Sep 7, 2010

Anatomy of an Alpha Apple Pie

For all my nattering on about my culinary adventures, I have a confession to make.  I've never (really, NEVER) made a baked fruit pie.


None of the usual ABCs (you know, apple, blueberry or cherry) have ever come out of my oven.

Truth is, I rarely EAT pie.  A piece or two of pumpkin or mincemeat at Thanksgiving, chased by some chess or pecan at Christmas, and then maybe a sliver of frozen margarita or lemon icebox pie in the summer.   That's about it for me and pies.  (Okay, yeah, I might yearn for a piece of rhubarb custard or Shoney's strawberry pie, but that's a once-a-decade kind of hankering.)

For about a year now, I've been seeing recipes for apple pie with a cornmeal crust, and it was like a siren's call to me, luring me to try my hand at it.  (I do have experience with homemade piecrusts.  Nobody ever told me they were hard to make, so in my early days in the kitchen, I'd make them for quiches and the occasional peanut butter pie for a church potluck, with fairly good success.  Then Pillsbury introduced refrigerated crust, and that was the end of my piecrust making days...until now.)

This recipe bills itself as the "perfect" apple pie.  That remains to be seen, but here's how it went yesterday.

Step 1:   Take a picture while everything still looks picture-perfect.  (I submit People's Exhibit 1: the magazine propped up that reads "Perfect Apple Pie.")

 Step 2: Apples are peeled and tossed in the sugar/flour/spice mixture.  First crust is rolled and ready.

Step 3: Pile the apples in the crust:

Step 5:  Roll and place the other crust on top; cut a few slits on the top.  (Where's my cute little fall maple leaf cookie cutter when I need it??) I was tempted to brush the top with egg white and sprinkle with sugar, but I'm a firm believer in following the recipe the first time through, then modifying it on the second pass, when I have more information.)

Step 6: Bake and cool.  I'm so glad the recipe cautioned to put the pan on a jelly-roll sheet (which I took the added precaution of covering in foil.)  Because indeed it boiled over.  It can still TASTE perfect, even if one side is a little stickier than the other, right?

And finally, the taste test.  Results?  On the upside, I do like the crust.  The inside was a bit runny (and I probably should have stuffed a couple more apples in there..) but overall not bad for a first effort.  But then again, I am admittedly no connoisseur of pies, so it's hard for me to say if this is the "perfect" apple pie.  I might have to make a few more, strictly for comparison purposes.