Thursday, October 22, 2009

Apple Pie

Yesterday, I decided to make a homemade apple pie. We have loads of apples still from picking a few weeks ago. I have a great from scratch crust recipe and over the years I’ve come up with a good filling recipe also. Apple pie is pretty simple to make, but it feels good to have a solid winner in your recipe box for this standard. Last year’s pie was to die for-the best one that I’ve ever put together. It looked like a magazine cover. The crust was the right golden hue; the pinches along the edges were spaced correctly. I had rolled out the crust just right. It was beautiful and I was really proud of it.

This year’s pie was another story. I think yesterday was probably the worst possible day for me to go about baking something. One of my children has the flu. Lovely, no? Don’t worry they are getting better. A second child was just in the process of coming down with it last night. You knew that was coming, right? I have been up for about 3 solid nights now with very little sleep. In addition to that, a friend of mine is going through something rather complicated in her life and I had just gotten off of a difficult phone call with her. My mom also had just called to release some stress regarding my aging grandparents. My sister’s little guy also has the flu and has developed bronchitis as a complication from it. I was concerned about him. The world was not looking so rosy last night. Things were piling up. Quickly. So, sometimes you need a release.

Baking-it almost always works for me. You can loose yourself in the minutiae. And if you follow the directions exactly, things will always turn out good in the end. So, I began. Even though I just had the house cleaned thoroughly that morning, I began to peel, core and slice all of the apples. A very juicy mess was created. The crust was another story. Things went along well and I put it in the freezer early that morning to chill. Throughout the process of the baking of the pie, T kept saying to me “Really, today you’re going to that? Of all days?” Yes, I was. So, I rolled out the bottom crust-all went smoothly. The filling was made and all was good. Top crust time came and it all fell apart. I had to roll and reroll 3 times. Anyone who makes pie crust knows that this does nothing but break down the butter from the heat of the process leaving you with less flavor and goodness in your crust. Not to mention it’s a pain in the ass. Each time, the phone would ring. The kids would need something. Mass chaos seemed to be happening all around me and in my head especially.

I couldn’t keep things clear. I couldn’t focus. I was not loosing myself in the process of baking. It was just adding more stress. I finally got the top crust on and realized that I forgot to dot the apples with butter. I had to remove it yet again. After putting the top on for the last time I ripped it in two places. It was hardly even. One side barely covered and one was too thick. I swear I was ready to cry. About pie. I said something to T and he just looked at me like “Really? Over the pie?” I stared yammering about how frustrated I was and how last year’s was so perfect and this was a mess.

Things feel messy right now. A whole pile of yuck. So, he did what he does best. He calmed me down. He showed me how if I turned the pie around the one side looked great. You have to just not look at the side with the tears or where it doesn’t match up. It’s all about what you choose to focus on. God, I hate when he’s right or makes sense or has the ability to always stay calm. But, I also thank God that I have him around to do just that.

Above is the picture of the pie. I guess it’s not that bad. The kids and T gobbled it up for dessert. It didn’t taste quite like last’s years. But, I’m working at not noticing… There are more positive things to focus on.


  1. I just made my own crust last weekend with a new recipe and it was so delicate I wanted to scream!! But it tasted awesome. Post your recipe!!

  2. It looks edible...and at the end of the day that is all that's important!

    I hate when I get frazzled while baking...I have screwed up bread soo many times because I got distracted and forgot an ingredient or something!

  3. The pie looks great. I think you see more flaws in it than anyone else. But don't you hate it when you forget to dot it with butter? It's like the time I made a quiche and forgot the cream (had to add it later) at least I coaught it before it baked:)

    It's great you have someone like that in your life to calm you!

  4. I for one am impressed with your pie. Any time I bake something, the family just says, "Well, let's hope it at least TASTES good."

  5. You've just inspired me to make an apple pie! That just sounds so good right now!

  6. It's really about how it tastes, right? And I know what you mean about the crusts. And have you ever tried Emile Henry dishes? I swear by them for pies. They make the best crusts - pinky promise. :) Yours looks amazing.

  7. last week work was particularly stressful for me. by wednesday i was done. i decided we would eat harris teeter (grocery store) subs for dinner since harris teeter is right below the dr's office, where we had an appt for the baby. my favorite sub was 1/2 price, but they were out of the cheese i like and the sauce i wanted. annoying, but okay. i get outside, go to eat my sub and everything fell out because it was so poorly made. i went back and had him remake it. in and effort to keep it inside (?) he shortchanged me on the meat - by a LOT. i got outside, noticed this and burst into tears. shoulder shaking, big fat tears rolling down my cheeks, sobbing. my husband looked at me like i was crazy. apparently the harris teeter manager must have agreed b/c he gave me double my money back!