When you (#1) were a baby, I sat on the nearest surface – including the carpeted floor of our one bedroom apartment – to nurse you. Dad and I had been married a year and a half then and we were just starting to build our current home. There was simply no space back then for a nursery chair. There was no nursery.
When I was pregnant with you (#2), I told Dad that I was going to do it “right” this time. No more nursing on the floor. So I embarked on my search for the perfect chair. It had to glide, rock, recline, swivel, feed you in the middle of the night…
Finally, after a long and researched expedition, I texted your Godmother-to-be in despair. None of them could feed you! She was moving house then, and said simply, “Would you like to have mine?”
It was the perfect chair. The price? An Apple Mosaic Tart with Salted Caramel.
It was a deal.
We always keep our promises. So this morning, before we set out on our long drive to her house, I whipped up – not a mosaic tart (Dad had bought the wrong puff pastry) – but a homemade apple pie. Nothing fancy, just a solid, old-fashioned “American as apple pie” apple pie to be baked at her new home.
The smell of freshly baked apple pie. I hope it will always remind you of home.
Love from Mom
Apple Pie Filling
(for a 9 inch pie)
by Maida Heatter
3 lbs Granny Smith apples (about 5 apples), peeled, cored and cubed or sliced
3 tbsp plus 1 tsp all-purpose flour, unsifted
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 stick (2 tbsp) butter, cut into small cubes
Preheat the oven at 450F (232C).
A. Roll out and transfer one circle of pie pastry into a pie plate. Sprinkle 1 tsp of flour evenly over the bottom crust. Refrigerate.
B. Place the apple cubes/slices in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl, mix together the remaining 3 tbsp of flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Sprinkle over the apples and toss with your hands to mix thoroughly.
Turn the apple filling into the floured bottom crust (A). Use your fingers to move things around gently to make an even mound. Scatter the butter bits over the top.
Wet the top rim of the bottom crust. Then transfer the top crust over the apples, centering it carefully. Fold the edge of the top crust over and under the rim of the bottom crust. Press together firmly to seal the pie. Flute the edges.
With a small knife, cut eight slits on the top to allow the steam and juices to escape. Brush the top of the top crust with milk and sprinkle generously with sugar.
Bake at 450F for 15 minutes (with a cookie sheet underneath to catch any juices that bubble over). Then open the oven and quickly cover the rim with foil. Lower the oven temperature to 425F (218C) and bake for a further 45 minutes.
Cool on a rack so that the pie filling can thicken slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.