It’s been a whirlwind this weekend. It’s been so for the last bunch of weeks but, it had the most dramatic finale this weekend. Let me start from the beginning. It may also explain why I’ve been missing from this space here.
I’ve been rummaging through our house for the past couple of weeks, reorganizing shelves and cupboards, turning the house upside down, discovering things I’d forgotten we even owned…all in preparation of my parents’ visit. Yes, they’re coming to stay with me. YAY! I can’t tell you how excited I am they’re coming here! I haven’t seen them in nearly two years. This is the longest time I’ve been away without seeing them. So, I’m the most excited bunny you’ll see in miles.
I’ve also been leading our Church’s 50th Anniversary celebrations, starting with a picnic our group put together for the beginning of June. After all the fun and work, I was physically and mentally exhausted. I needed a whole week to just recover from that. The thing is, I’m more of an introvert (not that we’re bad at social gatherings but our social meters run out of charge pretty darn fast), so a lot of socializing makes me crave a lot of alone-time to recharge.
Add all that recharging and cleaning up, and it makes one hell of a month for me.
Then, we had the crazy storm in Virginia on Friday. It was mayhem. We were at a friend’s place when it hit. It left our friends with a broken window-pane and us with tree- and branch-laden roads to return home on. Trust me, it was really bad. Half our journey was on green roads since they were covered with leaves, branches and fallen trees. It wasn’t pretty.
All that madness has to have consequences. Oh yes, the dreaded power cut. My sister-in-law who lives on the main road that our lane branches off from didn’t have power but, weirdly enough, our whole lane did. So, my sister-in-law’s family and my father- and mother-in-law stayed over at our place the whole weekend. It was like a mini-vacation to have everyone under one roof. It was non-stop fun! And more cleaning up for my parents, only this time I had more help ;)
So, I totally missed the Sunday Supper boat that I was supposed to be a part of this week where a group of people post recipes on Sunday, encouraging people to share a meal with the whole family on Sundays/weekend. I feel bad I didn’t have my recipe up on time today but, I had a blast with my family so, I’m going to share the recipe any way.
It’s of a classic apple pie. Nothing special about an apple pie but, this one is special to me because I’ve just found my perfect pie crust recipe. I’ve already made it a couple of times and it works like a charm EVERY TIME. So, this is now my go-to recipe for pie crust and I won’t trade it in for the world. Psssst, there was once a time when my favorite dessert was apple pie and ice cream. But, that was when I was much younger (sigh) so, I shan’t dwell on that aspect too much.
Tell me if you have an absolute favorite pie crust recipe and what it is. I’d love to compare notes!
And now I’m going to squeal all over the house because my parents arrive tomorrow night, yo! JOY!
Classic Apple Pie
(Makes two small pies, 5-6 inches wide)
For the pie crust (recipe courtesy Bobby Flay)
- 1 cup all purpose flour, plus more for when you roll the dough
- 1/2 cup salted butter, cold and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (I only bake with salted butter because I love it even though bakers love unsalted butter)
- 1/2 egg (this sounds tricky but, just beat one egg and divide it…you won’t have this problem if you’re doubling this recipe to make a normal 9 inch pie where you’d use a whole egg)
- 1 teaspoon cold water
- 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
For the pie filling
- 2 granny smith apples (or any crunchy, juicy apple)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons agave nectar (or you could add 1/4 cup sugar)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- A pinch of nutmeg powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons flour (use only 1 tablespoon if you’re using sugar and don’t judge the texture by my pictures because I added a little more than 2 tablespoons so my filling was thick after being baked)
For the egg-wash
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon water
Prepare the pie crust: In a food processor, pulse the flour and butter till the mixture resembles a crumble topping with pieces the size of peas. Put it in a bowl and set aside. Beat the egg, water and vinegar with a fork till well combined and add it to the flour and butter. Mix just until the whole batter gets moistened with the liquid. Don’t knead the dough. Gather it all into one ball and divide it into 4 pieces (or just two if you’re making one 9 inch pie). Wrap each piece with plastic wrap tightly and gently press down to flatten. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
Prepare the filling: Preheat the oven to 400degF. Peel and core apples. Slice and cut them into pieces. Mix in the agave nectar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg powders.
Assembling and baking your pie: Pull out your dough from the fridge one piece at a time. Flour your rolling surface well. I mean, REALLY flour your surface. The first time I made this with just a customary flouring, the dough stuck to the surface while I was rolling it. So, don’t be shy, flour it till it looks like a flour bomb exploded on your work station. Flour your rolling pin too and roll each piece into a circle that’s 1/8 inch thick. Place one circle in your pan, taking care not to stretch the dough while you place it. Gently pat it down till it takes the form of your pie pan. Scoop the apple filling into the middle and fill to the top. Take another pie crust rolled out dough circle and carefully place it above the whole pie. Trim the excess dough off and roll the edges inwards on the pie pan rim. You can crimp the edges with a fork or make any edge design you’d like.
Beat the egg and water for your egg-wash. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the whole pie surface with the egg-wash.
Bake in your preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, till the crust is browned and the apples are cooked.