We are officially in the throes of the holiday season and I simply can’t believe it. Illustrated Bites is almost one year old and 2011 is nearly over. As someone who is trying to get an illustration career off the ground while juggling two part time job and trying to maintain a healthy work/life balance, this blazing passage of time is giving me a bit of a panic attack. I just wish I didn’t need to sleep! Not to worry though, things seem to slowly be coming together, and I’m learning patience and celebrating small steps forward.
This last month of 2011 will be an exciting one. I’m looking forward to some big changes in 2012. One exciting change is that my lovely and talented sister, Christina, just moved here for a new job at Chronicle Books. We’re from North Carolina and for the past two and a half years, I’ve been living in the Bay Area while the rest of my family was still in NC. Now that my sister is here, San Francisco is going to feel a lot more like home.
If you’ve happened to notice that I haven’t posted in a few weeks, it’s because I’ve been busy spending the evenings catching up with my little sister. Oh yeah, Thanksgiving happened too. Just because there hasn’t been a new post in awhile doesn’t mean I haven’t been cooking. Just the opposite really; I’ve been cooking so much I haven’t had time to illustrate and write about it! Christina is quite the cook herself and we’ve whipped up many tasty dinners and desserts over the past 2 weeks.
One of my favorite things we made so far is apple pie. It’s a simple and seasonal dessert that was quick to make once we spread the work between the two of us. I made the crust and Christina handled the filling. Get a pint of vanilla ice cream and you’re in for a serious treat.
Apple Pie Ingredients:
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- pinch salt
- pinch cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 5-6 macintosh apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thin
- 2 tbs. butter
- milk for brushing crust
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 16 tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 6 tbs. ice water
- First, prepare the crust. In a food processor combine the flour, salt, and sugar and pulse for a few seconds. Next, add the pieces of butter and combine until the flour resembles coarse corn meal.
- In a large mixing bowl, add 6 tbs. of ice water to the mixture and combine with a spatula.
- Use your hand to create a ball of dough. Divide it in half, and flatten each half into a disk. Wrap the disks in plastic and place them in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples and place them in a mixing bowl.
- Add both kinds of sugar, the spices, and salt. Stir to throughly coat the apple slices.
- Set the apple filling aside while you roll out the crust. Remove the dough from the freezer, unwrap one of the disks, and place it on a floured surface. Roll the dough out until it is large enough to cover your pie dish. To check, turn the pie dish upside down and place it on the dough. There should be about 2-3 inches of extra dough sticking out from the edge of the pie dish. Transfer the dough to the pie dish by folding it in half twice. This makes it easier to lift. Place it in the dish and unfold.
- Once the bottom crust is pressed into the dish, pour in the apple filling. Dot the filling with two tbs. of butter.
- Roll out the top crust, and fold it in the same way to transfer to cover the top of the pie.
- Pinch together the top and bottom crust and cut away any excess dough. You can decorate the edge of the crust with a fork if you like.
- Cut a few slits in the dough that radiate out from the center of the pie. These slits act as vents and allow steam to escape.
- You can add decoration to the crust by cutting out shapes from the excess dough and pressing them into the top crust. I added a few heart shapes to my pie.
- Brush the top of the dough with milk and sprinkle with brown sugar. Refrigerate while you pre-heat the oven to 450°F.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 450°F. Reduce the heat to 350°F and bake an additional 40-50 minutes, or until the pie is golden brown.
- Cool before serving. Enjoy!