my quote of the moment: "if you can attain repose and calm, believe that you have seized happiness." ~julie-jeanne-eleonore de lespinasse

September 23, 2010

pie in the sky plans

it's finally fall, which just happens to be my favorite time of the year. the cooler weather, the longer nights, getting to wear jeans again, and of course the awesome food. now i've never really limited myself to making food when it's seasonally appropriate, but somehow those warm and comforting flavors taste better when it's the kind of day that you want to curl up on the couch and snuggle with a loved one. or maybe it's just when you're eating foods in season, things are fresher and more full of flavor, they're perfectly ripe and ready to go. whatever the reason, i've set my sights on getting a bunch of apples this weekend and doing some serious pie making.

i've always loved apple pies, and i've got quite a collection of recipes. i have been tweaking things for years so that i get the perfect consistency of sweet apple and spicy cinnamon, and my pie crusts are always light and flaky. when i was growing up i used to help my mom make apple dumplings, and we would make dozens in one afternoon. now, i don't really have the time or patience to make all those little dumplings myself, so i've switched to making pies, which i can wrap and freeze and bake as needed.

i'll admit i look forward to making these pies every year, the simple act of making dough and filling i find calming. and knowing that with a little heat and time, my creations turn into mouth watering dessert just makes me so proud. the other bonus is that frozen pies make wonderful gifts, all recipients have to do is pop one in the oven for an hour or so and they have a homemade apple pie hot and fresh and just for them.

now i already have all the flour and sugar and butter i'll need, so hopefully tomorrow i'll be able to hit up a farmer's market to get the apples. i personally like to use mackintosh or smokehouse, nothing too juicy, and definitely nothing that turns to mush in the oven, but something that still has the clean flavor of apples when it's all said and done.

this year i'm going to try and keep things simple. a few years ago i got two bushels of apples, and all my help left me high and dry, so i was left to peel and cut and roll and wrap and freeze 18 pies all by myself. it was way more work then i wanted to do, and i almost called off pie making the following year. last year i tried to keep things simple by just getting apples off the trees in my dad's yard because he had tons, it had been a great growing year. the problem was that he didn't spray for bugs or anything, and i spent hours cutting out the bad spots just to get enough to make four pies. so this year i plan on one bushel of apples. i'll make as many pies as i can with that, maybe 8 if i'm lucky, and i'll call it a day. i'll let you know how it goes.

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