I love apple pie. Warm, with vanilla ice cream. YUM. So this month made me very happy.
I used the Joy of Baking Recipe, but really liked the post about crumble on top, so thought I'd try that.
Then I really liked Laura's description of using lard to make a light flaky crust.
I gathered about 10 apples, 4 different varieties, and peeled, quartered, sliced and nibbled on them until I had a full bowl. Then I left them to marinate whilst I attempted to (to use Laura's words:) throw flour at lard until it looks right.
Ok. Ick. The lard was slightly chilled (as it had sat in the refrigerated grocery delivery truck for a while, apparently), and I couldn't get it to mix, so I used my hands. At first I kinda liked the feeling between my fingers. That lasted about 20 seconds before I started to get seriously grossed out. And there was nothing resembling dough appearing in the big old bowl, despite the growing dust cloud of flour encroaching across my kitchen. Add to that the smell of lard... and I was not a happy bunny. But I kept trying to make it work by adding more flour. I thought at this point about the crumble topping and even thought I'd try that recipe. Then I realized that I'd used almost an entire bag of flour and the whole stick of lard and ended up with a dusty, greasy bowl full of lumpy nothingness and a fine white mist of flour covering half my kitchen.
I officially gave up at that point and went out for brunch with a girlfriend. :)
I came back several hours (and glasses of wine) later with ready made pastry crusts and finished the pie.
I'm honestly surprised that I had enough apples to make a pie, as I discovered that they are SUPER YUMMY after marinating in the spices for several hours and ate them by the handful as I was cutting the strips for the top of the pie. I decided I'd just do the criss-crossy top like my Gran used to make because I love it. I love the way it looks, and since the crust is my least favorite bit, it's a win/win. The whole crumble idea seemed a distant [hic] memory. :)
Here it is: MY SUPER YUMMY APPLE PIE! (which only baked for about 30 minutes instead of the whole 45 because apparently my oven thinks 220 degrees celcius is a tad hotter than the folks at Joy of Baking... thank gawd for tin foil!)