The days of February are the longest. I don’t care that February is supposed to be the shortest month, by all respects it’s the longest month of the entire year. Everything is devoid of colour, we are pummelled with copious amounts of snow, and I pull myself deep into my little valley home, like some wild animal in a burrow, and drink massive amounts of tea and nibble on goodies. Because if I have to hibernate I might as well be surrounded with delicious goodness wrapped in pastry.
If I had been lucky enough to get to our giant apple tree before the deer cleared the thing I would have had a gorgeous amount of apple products tucked away in jars on our shelves. Alas that didn’t happen. (I’ve asked Dan to wrap the tree in electric fence this coming year. I’ll teach Bambi for eating my apples.) So for today I buy the apples. But that doesn’t make apple pie any less enjoyable. I just felt the need to share my plight. Moving on.
You Will Need:
7 cups of sliced apples ( I use a mixture of granny smith and golden delicious and basically just count 1 apple as a cup. But I’m a rebel. Also, don’t make your slices too thick.)
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons of white flour
1 heaping teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 double crust pastry (like this one)
1 egg white
(*Note: the egg white and the coarse sugar are optional)
Combine the apples and the lemon juice in a large bowl. Toss to coat.
In a small bowl combine the sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Mix well.
Pour the spice mixture over the apples and mix well to coat. Set aside.
Roll out your pastry and fill a 10″ pie plate.
Add the apple mixture to your pastry.
Run a knife around the outside of the plate and cut off the excess pastry hanging over.
Roll out another piece of pastry and fit the pastry on top.
Crimp the edges. You can use your fingers or a fork for this. It doesn’t have to be fancy, your goal is to seal the crusts together.
Cut off the excess pastry hanging over the sides of the plate.
Cut air slits in the top.
In a bowl beat the egg whites until they start to get foamy. Brush on the top of pie. Sprinkle course sugar over top. (This step is optional. It doesn’t affect the outcome of the pie.)
Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes.
Without opening the oven door, reduce heat to 375°F and bake for 40 – 50 minutes or until the apples are soft. (This is where air slits are handy. Just sneak a fork in there and see if the apples are soft.) Cook at 15 minute intervals if the apples are still crunchy.
Remove from oven and allow to cool. This is the hardest step of the entire process. But is mandatory if you want the filling to set.
Sadly, I don’t have a “finished” picture to share as this pie was for company and, believe it or not, people don’t understand when I cut pie, carefully take out a piece and take about 100 pictures of it in different locations, in different lighting, different camera settings, and at different angles. Ah, the things I do for you guys.
And while the snow beats against the window and the wind hollers outside, you can be safe inside your own little home, eating warm apple pie and dreaming about Spring. It’s a much better way to get through February.