Friday, March 14, 2008

Pi day!

I am a bit of a nerd, surprised I know. Because of these leanings I always remember that March 14 is Pi Day. You know, 3.14159 etc. Get it? 3.14? So to celebrate the day I give you my favorite apple pi(e) recipe today.

Apple Pie

1/2 cup water, ice cold
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 sticks of cold butter

In a bowl, mix together flour and salt. Omit salt if you are using salted butter by the way. My secret to getting the butter into the flour well is to get out my grater and sort of shave it into the bowl. It saves time too! If grating isn't your style cup the butter into 1/4 inch pieces. It doesn't have to be exact, in fact i love irregular pieces here and there that are extra flaky. Work the butter into the flour mixture for a few minutes before slowly adding the ice water little by little until it forms a good consistency. Then cut the dough in half and flatten each one. At this point I wrap them up in plastic and put them into the fridge for about an hour to rest and firm up.

A word on apples before I go on. Not every apple is ideal for baking. Some are sweet, others tart. In my (and many others) opinion(s) the best apples for baking are: Granny Smith, Greening, Rome, & Newton Pippin.


8 cups of apples, thinly sliced
dash of salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour
handful of caramels (if you're feeling frisky)

Wash, pare, and thinly slice the apples. The caramels are totally optional but I really love what they add do the pie.

In a saucepan combine all of the filling ingredients and cover & cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. By this point moisture from the apples should have worked it's way out and will be creating a bubbly sauce. At the end of 10 minutes take off the lid and stir it until the consistency is right. Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 325

After the crust has rested in the fridge for an hour, flour up your counter and rolling pin and start rolling it out until it fits inside a pie dish. Then add the filling and do the same for the top crust, making sure you cut slits, or an X, or whatevera in the top before putting it in the oven.

Bake for 40-50 minutes but let your eyes and nose tell you when the pie is gone. If it's flaking and beautiful, it's done.

My husband thanks me for my apple pies. As you can see, he's kind of a fan of such things.


Nick said...

Don't feel too dorky, I thought the same thing when I woke up. Caramels if frisky? I think they'll help make you frisky in a pie like this! Shaving the butter is interesting but its gotta be cold. I chopped butter the other day but by the time I kneaded it into the bread I was making, it just mushed into my hands and the cutting board. Chop chop!

- The Peanut Butter Boy

Amber said...

Hi I am starting to try your recipies...So far so good. I wanted to ask if you have any sneaky 20 month old (Solomon) is on a fruit and veggie strike and I am trying to sneak in some into his food...Do you know of any good ones...they don't have to be puree's but I was thinking of adding come carrot gratings/puree to the banana muffins...or something to that effect...I got Jessica Seinfelds cook book, Deceptively Delicious, but I am always looking for more...

jenny mae. said...

nick - i started shaving the butter because no matter how straight-from-the-fridge i got the butter it was still a little too soft for my liking by the time i got to the final product. so i went as hands off as i could and just get the grater out and POOF.

amber - are there any foods he really likes? my big tricks are mac n cheese with veggies mixed in and quesadillas and grilled cheese can hide a multitude of veggies in them! also my kid is a big "dipper" so i only give him healthy things to dip things in when he's being finicky. hummos is a big hit around here using this method.

Amber said...

Oh Hummos is a good idea...any recommended recipies? We don't really do any dairy for him and he has an egg allergy that we are hoping that he grows out of...but I can do veggies in tomatoe sauce...good dieas...thanks :)

Amber said...

That was supposes to say ideas haha

jenny mae. said...

honestly the best hummos i've had is from a box! it's by fantastic and well... it's fantastic! a quick peek at the label and it says it has neither egg nor dairy. let me know if you can't find it, ive never had any problems getting it from a standard grocery store but it would most certainly be available from somewhere "fancier" like whole foods, etc.

also another suggestion i thought of last night, what about smoothies? i make fruit/veggie combo smoothies when my kids are being particularly finicky.

Amber said...

Ok so first of all...thank you SOOO much for all the fantastic advise! I never thought of trying veggies in his smoothies (obvious I know...duh! me). Some times he is such a "brand snob" and only like to drink them if they are in a Jamba Juice cup (I guess I will have to ask for some extras to take home haha), don't ask me why or how haha.

Second...He tried (and loved) Hummos. We took him to our fav Lebonese Resturant, and he took his pita and said "dip dip dip" the ENTIRE meal!!! It was so cute!

Will (hubby) and I just made those whole wheat banana muffins and WOW, they are FABULOUS!!! I found this really fun egg sustitue at Whole Foods so now Solomon is free to enjoy them :) Thanks so much for sharing your recipies...I'm excited to try more :)

jenny mae. said...

WHOO HOO!! we make smoothies at home all the time, especially in the winter when fresh fruit is less accessible so we turn to frozen. i throw frozen veggies in there all the time and they are none the wiser. if the kids are being REALLY picky i put some liquid chlorophyll or spirulina too.

and im so glad you liked the muffins! im bias towards my own recipes of course but i think they are WONDERFUL!

Matt said...

I followed your recipe last night and it went over really well. The only thing I did different was add 3 tbsp of splenda to the crust and an egg to the filling (after the saucepan and before the oven)

Do you peel your apples? The recipe says so, but your picture shows otherwise...

jenny mae. said...

matt - it varies. sometimes i do, sometimes i dont. i havnt noticed a big difference