Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Pie Diaries: Month 2

Community Apple!
(A Culinary Collaboration)

After eating all 12 of last month's Mini Peach Pies by myself I came to the conclusion that an entire months-worth of pie is simple too much to be eaten by one person. So this month, I decided to open the pie community!

The first stage of October's Apple Pie Experience was the procuring of the apples!

(Amy's nose, myself, Elliot, Dexter, Allison, Sarah.)

Every fall a bunch of my friends go apple and pumpkin picking! It's a great time... a chance to get out of the city and commune with nature. (Uhm.. a sort of super cultivated pseudo-nature, anyway.)

(Me: "how many of those small, screaming children do you think we'll have to beat up to get a seat on that hay-ride?" Dexter: "I dunno, but I bet we can take 'em.")

(Me: "What do you mean these pumpkins didn't actually grow here and that they were driven up and scattered in the pumpkin patch?!? Ali: "Who cares?! Pumpkins!")

So... in theory, apple trees are a great place to get apples. But unfortunately, due to an overly rainy fall, the annual trip embarked a little late in the season and all of the apple trees were completely bare! We spent a good 15-20 min wandering the orchard in hopes of stray, abandoned fruit, but to no avail. Fortunately, there was enough decent fruit on the ground (and at the farm stand) to guarantee pie.

I got a little carried away and ended up with quite the harvest. 1 Pumpkin for baking, 1 pumpkin to carve, an acorn squash, a mini pumpkin for decorative purposes, a butternut squash (yum), and assorted pie apples.

And on to pie! I used a basic filling recipe- 10 C. apples, cinnamon, nutmeg- and to soften the apples and get all the good stuff all mixed up, the recipe suggested heating the apple mixture in a pan until everything was almost mushy. It worked like a charm and made my house smell DELICIOUS. For this month's gluten-free crust experiment, I decided to use this recipe. (Thanks, Carrie Ann, for finally giving me some xantham gum!) It worked pretty well, except that the recipe didn't make quite enough crust to fill the pan AND cover the pie... but I made do ok.

(Yum... but I couldn't eat it quite yet...)

With so much conversation about pie going around since the inception of my year long pie-commitment, my friends Mary and Justin suggested we do a collaboration: I'll make pie and they'll use the ice-cream maker they got as a wedding present to make a complimenting ice cream. (A delicious, delicious collaboration... Anyone wanna get married? I'll do it just for the ice cream maker...) Since this month's pie is apple, they provided the most delicious vanilla-cinnamon ice cream and it was AMAZING.

The pie was pretty darn tasty, although I think if this I use this recipe again I'll add another small apple... more filling would have been nice. And the crust was pretty darn tasty, too! Nice and flaky.. not like the usual gluten-free cardboard consistancy. I do suggest, though, that if you're going to use this recipe add a dash of white sugar and salt for a little extra flavor. Mmmmm...

(Lisa, Mary, Justin, Pie, Ice cream. Mmmm, friendship rules.)

Yay! 2 Months down, 10 months to go.


anderin said...

AAAAAAAAAAH NORA I LOVE APPLE PIE! DUH. It's probably the one basic fact everyone knows about me.

Elizabeth said...

Apple picking is probably my favorite activity of the year.