The pie cooled a bit while we feasted on fried chicken and mac n cheese. Topped with French vanilla ice cream it was a tasty way to get both a fruit serving and a dairy serving into dessert. Wait – I’m not the only one who considers pie to be a fruit serving, am I? If that thought process is wrong…well, I simply don’t care to be right.
Apple pie! There was a pattern to my cooking in recent days, a sort of pre-Thanksgiving emptying of the refrigerator to make room for the groceries necessary to prepare a holiday meal. I had some buttermilk I needed to use up, so fried chicken and pancakes made the weekend menu. My cheese drawer was crammed with odd bits of Gorgonzola, ricotta salada and sharp cheddar, a situation which begged for mac n cheese. And there was a collection of miscellaneous apples becoming sadder looking by the moment – perfect apple pie fodder.
I’ve stocked up recently on chocolate chips and pie crusts, two items that allow me to easily put together a quick dessert be it cookies, brownies, a tart or pie. I know that making pie crust (like pizza dough) is more time consuming than difficult, but I find myself much more willing to take on the task of baking with a little head start.
For Saturday’s pie, I laid the bottom crust into a deep pie dish and got busy peeling and slicing a variety of apples – Empires, Macintosh, and Delicious, primarily. I was feeling kind of cocky (that’s how I get after a long run. Blame it on the endorphins.) and didn’t measure anything, there were about 8 apples, perhaps a 1/3 cup of brown sugar, a 1/4 cup of white sugar, a 1/4 cup of unbleached flour, and a 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg and a shake or two of ginger powder. I tossed all that together and then rather unceremoniously dumped it into the crust. The top crust was added and I did my best to seal the edges and crimp in a modestly decorative manner. I sliced a coupe of slits in the top to release steam and placed my rustic, beautiful pie in a 375 degree oven, placing a baking sheet on the rack below the pie’s rack. I’ve finally learned my lesson about things bubbling over and making an awful mess (and smoke) when the drips hit the bottom of the oven. The pie took longer to bake than I expected, maybe 65-70 minutes. Maybe next time I’ll use the super cool convection feature which I know nothing about.