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The Joy of Apple Pie | Manolo for the Big Girl

The Joy of Apple Pie

Those who know me in real life know that there is one inevitable question that will be asked of first-time visitors: what kind of pie do you want?

I’m a big fan of pie. In fact, Mr. Twistie and I had individual fruit tarts instead of a cake at our wedding. In nearly forty years, one thing has never let me down in the kitchen and that’s pie crust. It always turns out right for me.

There are few pleasures in life to match those of sharing good food with a good friend. Yesterday, I got to do just that. The request was for apple.

So yesterday morning I woke bright and early and started in on baking an apple pie. It’s funny how seldom I make apple pie. Apples are ubiquitous, always available, usually inexpensive. There’s more urgency to other fruits. Quick! grab the strawberries while they have flavor! Raspberries are on sale this week, but next week they’ll cost three times as much! Those nectarines won’t last much longer! So when I was asked for apple, I suddenly realized it’s been a couple years since I made an apple pie.

And yet apple pie is a delicious thing. It’s comfortable. It tastes of childhood and security as well as cinnamon and tart fruit. It’s like warm slippers on a cold night. It’s something most of us need now and again.

All too often, we are taught to treat food as an enemy to be conquored, but in reality it’s a friend to be respected and treated well. Half a pie every day is unhealthy, true, but as a once in a while thing, it feeds the soul as well as the body. Entering into the ritual of preparing a special treat for a friend also nourishes the spirit. Slicing apples, mixing dough, choosing just the right spices, letting the aroma of baking fruit drift into every pore; it all adds to the special moment when you take that first bite.

I won’t bake a pie today. It’s not an everyday sort of thing for a variety of reasons. But I know I’ll bake another soon and share it with either the same or another friend. And I know I won’t let myself go so long without making another apple one again.

10 Responses to “The Joy of Apple Pie”

  1. me October 20, 2007 at 7:11 pm #

    I love apple pie.

  2. Fenny October 21, 2007 at 7:04 am #

    My Gran had apple trees, so apple pie really was the major part of my childhood.

    And I can personally vouch for how amazing your pies are :-)

  3. Lindsay October 21, 2007 at 9:10 am #

    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing. :D

  4. Never teh Bride October 21, 2007 at 4:06 pm #

    No fail pie crust? Please share your recipe! Mine always turns out like crud :-(

  5. Twistie October 21, 2007 at 6:21 pm #

    NtB: Alas! It is not the crust recipe that is no-fail, but my hands, it seems. It was just a basic short crust that I did the other day: Take one and a quarter cups flour, dash of salt, stir well. Cut in one stick very cold unsalted butter. When the mixture resembles small granules, add in ice water one or two tablespoons at a time until dough forms. Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate 1/2 to 2 hours.

    Roll out dough on floured surface, place in pie pan, cut off extra dough. Add filling and bake according to directions.

    I hope it works for you, but I make no guarantee. It never fails for me, but it never worked for my mother, who was an otherwise amazing cook. Me? I can’t seem to go wrong with a crust recipe, from basic shortcrust to the fabulous grated root vegetable crust I used for a quiche a week or so ago.

  6. dangermouse October 21, 2007 at 7:19 pm #

    How funny — I *just* popped an apple into the oven!

  7. dangermouse October 21, 2007 at 7:20 pm #

    oops – apple pie, that is ;)