Prior to the coronavirus, our kitchen was just a room we had to walk through to get to the laundry. We wondered aloud whether we even needed a kitchen. The dishwasher doubles as a handy filing cabinet.
We contemplated replacing the stove and oven with more cabinets to store junk we don’t need. We might have done it except we thought we might want to sell the house someday.
But, the stay-at-home, antisocial pandemic steered us back to the kitchen. When we couldn’t dine out, cooking became a necessity. But it’s also a diversion from the boredom of Netflix.
We have an apple tree, and this year was a bumper crop. After the squirrels took what they wanted, we still had hundreds of apples on the tree. I decided to bake a pie.
I’ve never made a pie before, so I decided to go all the way with it, which meant making the crust from scratch.
I searched online for crust recipes and settled on one with ingredients we already had that looked like any first-grader could handle.
When I got done with it, it looked like a first-grader had. While I had plenty of flour in the bowl, I also had ample amounts on the floor, on the walls, on the counter and on me.
I rolled out the dough using a wooden rolling pin from our antique kitchen decor. The finished dough looked like it would fit perfectly in the pan — if the pan was squished under the car tires first.
The top crust looked worse than the bottom, so I cut it into strips to make a lattice top for the pie.
I peeled and sliced the apples. Since I don’t spray the tree, I also cut out all the wormholes and dark spots, which cut the amount available for baking by about half.
I’m not sure what kind of apples I had. They look like gala apples but are more tart than sweet, so I decided they were pie apples. They are now, anyway.
I tossed them in a bowl with brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. I coated the top crust with butter and sprinkled it with cinnamon sugar.
An hour later, I had a pie. I have to say, it might be the best-tasting apple pie I’ve ever had; and believe me, I know my apple pies. The crust was a little dense, but so am I.
The pie took me back in time to when my grandmother was alive. She would make her own jams and apple butter and, of course, pies. I don’t know when store-bought crust became available, but I doubt she ever used one.
Her pies looked better, but she had way more practice. They probably tasted better, too, but making your own pie from scratch adds a little something to the flavor.
On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being very difficult, I’d rate pie making a 4. Cleanup was a 9.
It was so easy and so good, I can hardly wait to do it again when the apples ripen next year.
© Copyright by David Porter, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. I also made spaghetti for the first time last week after dreaming the night before about making it. Dreams really do come true.