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Sunday, November 07, 2010

Simplicity of Apple Pie = The good Life!


Disclaimer...all photos were taken on my iphone...as I forgot my camera.  Please forgive and excuse any pixilization or blurriness as it is unintentional.

Okay...now to the fun stuff!

A couple of weeks ago, we took the chance to slip away and relax as a family at my sister in laws cabin at Bear Lake.  I love her cabin.  It is so cozy, and has all the creature comforts you could need...then some huge bonuses...like the 5 foot long deep bathtub.  That's an experience you will never forget.
We sat on the porch to relax and chat.  As I was sitting there with my oldest son, I gazed across the grass at a huge tree and noticed...hmmm...mmmm...are those apples? 
There was only one right thing to do after noticing ripe apples in that much abundance on the tree.  Pick some.  YUM!  After discovering how SUPER tart they were, we decided...we'd make apple pie.  I adore apple pie.  It has to be one of my favorite desserts.  Its up there with Key lime Pie, Pecan pie, and spicy pumpkin pie.  Do you notice a trend in my dessert likes?  I LOVE PIE!
We drove into town to get some missing ingredients...we stopped at the library to look at books with the kids (and my husband needed to use the internet to put in his work schedule bid for the coming month.) Then stopped at a yummy greasy pizza place where we had to overlook the grime-y chairs and napkin holders that hadn't been properly washed each night.  Then finally, we got to the store where we picked up our most important pie ingredient...good quality vanilla ice cream.  You really can't make a pie with out ice cream...it's just not right.  We drove home quickly so the ice cream wouldn't melt, and enjoyed spotting some of our favorite country sites...like the farm with the "oreo" cows.  The way these cows are marked make them look like oreo sandwiches, they are visually black and white...with doublestuff filling.

After returning from our trip to town, I brought the apples into the kitchen and started peeling and discarding any wormy ones.  We are talking real organic apples here, and we didn't even have to pay extra at the grocery store for the worms.  

By the way...this is the view out the kitchen window...yup pretty amazing.  It is definitely a peaceful spot.


The way I was taught to make apple pie is to mix the sugar and cinnamon together with a little flour then pour it over the top of sliced apples stacked as high as they will go in the pan.  Use more sugar if the apples are tart...less if the apples are sweet...and approximately 2 teaspoons of flour, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon per pie.  No recipe...just eyeball it, and guess...and I swear it turns out the same every time.


Here's a side view of the apples stacked high.  I was not taught to use a store-bought crust. You may have noticed the perfectly pressed crust edge in the previous photo. I hang my head as I tell you that THAT was the other ingredient that we bought at the store. I wasn't going to tell you about it, but the photos don't lie.  Oh the shame! Sigh...but alas, there wasn't a rolling pin at the cabin that we could find, so we took a short cut.
You can see in this picture how the cinnamon and sugar just start melting down into the pie as the apples release their natural juices.  No need to mix in the sugar...it all works itself out in the oven.  This is simplicity at it's best!

Now for the yummy part that makes this pie absolutely amazing!  For each pie, fork together 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup flour together in a bowl until crumbly.  Then sprinkle on top of the pie like so:

You will notice I place a baking sheet under my pie.  If you omit this step, you may need to buy a new oven when your pies are finished cooking...you'll also have to serve half your pie to the fire department when they arrive to take care of all the smoke in your kitchen.  Trust me...bake every apple pie on a cookie sheet and you will be forever grateful that you did.
 While the pies cooked in the oven...we rode around the backyard on quads.  Notice the green cast on my daughter's arm...that happened the week prior...the same day (and time) my son was having his staples removed from his head at urgent care. We went from one injury to the next this last month...it's all because the week prior to any of those accidents, my husband and I said, "We have been such lucky parents with our kids...no major injuries...no stitches, staples, or broken bones.  Yes, we are so lucky...gloat, gloat."  Then boom, the next week, Talon gets hit in the head with the end of a ski rope on his uncles boat, and his head splits open...and Sydney broke her arm at school on the play ground.  It was as if we had given God an open invitation to let us experience these trials...since he had forgotten to give us them yet.  Next time...we will not speak of such things out loud...as we have now seen the power of the spoken word.

So never-mind our streak of accident prone kids...we let them ride and have fun on the quads and dirt bike.  Afterall...who could resist riding around such gorgeous property!
 Talon felt the freedom of piloting his own quad.  You should have seen the cool smirk he was wearing around the yard as he drove it all by himself.
 Okay...about an hour and a half later in a 350 degree oven...(yes, I cook my pies slow and long to make sure the apples cook and nothing burns) my pies were finished.  You may have to cover your pies with foil in the last half hour to prevent the crumb top from browning too much.  The foil is also convenient for placing on the counter when you remove the sticky pies. Inevitably, the pies will have leaked sticky juices all over the cookie sheet and you won't want that sticky stuff on your counter.
 Doesn't that look yummy!
There's that sticky stuff I was talking about...you see that caramelized brown resin on the spatula?  Yeah...you forgo the foil, and your pie is stuck to the counter...kind of makes it hard to serve at the table when that happens.  

The pie was to die for...tart crisp apples are definitely the best kind of pie making apples there are. We invited the neighbors over for pie (because that is the right thing to do when you have more than enough pie for the 5 people in your family.) 

Neighbors were glad, we were glad, and you know...pie makes great breakfast the next morning too. Kind of like sugar cereal fruit and milk...only crust, fruit, and cream. 

This is the kind of stuff that makes up the good life.  Family, relaxation, the outdoors, and apple pie!

3 comments:

  1. I just loved your post, Samantha...I felt like I was there with you every step of the way, including the not so clean pizza place...hehehe...but boy, that apple pie sure looks yummy to me.....so happy you had such a wonderful, relaxing time in such an idyllic place.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Delish!!!!! Perfect for my hungry boys!

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  3. The pie looks os yummy! We mad=ke one similar, but in a casserole dish! What a wonderful place to visit!

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