Sunday, October 7, 2012

Apple Pie

My Grandfather loved his mother's apple pie and that is the only apple pie that he would eat. That's all we heard about growing up. His sister Betty would make the apple pie for him and he would top it with a slice of cheddar cheese. Not vanilla ice cream? Really? That was strange to me then. I now love apples with cheddar cheese, but I still won't put it on my pie.
I found this apple pie recipe while in my teens, and the first time my Grandfather had it, he told me that it was better than his mother's. That was the ultimate compliment, and thus started the tradition of me making him apple pie instead of a cake for his birthday. My Grandfather would have been 98 years old tomorrow (October 8) so I made a pie to celebrate the wonderful man that was my father figure. In his eyes, I could do no wrong. He was there, sitting next to my bed when I woke up after my c-section when I had my daughter. He helped me buy my first new car. He let me sit on his knee even though I was too big to sit on his knee. He let me push the buttons on his police scanner. He picked me up from school when I missed the bus. He picked me up from my orthodontic appointments. He made me pancakes on Thursdays... for supper! He bought donuts at Dunkin Donuts and let me pick out the ones that I wanted. He sat at the table at the lake house and watched me swim at Webster Lake. He let me sit outside with him after my bath and listen to the Red Sox on the transistor radio. We watched the trucks taking the wrong exit from the highway, thinking they were going to the Mass Pike. He loved me, K-A-T KAT. No one ever called me that except him, and no one ever will. Love you Grandpa, Happy Birthday!!!
1 teaspoon flour
1-1/4 cups sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 cup water
3 pounds tart apples
1 tablespoon flour
pie crust for a double crust pie
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

Place 1 teaspoon into the bottom of a pie plate and spread it around
This helps the pie crust not stick to the the pie plate.
Place bottom crust into pie plate
Put the pie plate onto a cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil.
You'll thank me for this one after you take the pie out of the oven and it's bubbled over onto the cookie sheet. You won't have to scrub the oven of burnt, sticky apple syrup.
Peel, core and slice apples into 8 sections
Put them into a bowl with enough water to cover them and a splash of lemon juice to help keep them from turning brown.
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Put the sugar, salt and water into an electric skillet
Cover and heat until sugar begins to dissolve.
Drop enough apples into the skillet to cover the bottom
Cook gently until fork tender, then using the fork, remove the cooked apples to the pie plate.
Continue until all of the apples are cooked.
Using a whisk, add the flour to the remaining syrup in the skillet, adding a little water if it's too thick.
Cover the apples with the syrup
then top with the butter, cut up into pieces
and the cinnamon
Cover with remaining pie crust
Tuck the edges under while dampening the underside edge to seal to keep the leakage down to a minimum
Using a knife, stab some holes into the top crust to let the steam escape
and place the pie on the cookie sheet into the preheated oven and cook for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 400°F and cook for an additional 25 minutes.
Remove from heat
and allow to cool for one hour.
Top with cool whip, ice cream or a slice of cheddar cheese :)

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