First, a note about the nostalgia.
About 18 years ago, I entered a baking contest at a local kitchenware shop. I didn't win, but I got a one-time discount at the store and purchased an apple peeling-coring-slicing machine. Back then, it was a relatively new gadget, and it was an expensive purchase for a stay-at-home mother.
While in elementary school, our children celebrated Apple Week every year in October, and our apple machine made the classroom rounds. Everyone got a chance to peel and slice a big crate of apples. Afterwards, I took them home and made applesauce for the students to enjoy.
We had a pet goat during those years. In a nod to Smitty's love for high performance cars, we named him Turbo. He was a little black and white Nigerian Dwarf, and he was a wonderful pet!
Turbo ate bales of hay and kept the weeds under control in the back yard. His favorite treat was fruit trimmings from the kitchen. He could smell the strawberry tops, blackberry seeds and trimmings, and peach peels as I walked out to his pen and he would start bleating in excitement before I could even get the bucket under his nose!
I wish I had a photo of Turbo eating long, curly apple peels! They hung like strings of spaghetti from his mouth, with his little rotary jaw working away on a big tangle of colorful peels. Every time I peel apples I miss Turbo!
Several years ago I purchased a pricey bottle of boiled cider from King Arthur Flour Company. It was delicious--a syrupy, concentrated consistency. It made a big difference in our apple pies.
When I ran out I wondered why I couldn't just boil my own apple cider instead of buying the expensive version. Needless to say--I could, and I did, and have been doing it ever since.
Rose uses fresh apple cider in her recipe, although not exactly in the same way I have done it.
The apples are allowed to macerate with the sugars and spices for up to three hours.
I wanted to try some of the apples Rose suggested in the recipe, but apple season really isn't upon us yet, so I turned to an old family favorite combination of half Granny Smith and half Golden Delicious apples. This combination makes a great pie and the apples are readily available.
(Note--these photos show a double batch of the pie filling.)
I usually make double batches of pie fillings that freeze well, and I ALWAYS make more than one pie crust at a time. I love having pastry and pie fillings handy in the freezer, so that I can put together a wonderful dessert in a relatively short time-- it makes me feel downright RICH!
As much as I love her cream cheese pastry, I am partial to Rose's Deluxe Flaky All Butter Pie Crust from the Pie and Pastry Bible.
Here it is, frozen solid, wearing its foil ring to prevent over browning, slashed and ready for the oven.
That bouquet of basil is from Jessica's garden, by the way. It has nothing to do with this pie, but it's so beautiful I included it in the photo!
I love this pie! It's similar to Jessica's signature pie recipe, but I really like Rose's method of concentrating the juices to increase the complexity of the fruit flavor.
I will definitely make it again and will share it with Jessica!
And now, a tip from one cook to another:
I love my FoodSaver vacuum sealing freezer bags for storing all sorts of things! To freeze a juicy pie filling like this, pour the filling into a regular plastic bag and freeze it solid. Then cut the plastic bag away and slide the frozen pie filling into a vacuum freezer bag and seal it.
FoodSaver bags keep pastry discs fresh in the freezer. I also freeze specialty flours, nuts, marzipan and pre-measured amounts of berries in FoodSaver bags for freshness.
I store my raisins and other dried fruits in vacuum sealed bags. What a difference! The fruits stay moist and supple far longer than in ordinary plastic bags.
Thanks so much for visiting and commenting on my blog!
NEXT UP: PEPPARKAKOR Cookies