Happy Autumn! or Spring! - depending on where you are at this moment. Many thanks to Rhonda Jean at Down to Earth in her Weekend Reading this week she called this little blog delightful. Since Thursday afternoon, Joy & Comfort has gotten about 1,500 extra hits (yes, at first I thought the new Blogger workings were messed up - then I realized, no, somebody out there likes me). To any new readers I may have 'Welcome.' To the delightful group of followers who read this blog (and try hard to understand my sense of humor) "Thank You" - especially everyone who comments.
The apple pie I made was pretty good (I've made better, someday I'll share that recipe). There are two pieces left. I played with my food and I'm looking forward to experimenting with other fruit and spice combinations (pears and apples with ginger, or maybe apples and raisins, or blackberries, or cherries (I put up some in the freezer last month), or pears and cranberries - the dried 'cranraisins' .... or maybe...)
That is the beauty of a fruit pie, use the fruit you love, anticipate the moisture that fruit will release (that's why there is a bit of flour and butter in the fruit mix. I would tell you it's magic, but I'm pretty sure it's science), and have fun.
I used three apples (a Granny Smith apple, a Jazz apple, and a Golden Delicious) for my pie. I peeled them, cut them up, and tossed them with
3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon (you can use 1/2 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon of allspice
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 Tablespoon of flour
2 Tablespoons of brown sugar
2 Tablespoons of regular (granulated/white) sugar
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1 Tablespoon of butter (cut into little bits and stirred into the mix)
I put the above ingredient in a bowl, mixed well, (sampled a couple of slices of apple), let stand on the counter about 1 hour.
You could buy your pie crust. I saw them in the refrigerated section at my local grocery store - two pieces of pre-made flatten stuff to fit a deep dish 9 inch pie pan for almost $4 dollars. Hello? I just didn't want to pay that much. However, I'm not you, if buying a pie crust makes you happy, go for it. But if you want to try and make homemade do it - so what if it's not perfect? Trust me, perfection is highly overrated.
For five inch pie plate I used:
2 Tablespoon of butter, soft (room temp - the room was about 77 F)2/3 c. of all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon of salt
Mix together in a bowl with a fork until the ingredients look like cornmeal.
Add 2 - 4 Tablespoons of cold water (sorry, I wasn't paying attention - I was just trying to get the dough to come together).
The topping is
2 Tablespoons flour3 Tablespoons Oatmeal (I used the quick cook Quaker Oats)
2 Tablespoons of soft (room temp.) butter
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons of the 'juice' from the bowl the sliced apples are in (you can skip this, it's the butter and sugar that seem to hold everything together. I was just experimenting/playing with my food.)
a handful of pecan pieces
Mix together in a bowl. I used a fork, it's a bit crumbly, you just want to mix everything up evenly - I started with a fork and eventually used my hands. Then I pressed it on top of the apples, juice was squishing out - I tried to be gentle.
I preheated the oven to 425. Put the pie plate with pie crust inside on a cookie sheet (face it, it's probably going to bubble over and even if it's just a little bit burning sugar in your oven it will smell yucky).
Pour in the apples - if you have too many I give you permission to put them in a little bowl and eat them. Trust me, it will be o.k. Next I poured the topping on and pressed it down with my hands.
Put the pie (on cookie sheet) into oven and cooked it 30 or 35 minutes. My husband took it out of the oven for me so I'm not sure of the time.
Let it cool maybe 10 to 20 minutes, then sliced a couple of pieces - he had vanilla ice cream on his - I went plain. It was good.
Thing is, you don't have to follow this recipe exactly to get a good pie. Play with it - if you don't have allspice don't worry. If you use two pears and one apple you may want to use ground ginger instead of allspice and maybe half the cinnamon - it is your call. No brown sugar, use granulated sugar.
Next time I make a pie I'll roll out the crust and make it all beautiful. I just love trying different fruits and making sweet treats that make the house smell wonderful. Yes, this was better than store bought, better than most bakeries, almost as good as my mom's...