My Adventures With Apple Pie

I know that right now you are thinking about that movie American Pie, but don’t.  It was nothing like that.

My #1 child, who I shall hereafter refer to as “#1,” recently celebrated a birthday.  I asked him what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday, and he replied, “apple pie.”  Hmmm.  I immediately listed the pros and cons in my head.  Pro:  I don’t have to make frosting.  Con: pie crust is way harder to make than frosting.

I don’t want to brag here, (well, actually I am bragging, so I guess I do want to brag) but I make amazing pie crust.  I learned how to do it from Emeril Lagasse one day while watching Emeril Live.  I wrote down the recipe and everything.

2 cups flour, 1 cup shortening (or lard), 1 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 cup ice water

You have to mix it really gently and carefully with your hands.  You start without the water, and then add the water in.  I’m not really sure what happened.  DH says I added too much water, but what does he know?  His pie crust is only half as good as mine.  Maybe it was that I used a different kind of shortening than I normally use.  Who knows?  Long story short, the dough was way too soft, even after chilling for a couple hours.  I’ve never had this problem before.

Oh well, it’s #1’s birthday, so press on.  I rolled out half the dough and pressed it into a pie pan.  My good glass pie pan inexplicably disappeared, along with the lid to my crock pot, so I was stuck using a Marie Callendar’s pan.  I considered the merits of blind baking the bottom crust before filling vs. not blind baking the bottom crust, and decided I better do it.  It’s #1’s birthday, after all.

I put the pan in the oven and proceeded with other preparations.  I peeked in on the crust after a few minutes, only to find it had shrunk substantially.  After spouting the necessary expletives, I remembered the blind baking weights.  Well, I don’t actually own blind baking weights, but I do own dry rice, which is what I prefer to use.  I put the dry rice in a baggie, tried to press the crust out as much as possible without burning myself, and placed the rice in the bottom of the pan.

After a few more minutes in the oven, I peeked in again, only to discover a melting plastic baggie in the middle of the pie crust, and rice spilling out and embedding itself into the crust.  I honestly don’t know how I got so stupid.  This is one of the dumbest things I have done since the day I burned the end of my index finger on a hot griddle.

I quickly removed the pan, and fortunately the melting was only happening on the top, and only a few little dry rice grains had spilled out.  Apparently, God wants #1 to have apple pie for his birthday too.  At this point, I decided the pie crust was blind baked enough, and I proceeded to fill it.

A couple hours earlier, I had peeled and sliced about 9 apples.  DH helped me, but I think it was only because he wanted me to do something else with my time.  I added all the apple pie yummy stuff that Martha Stewart told me to add, and I let the apples sit.  The funny thing is that after awhile, juices from the apples start to accumulate at the bottom of the bowl.  As it turns out, 9 apples was way too many for one little Marie Callendars pie pan, but I got most of the filling in, and I poured in some of the yummy apple-and-cinnamon-juice from the bottom of the bowl, too.  I made a pretty little lattice of pie crust on the top.  I am no good at making the edges look good, but it’s even more difficult, nigh on impossible, when the dough is too soft.  So the edges were kind of smashed together and ugly looking.  Oh well.  At least #1 will have a tasty birthday pie.

I used leftover pie crust and leftover pie filling and made little tarts in the muffin tin.  They looked so cute.  I’m sorry to tell you that I have no pictures of this.  I placed the pie and the muffin pan in the oven next to each other and started cleaning up.  After a few minutes, I noticed smoke billowing out of my oven, and opened it up to see what what happening.

There were two small fires in the bottom of my (electric) oven, no doubt started by the yummy apple-and-cinnamon-juice overflowing the pie pan.  I called for backup, and DH came to rescue me.  I pulled the muffin pan out, and he poured salt on the right fire.  The left fire went out on its own.  I put the muffin pan back, and left them to bake more.  There was a second similar incident, which ended in my pouring my own salt on the left fire which had reignited.  The pie survived both incidents, adding to my belief in divine intervention.

When it finally came time to serve the pie, I was pretty excited.  While serving, however, I discovered my fingers were getting absolutely black from the bottom side of the pie tin.  Funny how fire does that to a pie tin.  I was gooey blackness, too, that doesn’t just rinse off, but requires soap and scrubbing and hot water.  Gross.

The pie was actually quite tasty.  The crust was possibly the tastiest (and most fragile) I have ever made.  It was exquisite.  The little apple tarts made for a fun dessert in the kids lunches.  And, it gave me a really good excuse to buy ice cream (like I needed one).  Next month is #2’s birthday.  He better not ask for pie.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: It’s My Kitchen’s Fault « A Regular Woman
  2. Dacia
    May 17, 2011 @ 12:01:15

    Wow! That was a crazy story. I am happy the pie ended up turning out even after all chaos. I am impressed and I am sure #1 loved it!


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