The weirdest thing happened…
I missed a season. Seriously. It vanished. First came Spring then came Autumn. Summer vaporized into a vortex.
Perhaps it was the oppressive heat that started way too early (and still hasn’t gone away) and may have paralyzed a part of my cortex? I’m sure that played a part in the disappearance. It’s certainly no secret that I don’t thrive in extreme weather.
Conceivably, and more likely, the seasonal vanishing is largely in part to great anticipation, both professionally and personally. In expectation of a monumental and exciting fall and winter, I may have in fact willed the summer to quickly sneak right through my personal time line.
Professionally, French & Farrar has been working its butt off on another project that we cannot wait to share. It encapsulates all that we love and inspires us. To say that I’m living on the edge of my seat to get it off the ground and flying is an understatement. Truly, I can hardly wait. Evaporated-summer mystery “Part A” solved.
I believe mystery “Part B” is due to an excitement I’ve only just begun to understand. My little sister is having a baby. I’m going to be an auntie. The love I have for someone I have yet to meet is overwhelming. The awe I feel towards my sister as I watch her become a mother is beyond heartening. My new best friend is set to arrive around Thanksgiving.
The timing of his or her debut is apropos to say the least. Thanksgiving is my holiday of choice and sentiment. Friends and family and food together with no other intention than to be together enjoying food and one another.
My sister is the pie maker of the family. At our annual “come one, come all” Turkey Day dinner, I do the turkeys and sides, my mom does her famous dressing and sweet potatoes, and my sister satisfies our post-pig out sweet tooth. In anticipation of her impending and significant nesting period, I thought I should hone my pie making skills. Thanksgiving needs apple pie, and no better way to capture the attitude of Thanksgiving than to pass on a tradition. And, on the off chance that the baby is arriving as the turkey is coming out of the oven, my apple pies will be ready.
Classic Apple Pie
My ultimate crust recipe is courtesy of Cooks Illustrated. It never fails me.
What you’ll need:
3 lbs. apples, about 6, cored and sliced (I like a mixture of sweet and tart, such as Gala and Granny Smith)
1/2 cup of sugar
2 Tbs. flour
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
2 Tbs. fresh squeezed orange juice
4 Tbs. cold butter, diced
1 egg yolk, for egg wash
3 tsp. water, for egg wash
Prepare pie crust recipe according to directions. Roll out one pie crust disk and fit it into a 9 inch pie plate. Set in freezer.
Make the filling. Toss the apples, sugar, flour, spices, and orange juice. Spread apple mixture in prepared pie plate and dot with butter. Place back in freezer.
Meanwhile, roll out second pie disk. Place over apples. Fold overhang, and crimp edges as desired. (It’s an apple pie, it can look rustic. Might even taste better if it’s not perfect.)
Whisk egg yolk with water. Brush crust with egg wash. Slice top of crust in several places.
Bake for an hour to an hour and 10 minutes, or until crust is golden and and filling is bubbling. Let pie cool completely on a wire rack.