Sunday, August 3, 2008

Apple Pie

I've decided to start blogging about my adventures in food. Yes, I am a total chef wanna-be. I grew up with a mom who cooked nearly every meal for our family. My mom is my inspiration as a cook, mainly because of her own try-it-once attitude toward recipes. I have always enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen, not just for the express purpose of cooking, but for time to chat and catch-up with my family. I thought I would share some of my successes and horrible failures. I'm not one for recipes (except in baking), so a lot of the creations I post here may not be measured in exact terms, but rather in proportions.

I blame my mom for my fear of pies. Let me explain . . . I love eating pies. I LOVE PIE, my favorite being a three way tie between cherry with crumb topping, black raspberry, and chocolate-brownie pie. Alas, my mom is a pie queen, a master, if you will. She has been making pies en mass for as long as I can remember. For her, it never seems to be a chore. Perfectly rolled out crusts evenly pinched along the rim, just waiting to be filled a variety of homemade fruits or custards. Then when filled, a perfectly crunchy crumb topping or a beautifully cut out crust adorning the top. Now, for the irrational fear. From top to bottom, pie making seems to me a daunting task. You know why . . . you've eaten the hard-as-a-rock crusts and flavorless, dry fillings of some homemade pies. Its sad . . . you eat the pie begrudgingly and tell the baker how much you enjoyed it. You didn't. I don't want to be that cook. I want to live-up to my mom's pie legacy. To add to this pie fear, I have had more than a few pie failures, most of which my husband ate, but never seemed to comment on. Plus, you know its bad if there is still pie in our house after a couple of days.

To conquer this irrational fear, I started with the crust. I have to admit I've had mild success with the store-bought crust, but I feel that to live up to this legacy, that would be cheating. If you choose that crust, no hard feelings, but I can't bring myself to do it, I have a guilty conscience. I have discovered that the Alton Brown crust recipe ( is the easiest and best-tasting crust.

Since I have an abundance of apples on my apple tree, I peeled, cored, and sliced about 6 cups of apples, added 1 1/4 c. sugar, 1/2 c. flour, a little cinnamon and allspice, and filled the crust. Finally I topped it with crumble topping made with 1/2 c. butter, a little cinnamon, 1/4 c. walnuts, and 3/4 c. of each of the following: brown sugar, flour, and oats. For once, this pie lived up to my high pie standards (of course after it dripping in the over causing really smoky kitchen). MMMM!


Tiffany said...

Lol. We so have the same fear of pies, although mine has gotten a little better with time :)
I've even successfully made an apple pie a few time. I'll have to try the topping with walnuts as well! Hank loves walnuts in stuff. At least I have the spaghetti sauce down!

Kristen said...

This reminds me of my fear of rolling out a pie crust with your mom watching after she told you that you were doing it wrong. Then she said "Do you want to try?" and I said "NO!!!" but she made me do it anyway.

Michael VanDervort said...

Apple Pie? I better come up!

Pam (meanestmother) said...

Since the computer is now fixed I can finally respond and catch up on all of your blogs. This is hilarious!!!! You need to write a book and be the next Erma Bombeck! I didn't know I was the intimidating baker. Trust me, I learned from trial and error just like you are all doing. I've had my share of flops and your Dad ate, or tried, all of them. Now I have more than enough critics at the house, none of which are shy about voicing their opinions about which fall short and should not be repeated. Love you!