November 5, 2018:

Hola!

Daylight Savings Time has come and gone and once again I'm left to struggle with how much just this one hour shift goofs up my internal clock! Sigh.

The new photos in the header are neighborhood trees - they turn so beautifully! And this year my tree planted 2 years out front by the City in my curb area has turned a marvelous red. I should have taken a photo of it on Saturday. Yesterday we got a southeaster with lots of rain and strong winds gusting to 40 and 50 mph most of the day, starting in the pre-dawn hours, and nearly all of the leaves are gone now! So I'll have to wait until next year. I KNEW I should have taken those photos, drat!

Thanksgiving will be with us soon, and then the move toward the Winter Solstice, which is the most important day to me because then the days start getting LONGER AGAIN a few minutes a day, YAY!!! and of course, Christmas , an important holiday for many of us. Those events get me through the dark, the severe cold, the blizzards and the dreariness of weeks without seeing sunshine that southeast Wisconsin winters often bring.

I've got plans for how to get through the dark at 5 p.m. doldrums, people! Plans!

Jan

Saturday, October 26, 2013

National Apple Day

Hola everyone!

I am behind my time posting.  Monday, October 21st, was National Apple Day in the USA.  I had off that day and picked up fixings for an easy-make apple pie (I posted the recipe here).  Here is a sort of mini-pictorial of my pie-making process.

Note: Use a store bought pie crust for the bottom layer of the pie, and it is not pre-baked.


This was the start of the bottom layer, using 2 apples.  I use Grandma Newton's method of starting placement of the apples around the outside of the pie plate, working inward, and filling in gaps here and there with the odd piece of apple (waste not, want not). 


This is what the pie looked like after the second layer of apples was placed (apples 3 and 4).


This was the pie after apple 5 was placed.  I probably should have stopped at 4, LOL, and just rearranged the slices a bit!  The pie turned out beautifully and was perfectly cooked, but because of the extra bulk I added I had to bake it for an extra 15 minutes.  It was torture waiting for that time to pass, I wanted to pull the pie out of the oven and start the cooling process so I could have a piece, it smelled soooo good!


This is after the cinnamon and sugar mixture is sprinkled liberally over the apples.

The next pictures are making the crumbly topping which consists of flour, sugar, 1/3rd cup butter and I add about half a teaspoon of cornstarch to stablize the apple mixture once it starts baking, so it doesn't get too "wet:"



Not the best photo, but this is about the right consistency.  As you can see, the butter, which is worked in very cold (I get a work-out by using a regular old fork to do it), is in rather large lumps.  That's how it should look.  I took the photo below on a different setting to see if I could get more contrast:


Here's the pie after the topping is sprinkled over it and "worked" into the cracks, oven-ready!  I know, it looks like it is overflowing and there is too much topping.  The topping sinks in as it bakes and the butter melts.  Sometimes the pie does overflow and drip a little, so I line the bottom of my oven with aluminum foil to catch any drips/spill-overs: 


And here is what this scrumptious pie looked like when I took it out of the oven after baking time plus 15 minutes:


As you can see, the mound of apples in the center has shrunk down in the baking process to a "cuttable" level.  There is practically an entire "crust" across the top of the pie, not just crumbs sprinkled here and there. It looks great without using a possibly "heavy" store bought crust for topping or making and rolling out my own.  It tastes really good, too.


Adding the cornstarch to the recipe (it was not in the original recipe that I received years ago), definitely aids in the pie holding together after it cools, even when using apples like Red Delicious (bake juicy).  I have made this pie with a mixture of Red Delicious and Granny Smith, and Granny  Smith and whatever other apples happen to be on sale.  This pie was made with Cortlands (on sale).  Depending upon the size of the apples, 4 may be more than enough to fill a 9" pie plate. 

Adding that 5th apple, the pie overall could have used a touch more cinnamon.  Otherwise, it was perfect! 

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