Monday, August 3, 2009

Apples, peaches, pumpkin pie

I came home on Sunday morning to find a beautiful surprise - a big brown grocery bag full of apples. My neighbors were gracious enough to give me some of the apples that were practically falling off their tree. I didn't even have to scale the fence, which I had contemplated doing many times as I watched those apples ripen and remain untouched. So, as an expression of my gratitude, I decided to bake them a pie. And since I was already going to have the whole kitchen in a mess of flour, I made us one as well. 

I used Mark Bittman's recipe for Traditional Apple Pie with Flaky Crust from his How to Cook Everything cookbook. Bittman's recipes are simple and straightforward, usually featuring one or two choice ingredients in each one. When you cook a Bittman dish, you end up with a gourmet tasting meal without having to follow a lot of complicated steps. Needless to say, the pies turned out delicious. 

One of the things that I loved the most about the recipe was making the crust in the food processor. I used a similar process for the crust of the Huckleberry (blueberry) Skillet Cobbler I made last week. You literally put all of the ingredients for the crust in the food process and it does most of the work. I'll never make crust another way.

Before I leave the topic of pie, I wanted to make a comment about another super handy kitchen tool: the apple peeler/corer/slicer combo. There are no frills with this contraption. It's a pretty simple, old-school apparatus that really does exactly what it claims. With the turn of a crank, that really takes no effort at all, the apple is peeled, sliced into rings, and cored. It makes the job of baking an apple pie a cinch. I inherited mine from my mom, which she got from my grandpa, but they still sell ones exactly like mine. I just used it again today to prep apples for apple chips. It's the coolest!

1 comment:

radhi said...

yumm, i love every single thing about apple pie! so nice of your neighbors... they must have known you've been eyeing their fruit! i want one of those apple peeler, slicer, corer things! suddenly, my perfectly adequate slicer pales in comparison...