A mom's journal of the sweet things in her life...

Monday, July 5, 2010

Homemade Apple Pie

My girl Kim was here this past long weekend. Who's Kim? She's my amazing friend who lives in Victoria. She visits regularly. I visit her. My kids call her Aunty. My dogs maul her. I get to unload and whine about all my frustrations. She listens. She's a good listener. She refills my wine glass unprompted. She helps solve the world's problems. She talks sports with my husband. She sits on the floor and entertains my kids while I get ready. When she's here I get to take long, hot showers instead of the usual rushed ones. Remember those? Pre-kids? She doesn't mind that she's covered in dog hair in our house. She even politely picks any stray dog hairs out of her food without so much as a comment. She tidies up. She feeds herself. She chops the vegetables for my salads. She dresses my kids. She combs their hair. She tucks them in at night. My kids adore her, she adores them. When puppy pees on the floor, she wipes it up. Once when my daughter threw up - she jumped on that puddle of vomit like a fat kid on a smartie. I didn't have a chance to protest. True story.

It's not hard to see why the whole family loves when Kim visits. So you can probably understand why I always feel a little sad when she leaves. I miss her already, she's been gone for 2 hours. It's like the day after Christmas around here. We were counting down the sleeps until Aunty Kim got here for weeks. And just like that - she's gone. Sigh.

So what did we do while she was here? We talked, we laughed, we ate fries, so many fries. We drank wine, we shopped. We took the kids to the zoo. More fries. Then we baked a pie. An apple pie. From scratch. To understand the enormity of the event, you must know this. (Kim I apologize for outing you.) But Kim used to live on frozen entrees. She never used to cook and then something happened. She's suddenly discovered that she likes to cook. She's learning fast, trying new things, slowly tackling the list of things I told her she had to buy to properly equip her kitchen. She's getting there, I'm proud of her - and that's where the pie comes in.

I found a recipe in the oddest of places. It wasn't even a cooking magazine - it was a gossip rag. But it had a recipe for Obama's favorite pie. So random. I'm not even American. But it looked yummy so we baked it. We also took over a hundred pictures. Prepare yourself.

Cut cool/cold butter into 1/4 inch pieces.
Pulse flour and salt in food processor 5 times. Add butter and pulse till mixture forms chick pea sized pieces (20 seconds).
Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time until mixture holds together.
That's Kim. In action. Pulse, Kim, Pulse!
Empty dough onto counter and divide into 2 equal pieces.
Press each piece into 5" disk. (Or beat to submission - Kim's words, not mine.)
Wrap. Refrigerate 2 hours or up to 2 days. Did I mention we started this project at 5:00? 
The wait was unbearable.
Meanwhile, there I am peeling apples. Look at me go. So focussed. Not.
Then I tuckered out so Kim took over. See what I mean about that girl?
Sift sugar and cornstarch into large saucepan.
Then toss with apples, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, lemon juice and zest. Let it sit for 20 minutes.
Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat stirring occasionally until it thickens slightly. Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes.
While that was cooling we got back to the crust. I rolled the first disk out....
to 14 " diameter
placed over greased pie pan and then totally forgot to leave the 1 inch overhang.
I wouldn't have bothered to confess this small mishap if it wasn't well-documented. Onwards and upwards...placed foil on the pie crust and weighed it with beans.
Bake for 30 minutes. 
Remove from oven, lift out foil and weights, let cool 10 minutes then fill with apples.
Place second piece of rolled dough on top and attempt to make the fluted edge. 
I want it noted that this was my very first pie. Ever. It may also interest you to know that it was now 9:00 p.m. We knew we wouldn't be eating pie until midnight. 
Needless to say, I wasn't too fussy with my crust.
Cut 10 steam slits into the pie. Brush with egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown.
The pictures below are the pie the next morning. Seeing as the pie wasn't ready to eat till midnight, I had to wait to till morning for some natural light to get a decent shot.
The picture below this... that there was my breakfast. No apologies.  
Apple Pie Recipe
(Source: Chef Bill Yosses via People magazine)


NOTES ABOUT RECIPE: This pie was delicious. However, we both agreed it didn't need the lemon zest. It was very lemony. If you like a lot of lemon in your apple pie, however, keep it in. Otherwise omit and add more cinnamon. We also had a lot of filling left. 

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