— Originally published in FLL#36 • Photos by Jenny Foster
Every morning, I wake up bright pied and bushy tailed. My friends think I’m crazy—many mornings, I wake up at 6 a.m. and begin making pie dough. I’m sure you’re asking yourself why on earth I would get up so early just to make a pie. Because a cool countertop and ice cold ingredients are crucial to a perfect pie crust.
I’ve always loved being creative in the kitchen, but I started making pies religiously this past summer. I’ve always favored warm weather, but this past summer was so frustrating. I would wake up warm with barely my foot still beneath the sheets and stumble excitedly downstairs to begin my pie.
Well… pie crust doesn’t do well on a room temperature countertop. It becomes sticky and breaks apart. I had to make sure my butter was in the fridge right up to the point that I was ready to add it, and waited to measure my ice water until the moment I was ready to use it, too. I’ve never enjoyed fall or winter in the same way as many of my friends, but I cannot tell you how excited I was for the temperature to finally drop this year. Side note: Ceresota flour is the best flour I’ve found for making pie crust.
I had an exciting summer in pie land. It’s now on my own personal bucket list to achieve one of those royal blue ribbons with “1st Prize” written in gold at one of the local fairs. If I were to ever win a blue ribbon, I would be automatically eligible to compete at the Farm Show. The thought makes my heart race. In an effort to check this off my mental list—of what many may consider silly goals—I entered an apple pie into the York Fair. I was so darn proud of it. The lattice was perfectly cut (I used a ruler to measure it out) and I even added a 3D flower made of pie crust to the edge of the pie. I expected nothing, but still wanted to try.
Guys. Guess what? I won third place. I won third place at my second ever pie contest. I won third place at the York Fair! I was on cloud nine for days after this achievement.
I truly believe that pie is awesome. Pie relaxes on the countertop just waiting for you to dig in. I’ve made sweet pies, and I’ve made savory pies. I’ve infused the crust with cinnamon and nutmeg or even cheddar cheese. Or how about a crust made of crushed peanut butter crackers? With homemade chocolate pudding and fresh whipped cream and crumbled bacon on top? Okay, that’s a little crazy. But I’ve done it!
The moral of my story is: Make More Pie. Your family and friends will thank you.
Here is the recipe for my York Fair pie:
CRUST: Mix 2 c flour, 1 t cinnamon, 1 t nutmeg, 1 t salt, and 2 T sugar in a food processor. Add in 2 sticks of cold, cubed butter. Blend until pea-sized lumps form. Add in 3-5 T ice cold water until dough sticks together. Turn out onto a floured surface, and divide in two. Roll out to make 2 pie crusts. Lay the bottom crust into your pie pan and stick the pan in the fridge. Lay the top crust on a plate and stick in the fridge as well.
FILLING: Mix 3 sweet and 3 tart apples (cored, peeled, sliced), 1 T flour, 1 t cinnamon, 1 t nutmeg, 3/4 c sugar. Fill your pie shell and cover. Have some fun with the top crust! You can look up a million different ways to impress everyone on Pinterest. Bake in a 375° oven for 45 minutes. Let rest for 30 minutes. Top with ice cream. Enjoy. Eat it all.
Success? Congratulations. You are now in the upper crust of society!
Follow Emily on Instagram @oddpies