Thursday, August 23, 2007
Apple Pie Version 1.0
Today I made a pie from start to finish. As you can see from the pictures, it wouldn't win any contests (at least not the one's with Gale Gand as the judge). However, 3 out of 4 of my harshest critics said it was wonderful. I can even quote one of my favorite gourmands "Mom, it was fabulous!" With comments like that, I feel I can do no wrong or my kids will say anything to keep those desserts coming.
Yesterday I had a 1 1/2 year old hanging on my leg. Today I had a 4 year old who said she wanted to help me bake but the truth is she just wanted to play Barbies with me. So again I was distracted in my baking and in my opinion did a half assed job.
I used two books (lent from my friend Julie ;) One to make the crust and the other to make the filling. For the crust, I used the Apple Pie - Sweet and Simple recipe from Peggy K Glass' Home-Cooking Sampler: Family Favorites from A to Z. I do not blame Peggy for anything that went wrong. Just as I was measuring that first cup of flour I realized I didn't have enough for the second scoop (that's how organized I am). I ended up using 1/2 a cup of whole wheat flour as a substitute. If I wasn't so honest I could totally spin this and say how I am trying to incorporate more whole wheat fiber rich products into my family's diet. But the truth is I just ran out of bleached flour.
My 4 year old was not happy that I wouldn't let her roll out the very sticky dough I had put in the refrigerator. I forget that she has slightly less baking experience than me and that she didn't think there was anything wrong with the dough sticking to her, me, the rolling pin and the cutting board but not itself. You can't get upset if you have no expectations.
Eventually I smooshed the dough into the pie pan and decided not to even bother with the top layer, this was too hard for someone who should be hanging out in a Barbie penthouse with her afternoon playdate.
The only apples I had left in the house were 2 Granny Smiths and 3 Braeburns. I'm sure those aren't exactly what I'm supposed to use, but that's all I had and after the whole wheat flour experience, I didn't think the wrong apples would make much of a difference in this doomed pie.
For the filling I used The Best All-American Apple Pie recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Pie and Pastry Bible. It was a good recipe, I especially like how she suggests you reduce down the liquid from the apples with butter to create a nice caramel that you add back to the apples. It sounds so nice, I hope next time I can actually execute it properly. I don't have the patience to let something sit and boil without poking at it and messing it up.
Finally, or in the eyes of a 4 year old, after taking FOREVER, I just stuck the pie in the over and went to play. It wasn't until about 30 minutes later when I went to check on my creation that I realized a pie without a top crust might burn the apples. D'oh.
In the end, the apples were yummy even though they tasted a little dried out (no top layer to hold in the moisture). The bottom part of the crust was under cooked (so one can really enjoy that added wheat flour). However the small parts of crust that were on the outside edges were crunchy and tasty.
If I can run to the store in the morning, I will try this again during nap time (and distract the 4 year old in another room so I have no one to blame but myself).
Oh, and because I do try to encourage cooking with kids in the kitchen (yeah, right) this is what my budding chef made for snack. I call it ants on a log. She renamed it grass and the grasshoppers. I have no idea what she's talking about. It is amazing how simple this is and what pride my little girl has in something she created.
All you need is celery sticks, peanut butter and raisins.