Saturday, October 08, 2005

Mom's Apple Pie

My Mom was not a great cook. But boy, could she make pies. Pies were an important part of my childhood. I am the oldest of four children so it was a busy household. When it was time to bake a pie, Mom would get us all involved. We had huge blackberry bushes out back and she would send us out to pick blackberries with the promise of a pie. Now I may be exaggerating, but those blackberries were as big as my thumb! We would come back to the house with full buckets and our faces covered with blackberry stain from eating so many berries. But oh, those pies. My personal favorite was Apple Pie. She taught me the secrets of making pastry...her way. She had 6 sisters and supposedly their recipe for pie crust came from the eldest sister whose name was Dwinn. Back in those days, Crisco was the "fat" of choice for pies. Who knew about hydrogenated fats and how bad they were for us back then? Also, I only knew about bleached white flour. But these nasty ingredients made the best pie crusts. My favorite part was rolling out the pie crust...not too thick, not too thin and just enough flour so that it wouldn't stick to the surface you were rolling it on. It became a challange and a form of art in my life.

Mom showed me how to cut the apples after peeling them; a very slow process which over the years I have learned to truly appreciate. She would put lots of sugar on top of the apples in the pie crust, then flour. On top of this mountain of apples she would put 4 pretty good size pieces of butter which she said was unforgivable to forget. Then the pie crust top would go on and she would seal the edges with a fork. I became very good at decorating the edges in my own way; using all sorts of folds, fancy pieces of cutout shapes, pinching the dough between my fingers. Any extra dough we kids would use to make any sort of oddball items, quite often filled with jam or extra fruit, sometimes just sugar...which would all get baked alongside the pie. These were our own personal "pies".

I don't bake pies very often...dear husband and I do try and watch what we eat and a whole pie between two folks is just a bit over the top where weight control is an issue. But I have an excuse. Our local Co-op is having their annual Harvest Festival tomorrow and they are having an Apple Pie contest. This is what I'm entering on Mom's behalf. She would be proud.


At 1:46 AM, Blogger Mr. C.C. said...

Well, I am Canadian and it is Thanksgiving this weekend and I am going to have apple pie.

At 7:38 PM, Blogger jvaaz said...

we didn't stay ling enough to have a peice ourselves. you'll have to make two for thanksgiving. please?


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