Chasing the Sunset

November 23, 2009 Ella
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I love that time of the afternoon on a warm fall day when the sun begins to set. The waning rays of sunlight stretch so far across the horizon that they have a way of making everything: the grass, the trees, the changing leaves, look illuminated from the inside. Like the color saturation knob is turned up full blast right as the sun departs.

I found myself last year at this time of day in the middle of an apple orchard with my very favorite 4 year old, Aela. I had been feeling particularly down that week and for some months prior and I thought apple picking, fresh air and some fresh cider and donuts could easily bring me out of my slump. Though my companion that day was only 4 years old I recall one of my favorite memories of her in that orchard and her imparting a strange wisdom to me.

Once we had jumped off the back of the wagon that brought us to the trees I found it funny that Aela, wasn’t overly concerned with picking fruit. After a trip back and forth to the basket she was more content to find a nice shiney apple and sit next to me on the side of hill and look out across the brimming sunset. She talked to me then about what she wanted to be for Halloween. I assumed I’d hear about an anticipated princess or mermaid costume. She instead told me that she would be dressing up like God. Hmmm? I thought. Aela went on to tell me that she thought God was a girl (I assure this is her own belief and not her parents.), that she wore very pretty dresses, and that sometimes, though it was sad for us on Earth, this party dress clad diety called people to live with her in Heaven in her big beautiful house.

I liked how simply Aela described life, God, and that somehow in her short 4 years she already knew the importance of not picking as many apples as one could, but to instead sit and admire an orchard at sunset and appreciate a finely ripened fruit. I think we learn lessons all the time from all sorts of people whether or not we want to. So to celebrate the end of apple picking season, and to commence Thanksgiving week here is an apple pie recipe, to remind us all to take a slice of life and to slow down and enjoy the sweet things.

This recipe comes from The Taste of Home Cookbook, and was submitted by Mrs. Woodrow Taylor.

German Apple Pie

Crust

1 1/2 c flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c shortening (somtimes I thrown in some butter with this

1 tsp vanilla extract

2-3 tbsp ice water

Combine flour and salt and cut shortening in with pastry blender.  Add vanilla and water.  Kneed with your hands once dough forms a ball.  Roll out to about an 1/8 ” thick.  Using a rolling mat will make rolling your crust to the proper circumference.  It also makes transferring your crust to a pie dish easier because you can just throw your arm underneath the mat and flip it into the dish.

Patch any rippsin your crust by pinching small pieces off the edge.  Pinch the edges of the crust to flute.

Pie

1 c sugar

1/4 c flour

2 tsp cinnamon

6 c Apples, peeled and sliced chunky 

1 c heavy whipping cream

Combine sugar flour and cinnamon.  Sprinkle a layer on the bottom of the crust, layer sliced apples.  Sprinkle sugar and repeat.

Drizzle heavy cream over pie.  Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 an bake for 50-60 minutes.  Apples should be tenders.  Cool on wire wrack, and store in the fridge.  

Its typically suggested that you use tart apples for apple pie.  Honestly I’ve made this pie countless times with sweet Macintosh apples, and this time in particular I used granny smith.  When I used sweeter apples I found any excuse to dig into a slice of pie.  With the granny smith I found I enjoyed the pie most with a scope of ice cream.  I think all dessert is better a la mode, but the tart apples were best complemented with a scoop of Butter Pecan.

This week will bring biscotti, and the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever had– from the master herself Martha Stewart.

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Entry Filed under: Pie

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