I bought myself a wonderful cookbook in the spring. It’s called “The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook” by Cheryl Day and Griffith Day.
I swear, the pastry and the pie recipes in this cookbook are both delicious and well-written. She also has savory treats, but I’m not much of a savory baker and I don’t have ramekins. Yet. Every question I could possibly have while baking is answered simply and straight-forwardly in this wonderful book. You should invest in it, if you’re looking for a new cookbook, and especially if you’re an amateur baker like myself.
Any way. This is the third time I’ve made this pie and coincidentally, the third time I’ve ever made pie. The first was for Pi Day 2013 and I received christening approval from my Upstate New Yorker friend that this was, indeed, a wonderful pie. The second was at the beginning of summer and I accidentally used a 7-inch pie pan instead of a 9-inch pie pan. So the flat pie I made the first time around turned into a giant dome pie the second time. No one complained. My mom said it was, “The best apple pie I’ve ever had.” And now that we have friends staying at our house, my mom has been bragging about my apple pie. So I spent all afternoon standing in the kitchen caramelizing sugar and peeling/coring/cutting apples. There are few feelings better than the dull ache of a sore back after an afternoon well spent in the kitchen!
I hit a couple snafus this time though. The pie crust failed to gather well when I made it last night, so this afternoon’s rolling out involved a lot of emergency repairs to keep crust in one piece. And the lemon juice didn’t quite cover the apple slices quite as nicely as it could have, probably because I’m scared of tossing things in bowls to coat them. I didn’t use cardamom last time, and I used it this time. I think my preference is to have cardamom-free apple pie. The flavor is too strong for my taste, overpowering the cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. I even added extra cinnamon to the flour mixture to combat the strong scent of cardamom, but it evidently was not enough.
Just a pointer for anybody making apple pie, for the most apple-y pies, definitely use a medley of apples. They all should be hard apples, not fluffy apples that have no crunch. If you just use Granny Smith apples, the pie turns out sour and takes away from the taste of apples. The second time I baked the pie, I used Macintosh and Granny Smith apples. That was a good combination.
All in all though, I’d have to say that the caramel turned out better than the other two times. And in one go, there’s no more pie left! When the dessert’s all gone in one night, I have to call that a success!