Monday, August 23, 2010

It pays to be a mediocre pie-maker

When we moved into our incredible rental home last year, I took note of the two enormous apple trees in the backyard, and rubbed my hands together like a silent-movie villain.

I kept thinking of all the wonderful apple baked goods I'd produce in the fall. So when one tree started producing, I duly waited until the green apples swelled and started falling off the tree before inviting a friend over for an apple butter/apple pie session.

Unfortunately, a few weeks later, those green apples turned red and crispy and sweet and slightly tart. And I realized I'd been had by Mother Nature, and possessed a cupboard full of Green Apple Butter.

This year, both trees are producing, and I know better. The tree that came up empty last year is positively loaded with sweet red and green beauties that can be munched on anytime. Lazy me, though, is no longer interested in winning life by making my own pie crusts. Thankfully, Trader Joe's anticipated that, and helpfully boxed up some premade ones for me.

So yesterday I decided to make Matt's favorite: Dutch Apple Pie. I pressed the premade crust into a piepan, tossed a few apples with sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg, then made an extra-crumbly crumble and spread it on top.

After 50 minutes in the oven, this pie took my breath away. It was everything a Dutch Apple should be. The crust browned beautifully, and the apples poking out here and there were crisped perfectly. The best part, though, was that the crumb layer caramelized into a crispy sugar crust that oozed down through the apple layers.

And me without my camera.

Unfortunately, though, this pie was too good. I had a piece. Matt finished off the pie (trying his best to scarf the last piece in the kitchen after I went to bed, so I wouldn't catch him).

My waistline thanks him.

My tastebuds are plotting against him.
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