract

1 T maple syrup

vegan plant based butter for greasing (I love Melt organic brand)


In a medium bowl, mash bananas with a fork until a soft mushy paste forms. Combine all other ingredients in order listed and mix until you have a thick batter. Grease a skillet or large pan generously with plant based butter. Let the pan get VERY hot for a couple of minutes. Drop 1/3 cupfuls of the batter and smooth it down to thin it out a bit. Cook 5 minutes at medium to medium high heat on each side. The pancakes will begin to bubble slightly when they’re getting ready to be turned over. Flip with a spatula carefully! Top with fresh fruit or maple syrup. Enjoy!

*Add 1/3 cup of blueberries for a healthy antioxidant filled addition! Or for a sweet treat add some chocolate chips!