Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pie #8- Washington Apple..."perfect is in the eye of the beholder"

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I heart Washington State

I didn't mean to take such a hiatus from blogging, but here it is over two weeks since my last post! Woops. I wouldn't of had anything interesting to post anyway, as a few weeks ago, I put myself on a for reals-no foolie diet....oh- pardon me, I mean *lifestyle change*....sniffle. I need either a hug or a huge beer and a cheeseburger. Or both. It was definitely time to trim down between the summertime BBQ meat-fest and the holiday smorgasbord. I've been jogging and taking pilates classes like a mother fucker. And I swear to god if I have to look at another boneless-skinless chicken breast I'm going to fucking shoot myself.

I've lost 15 pounds.
I need PIE.

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So heres the deal with my apple pie. I've been tinkering around with this recipe for close to 8 years. I've tried variations on the spices, amounts of sugar, and most important: the apple varieties. What I've come with is a perfect apple pie for my taste. You may have a differing opinion on what "perfect" means in an apple pie, so don't give me that stinky eye ball if you don't like lemon zest, or feel that an apple pie without allspice is a crime against humanity.

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These are my requirements for a perfect apple pie:

1. Use a blend of apples. Mostly a firm, tart apple (granny smith or newton pippin) and a few sweet apples that soften a bit more after baking (such as a jonagold or a braeburn). The sweet apples will soften to almost a sauce like consistency while the tart ones will retain both their shape and a slight crunch.

2. 86 the butter. I know. Crazy. This is my one and only fruit pie recipe that has no butter in the filling. Personally, I think the apples taste brighter with out it.

3. Once you have tossed the apples with the sugar, spices, and lemon juice. Let it sit for about 15 minutes before filling your pie shell. This will eliminate the dreaded gap of space between the baked top crust and the filling.

4. Starch should be minimal. Apples are full of pectin.

5. Add both lemon juice (as per usual) and zest. It brings the apples alive.

6. Easy on that sugar, bucko. I really really really hate apple pie that is too sweet. Really.

7. My spices of choice are cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. I have tried just about every baking spice out there for this recipe and these, ho-hum as they may sound are my favorites. You may feel differently, and that is between you, your pie, and your god.

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Now that I have indulged in a much needed dose of fat and sugar, I am feeling much less bitchy...and more in the mood to blog. Break is over, I promise!

Apple pie filling

3# tart apples (granny smith or pippin)
1# sweet apples (braeburn or jonagold)
2 Tb lemon juice
zest of 1/2 of a lemon
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg- freshly grated
1/8 tsp ground clove
1/4 tsp salt

Peel and core the apples. Slice into 1/2" slices and toss with the lemon juice and zest. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, starch, salt, and spices. Toss with the apples and let sit for 15 minutes. Fill unbaked pie shell, apply top crust, and bake.
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23 comments:

peter said...

I totally got here first, which is a miracle, because it's 4 AM over here and I pretty much assumed you were dead.

I would do inhuman things to that pie if it were within my reach right now.

Foodycat said...

That looks like the perfect pie to me! I am amazed that you lost 15lbs. Wow! Great work.

I don't put butter in apple or cherry pies - I agree, the flavour is brighter.

Ann said...

I LOVE you for saying mother fucker. And for that pie.

And for your funny comments you leave on my blog. :)

Breaks are good. But I always feel this terrible pressure from the blog when I don't post for a while, do you too? Ugh.

Brooke said...

15 pounds - great job! I have recently fallen in love with Denise Austin's yoga burn DVD. You know how I hate sweating in public so I needed something I could do at home. Her scratchy voice is like a lullaby for my love-handles.

By the way, granny smith and jonagold is my favorite apple pie combo too. We must think alike or something.

Heather said...

K, do you put anything on top? Like just for shits and gigs? I love sharp cheddar, or a dribble of dulce de leche. Ice cream is good, too, always.

matt wright said...

YUM. this looks awesome. Congrats on loosing 15lbs. that is the weight of a pork shoulder.

Oh man, boneless skinless chicken breast? have fun with that eating cardboard.. But seriously, really good job.. this ain't an easy time to loose weight (winter heavy foods and all that).

Have you ever tried a dash of calvados in your apple pie? Or did I just say a sin?

Allspice in a pie is a crime against humanity. That shit should never be in there.

The Spiteful Chef said...

You say you're too much of a pussy to run a marathon. Well, I'm too much of a pussy to diet, which is why I have to run in the first place. And even running, I don't lose 15 pounds. Shit. That's awesome. Congratulations.

As for the pie, well, I'm a whore for apples anyway, and this just puts me over the top.

Brittany said...

Peter- Alive and well. Just about to head over to your blog where I will get really hungry

Foodycat- Thanks!

Ann- I motherfucking love saying mother fucker. And yes, I've been riddled with guilt. It's funny how these blogs can take over your life.

Brooke- I should try that video, as every time our pilates instructer says "doesn't that feel great?" after the 900th lunge, I want to call her a fucking cunt.

Heather- I LOVE cheddar on apple pie, but will happily settle for homemade vanilla bean ice cream in a pinch.

Matt- yeah, it's pretty much the most boring piece of meat out there. I have tried calvados in the pie, and yes it's pretty tasty. Unfortunantly the difference wasn't noticable enough for me to waste the calvados when I could be getting drunk off it instead.

Kristy- the weight loss is pretty much all in my tits anyway.
I've noticed that as I age, just excersizing doesn't make me lose any weight. When I was 21, a few sessions on the elliptical would have me bikini ready. Now, I have to count fucking calories....and I'm still not going anywhere near a bikini..

Grace said...

i adore your thick, bump-tastic crust. i suspect that the innards would be just as tasty. :)

cookiecrumb said...

That sounds really, really good. I know you'd forgive me if I used a tad less cinnamon.
Watch out for Peter.

cook eat FRET said...

and i found 'em
all 15
and i am miserable
TOTALLY

but i want the pie
really really want the pie
and if i had it i would eat it. yes, i would
like 1/3 of it
in one go
with coffee
no cheese or ice cream necessary

glad you're back
you really pretty fucking funny

Emily said...

I read this last night, but it was freakishly late, and I didn't feel like commenting.

Congrats on 15 lbs! That's amazing! No way I could do that.

Your pie looks great. I'm going to have to try your tips. Do you ever put alcohol in your crust?

Brittany said...

Grace- Oh, you know it girl!

Cookiecrumb- absolutely. I like a cinnamony apple pie.

Claudia- Find some stuck up skinny bitch to give them too. I wish it worked like that.

Em- Thanks! And if you lost 15 lbs, you would begin to disappear, you teensy thing, you. And yes, I always replace some of the water in my pie crust with a few Tbs of vodka

jesse said...

Congrats on losing 15 lbs! I reward myself with pastries whenever I've lost weight too... yay!

Maris said...

This pie looks like it's WORTH 15 lbs. I love apple pie, it's my favorite!

Peabody said...

Yeah, I can't do the plain chicken breast...I feel for you.
This pie looks beautiful.

coonie said...

hello, i came across your blog :) i also enjoy baking but i haven't made a pie before.. and i was wondering if you have any pie crust recipes.

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention, so I WILL, that you won "Best Apple Quince Pie" in this month's issue of Seattle Magazine!!!
Mom

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