Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Classic Apple Pie

Like many of you, this time of year always gets me in a sentimental and reflective place.  Life isn't perfect--it wasn't really designed to be--but I have so much to be thankful for.

I made this pie in the kitchen of the house I own.  I was standing in my kitchen, freezing cold, because I had scheduled to have my front door painted.  I figured it would be the perfect day to take care of the door.  Lo and behold, our first freeze arrived that day and having the door open while it dried meant my little house was more like an igloo.  But yet, I was in a house I owned, with plenty of warm clothes to pile on and a refrigerator and pantry full of food to cook.  As soon as I could close the door, I had a working heater ready to go.  I am fortunate.

The crust I used in this classic apple pie was just one of six recipes I'd made that ice cold day in the kitchen.  One crust was for the freezer reserve and one was for this pie.  Three more were for the best friend anyone could ever ask for, and the last one was for my best friend's mom.  I met this amazing friend of mine freshman year of college.  We've been by each other's side ever since that day and I can truly say I owe my life today to her.  She and her sweet family put me back together when I was completely broken and helped me become an even better version of myself.  The compassion, humility, strength, and generosity they showed me is something for which I will always be indebted. 


The finished pie was for Friendsgiving with an amazing group of individuals who took me in to their already tight knit group.  We met in a newly-formed Sunday school class at a church I just adore.  They had already traveled the world together on Habitat for Humanity mission trips.  They opened their arms to me when I was new to Dallas and made me feel like it was okay to toss my safety net out the window and enjoy life again.  That hasn't stopped for even a second.


Now I'm with part of my family.  My family who, though we disagree, will always rally around each other.  My family who is always ready for fun and will find a way to make it if it isn't readily available.  My family who owes all we are to a mom who has sacrificed beyond comprehension, demonstrated grace beyond words, and shown us all an immeasurable amount of love.


I hope all of you have just as much to be thankful for.  I hope you and yours travel safely and find yourselves gathered around a table overflowing with food to nourish your body, memories to replenish your soul, and love to fill your heart.


This classic apple pie, brimming with tender apples and warming spices, and enveloped in the flakiest butteriest crust is sure to bring back memories of the happiest of Thanksgivings.    

Classic Apple Pie
Apple a Day original

Ingredients:
5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into 1/2-in. cubes
1 TBSP all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 TBSP cornstarch
1 TBSP tapioca
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 TBSP bourbon (or lemon juice, if you'd prefer)
1 egg, lightly beaten
raw turbinado sugar, for dusting

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 400° F and the rack in the center position.

2.  Roll out one crust and place into bottom of a standard pie dish (this is not a deep dish recipe).

3.  In a large bowl, mix apples, flour, cornstarch, tapioca, cinnamon, nutmeg, and bourbon.  Pour mixture into bottom crust.

4.  Roll out top crust.  Roll part way over the rolling pin and place on the pie.  Trim and seal edges and slice a few small vents into the top crust.  Alternately, use small cookie cutters or pie dough cutters to create desired design for a top crust.  Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar.

5.  Place the pie dish on a baking sheet and put into the oven.  Bake 30 minutes, then check.  If the pie is browning too quickly, place foil over the top to prevent the crust from burning.  Rotate the pie 180 degrees and bake 15-20 minutes more.

6.  Remove from the oven and place pie dish onto a wire cooling rack.  Let cool at least one hour before serving.       

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