...of pie apples.
Yes, I've returned from over a week of silence immediately referring to a Biblically problematic fruit as thrice divine... although I can't take credit for the phrase myself. No, though that would make this a shorter post.
A good place to start is the beginning- I did say pie and in my house pie tends to mean one thing: company. And not just any company...very tall company of mutable facial hair that laughs loudly, loves hats and has an epic sweet tooth. My kind of company.
The winding roads are back to rolling out from one horizon to the next and tour season is once again delivering Jaimeson to my door. But he has his own keys this time and for as much that has changed, all of the best has stayed the same. We've folded ourselves into the seasons in ways that make me smile to myself on the street.
So yes, pie. The first pie I made for Jaimeson, if you'll recall, was Strawberry Rhubarb from Smitten Kitchen...my very first time to make pie dough from scratch and the whole thing went over tasting like June thunderstorms but sweeter. A tradition was born.
The second pie was less a pie and more a peach crisp or claufouti but it was high summer and the sticky sweet glory of naked fruit, French butter and brown sugar lends itself to lazy, hazy categorizing.
The third pie was a failure. FAIL FAIL FAIL. I never told you because I simply couldn't bear it and the pie...it smelled my fear. The third pie was actually plural. Capitalizing on the success of the first two, my transition pieces, my travel buddies to bring by basket to my seersucker stache and kindred, were bourbon peach hand-pies. The dough was too sticky. The filling too savory. The cuts too small to fill. It was a mess. I about cried at 4am before I left for the Cape.
Three weeks into my new job, an undisclosed number of months into another very good thing and on my way to my favorite place to be among favorite people... and I threw nothing short of a tantrum in my kitchen because there were overripe whiskey-peaches falling out of ugly mutant half moons that would never see the oven. Fail. Of course I got to the airport and there he was in summer stripes and there was Brother waiting in the car and Mom had a key lime pie in the kitchen as soon as we pulled up. TKTC- she gets it from her Mama.
That group loves me with or without hand-pies, for which I am both ecstatic and grateful.
So now I am attempting to rechristen my third time to be charmed. And I'm feelin' it. I'm feelin' it with "Bad Moon Rising'" on my speakers and my favorite materials on hand. This particular pie evolved diplomatically between the pie's person and myself. I had seen an Apple Cranberry Pie in the recent Cook's Illustrated and some beautiful apples appearing in various markets in recent weeks. But classic apple pie was what caught J's attention. No pretension, no prideful little berries with a tendency toward tart for him.
Goodnight, don't I just respect the pants off a man who appreciates a well-done, easy livin' classic? Well, well-done remains to be seen but you understand my meaning.
Once I had my direction, I visited two of my best resources- Smitten Kitchen and the city office of Rustic Kitchen (Janine). Smitten uses the America's Test Kitchen pie crust recipe that won so many points in June and Rustic Kitchen happens to live down the street from Seedling Farm on the weekends. That's where the "Holy Trinity" stepped in as I was sent directly to Seedling's booth at the weekend farmer's market. What I brought home? Two Red Idas, two Wolf Rivers and three Cortlands. The Wolf Rivers actually came from a neighboring tent because I'd heard rumor of them and I grew up next to the Wolf River in Memphis...a good omen. I may have also bought a few good sized Honeycrisps for munching ("The Office" of apples...just because everyone loves it doesn't mean it's not amazing).
The last farmer's market pick-up? 8 year aged cheddar. Sharp and built in such a way that when sliced, it breaks apart and must be pushed off the knife. (insert sounds of a harp and babbling brook)
So now it's tonight. My apartment is clean and rearranged. There are fresh flowers on the table, clean clothes in drawers and on hangers and the apartment smells like orange peel/cloves/cinnamon from boiling those items together as I cleaned yesterday. I made my crust with Grey Goose and I diced up some of that cheddar extra fine and folded it right into my dough. In the morning I will roll it out and I will compile Fall Pie #1/ Jaimeson Pie #3. I'm excited to see exactly how it comes out...Fall Pie #2 for the HCT in November has already been requested to be Sweet Potato Pie. Don't you just love something to look forward to?
Oh my... it's today already and I have a hilariously unholy guest coming this afternoon! Heaven help us:)