This weekend, one of my best friends in the world came to visit. Holly and I have been friends for years, and we just get each other. Even if we don’t talk for months on end, once we reconnect it’s like we’ve never been apart.
We haven’t seen each other in a really long time, (maybe a year?!) and it was great to just hang out and catch up. Holly has made it sort of a tradition to take the drive up here every fall, and it’s just about perfect. We were able to cram a lot into a day and a half: we took a zoo trip, did living room yoga, ate at a couple great restaurants, drank boozy apple cider, played and cuddled with kitties, introduced her to Doctor Who, made her watch Rocky for the first time ever (what?!) and….drumroll….we made a pie!
The pie is just another example of why we’re in sync. Brent is even included in this. He suggested we bake a pie, I thought about making one with a crumble on top, and Holly blurted out “a dutch apple pie!” She even brought apples with her…how did she know?
The recipe we chose was very involved, but we were glad to have a project to dive in to. We even made pie crust – and Brent helped with the apple peeling, coring, and slicing and picture taking.
The crust is fussy, and neither one of us had any patience for all the refrigeration time (nearly 2 hours, all together), so we essentially cut that in half. I also don’t have a sufficient rolling pin, and our crust is definitely not going to win any beauty contests.
But that’s one thing I love about baking. Nothing ever has to look perfect, especially when you know the quality of the ingredients you just threw together. There’s no way butter, sugar, and fresh orchard apples could ever taste bad. Ever.
Baking is one of those things that is made exponentially better when you do it with someone. Baking with a partner allows you to share the joy and love that goes into it, and you get to taste it together and just wordlessly enjoy the fruits of your labor. I hope my future children share the love I have for baking so I can have some in-house baking buddies!
Anyways, this pie is incredible. The addition of cream simmered with the sweetened apple juices created a fabulous filling. Since we cut the apples so small, they got nice and cooked through, and the crumb topping added a special sugary crunch. The crust was flaky and buttery, even though we cut the chilling time in half. Although it is very labor intensive, if you’re looking for an impressive apple dessert, this should be your pick.
We used this recipe from Brown Eyed Baker. We stuck pretty true to the original, but I cheated on the chilling time of the dough, and used brown sugar instead of white sugar in the filling, and increased it to about 1/2 a cup. Don’t fret about the type of apples you may use, just use at least 2 different types. Also, my pie pan was 1/2 inch larger than called for, so my pie crust did not have a lip but it still worked out just fine. Perfectly, in fact! I had never even made pie crust before so don’t be afraid, it’s actually very simple.
Do you have a favorite apple pie recipe, or any great pie crust recipes?