Monday, April 5, 2010

The First Step

At the Easter dinner my husband and I attended yesterday, the hostess officially challenged me to blog about my journey on the Path of 1,000 Pies. So here I am. Easter seems like an appropriate time for such an undertaking. New birth. New beginnings. A call to serve...pie.

I brought two apple pies to Easter dinner and received rave reviews: "I can tell you're an experienced hand at making that crust" (Uncle Bob) and "Those pies you brought were delicious! Thank you for bringing them" (Marcia, the hostess).

Partly, making the pies was an exercise in the humane demise of some less-than-great apples I picked up at the Dane County Farmer's Market last weekend. Yes, I know that it is not currently apple season, but they were locally grown and stored in a fancy-sounding humidity-and-temperature-controlled environment. So I bought them. Lots of them, probably about 20, thinking I would eat some fresh and make a pie with the rest.

After choking a couple down, I decided to make two pies instead of just one. They weren't awful; they just weren't the Macouns I know and love. They had more of a McIntosh consistency (quite soft) and the flavor was watered down and rather bland. I recently received a birthday card that read, "Birthday cake is just about the happiest outcome flour can hope for." Pie was the happiest outcome for these apples.

Current pie tally for 2009 and 2010: 13 pies (15 if you count two pumpkin ones that my husband made the filling for)

Easter Apple Pie Filling Recipe (we'll get into crust later); makes one 9-inch pie:
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/8 c. lemon juice
1/8 c. apricot/pear juice
3 T. all-purpose flour
1 T. molasses
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. ginger
1/8 t. allspice
8-10 peeled & cored Macoun apples, sliced about 1/3" thick

In a large non-metal bowl, stir together the sugars, juices, flour, molasses, and spices. Fold in the apples. Pour the mixture into your pie shell, including all the juicy goo at the bottom of the bowl. Roll out your remaining crust and place over the filled bottom shell. Trim and crimp edges and slit or cut a hole in the middle to allow steam to vent. Bake at 450F for 15 min., then reduce heat to 350F and bake for 35 min. more. Allow to cool and serve warm.

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