Hi, Food Fans! My name is Barbara and I will be your guide through the wonderful world of cooking: foods, flavors, and techniques. We will experiment with all sorts of techniques, old and new, for your pleasure. We will check out new cookbooks and, well, lets just see where this takes us. Ready? Here goes.
We had an exceptionally good spring and summer in 2011, weather wise, so we have a bumper crop of apples and pears from the 15 apple trees and four pear trees. What to do with all these apples?
First thing you need to know is that the trees have NEVER been sprayed with any kind of insecticide--ever. Fertilizer? Well, maybe the first few years we tended to the trees we might have, and neither of us actually remembers, used Miracle-Gro®, you know, the stuff they use to grow thousand pound pumpkins and what-not. We probably haven't fed the trees for the last 15 years--minimum.
We have apples of almost every type--except Granny Smith--the brother-in-law mowed the 2 trees down not once, but twice, and I admit I am not a fan of the Delicious varieties, I find them to be not-so delicious, but we do have a tree each of both red and yellow.
I have made apple pie, applesauce, apple butter, and dried apples so far. I have just taken my Amish Friendship Bread starter out of the freezer...I will try to make one with some apples.
I guess we'll start with The All-American Apple Pie
The easiest apple pie I have ever made is accomplished by utilizing those nifty rolled pie crusts you buy in the dairy section of your local supermarket-- hey I never said this was going to be all homemade stuff--if you want to make your own crust, go right ahead, its your decision and your pie. If you don't have an apple-peeler-corer-slicer machine my advice is to GET ONE! Or you can do it the old fashioned way, peel the apples--use at least 2 different varieties for the best flavor.
- 6-8 cups peeled apples, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice--prefer freshly squeezed, but don't fret if you use the bottled stuff
- 1 cup of white sugar OR 1/4 cup packed brown and 3/4 cup white sugar
- 2 more tablespoons of sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon--yes you can grind that fresh, if you must
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg*
- 1/2 tablespoon butter cut into little tabs
- 1 9-inch 2 crust pie crust
- 9-inch pie tin, plate, pan -- I usually spray it lightly with cooking spray--just to be sure it comes out
Let the pie cool at least 30 minutes, and longer will be even better, so the juices can tighten up a bit. I serve mine with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, while it is still quite warm, and even reheat it in a warm oven the next day for the same effect.
Okay, now let's address the *'rd items:
* 1/8 freshly ground nutmeg--okay you can use the ground stuff you have hiding in the back of your pantry, but trust me, freshly grinding whole nutmeg is by far superior to even a brand new can of the store bought ground stuff. I use a rasp and just rub the whole nutmeg over the bowl, the aroma is divine, and just eyeball the measurement. Its all good.
** seal and flute: To seal the pie, gently fold the top crust over the edge of the bottom crust, and press together. Yes there will be a double layer of crust, all the more to flute! As for fluting I use my fingers this way: with the pie in front of me, I use my right index finger to push the dough gently between my left thumb and index finger, into a point. Viola! that's all there is to it. See simple. I told you!
Let me know how yours comes out!