Longing For Home & Apple Pie

For months now I’ve been running away from home, always longing for something more, something else.   By winters end, I was running for the great outdoors, longing to feel the sun on my face, bask in it, drink it in.  I ran for the hills, the hiking trails just beginning to awaken from the long winter sleep.  But, the water was frigid, uninviting and I longed for shorts, sandals and days on the lake.

Summer had me running to  frolic on the lake, boating, kayaking, swimming.  I longed for tanned legs and the wind in my face.  I longed to be out in the summer warmth and nowhere near indoors and mundane chores.  But soon, the heat overwhelmed me and again my heart wandered, deep longing soon took hold for cool breezes and for home.

The approaching storms and cold front anchored my heart at home today.  I longed for nothing more than to sweep leaves off the porch, unpack pumpkins, hang wreaths and bake an apple pie.  There’s a mystical quality to the leaves right now.  Each morning I walk out my door, wading through the crisp fallen leaves, gingerly avoiding the hazard of a  plethora of acorns underfoot yet all the trees are lush and green!  From where they’ve come defies explanation but the deer, chipmunks and squirrels delight nonetheless.

Apple Pie:

This time last year, we decided to venture to a neighboring town for The Old Tyme Apple Festival so I could mark it off my Autumn bucket list.  I imagined it to be as the old Cotton Picking festivals we had attended years ago in the delta, just a small town affair but was I wrong!  The event encompassed the entire city center!  Blocks and blocks of vendors selling their wares, food trucks every few feet serving every carnival treat imaginable and stages at every corner.

The weather had different ideas for the day and soon we found ourselves trapped beneath the sidewalk awnings, several blocks from our van, in a torrential downpour!  Thankfully I had my husband with me, whose antics never fail.  We had purchased an old gas can that had been cut out like a Jack-o-lantern, which he happily donned and sent us dashing through the rain, laughing like children.

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If you’re thinking that my apple pie was made from a bushel brought home from an apple festival, you’d be wrong!  Curiously, we saw absolutely nothing that was apple at the apple festival save for a single vendor offering apple cider!  Where oh where were the apple pies, apple fritters, dumplings served with cinnamon ice cream?  Where were the caramel and candied apples and apple butters?  Alas, If apple desires were to be fulfilled, I’d have to do it myself and weather like this makes for the perfect day for it.

I wanted the first pie of the season to be special but as eclectic as I am, could not decided between a variety of crust options.  Streusel topping was immediately taken off the table.  Not only was the option lacking flare but I dislike how they at times become soggy and doughy where the streusel meets the filling. Yuk!  I considered a lattice top, cookie cutter cutouts and leaves, braids and roses, all darling and delightful yet I could not choose between them. The only solution was to use them all and for good measure, I baked it in a cast iron skillet.

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* Normally I use a green granny Smith apple but Gala’s are what I had on hand and they are crisp enough to bake nicely.  They are sweeter so I reduced the amount of sugar.

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DEEP-DISH DOUBLE-CRUST

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup cold Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening

6 to 10 tablespoons ice cold water

PREPARATION DIRECTIONS

STIR flour and salt in large bowl until blended. Cut shortening into flour mixture using pastry blender or fork until shortening pieces are the size of peas. Gradually add just enough water, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring with fork just until dough holds together and forms a smooth ball.
SHAPE dough into a ball. Divide dough in half and shape into two balls for double crust pie. Flatten into 1/2-inch thick disks.  Wrap disks in plastic wrap. Chill 30 minutes or up to 2 days.

Filling:

  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 7-8  thinly sliced peeled apples
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Pastry for double-crust pie (9 inches)
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large egg yolks
  • Preheat oven to 400°
  • In a small bowl, combine the sugars, flour and spices; set aside. In a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice. Add sugar mixture; toss to coat.
  • Line a 9-in. pie plate with bottom crust; prick the entire bottom of the crust with a folk & trim even with edge. Fill with apple mixture; dot with butter.
  • Roll out the second disk of pastry and top with any design you choose.
  • I used strips cut with a pizza cutter, braided strips, woven lattice from strips and leaves punched out with cookie cutters.  For the Rose’s, I cut 3 small circles of pastry, lining them up with very slight overlap. Press to seal, then roll up from the end.  Cut the roll in half with a sharp knife.  Gently fold out the petals and place on the pie.
  • Brush the crust with beaten egg yolk.
  • Bake 40-50 min.

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May your home be filled with the fragrance of apples & cinnamon and your hearts with a longing for home.

Enjoy!

39 comments

  1. Your husband’s pic made me giggle! And reminded me of my family. The pie looks beautiful ~and I can smell and taste it. My favorite time of the year~and one of my favorite scents ~apple. Blessings to you! 💚

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    • Thank you so much, K.L! Oh I love Fall and especially so in this area where I now live. I noticed you were born & raised in SW Missouri! My hubs was born in SE MO, went to Miz-zou then off to Cali for the marines. May be why he reminds you of family…Missouri folk. Lol When he (early) retired, we moved to The Lake Of The Ozarks.
      While leaves are beginning to tumble, they’ve yet to turn, igniting the hills with riotous color. I’m anxious for hiking boots, pink cheeks and scarves.
      I’m so glad you found me and it led me to your fantastic blog! I look forward to reading more.
      It’s truly delightful!
      Blessings to you and your household,
      Laura

      Like

  2. Your post is a lot of fun, Laura. How many times have we longed for something and then gotten bored with it right away?

    I also like your husband’s sense of humor—that is something I could see me doing too. 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Pete! It’s very true, I see that in myself, the longing for what is yet ahead instead of embracing the moment I’m in. It was good to long for just home and love the moment I was in. Th he pue was pretty good too. Lol
      Oh yes, my hubs keeps me laughing. 🤗 Love those who find and create humor in life.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Your crust you made is so pretty. That is my downfall, I can not make a top crust with pretty edges of it for nothing. But, it taste good, now you put me in the mood for one. I have down the pumpkin pies this fall already, time for something different. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m currently fascinated with this and virtually made of questions. I wonder what if any nutritional difference or benefits there may be between them? Being as the flavor is virtually the same is there any reason to prefer one over the other?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t think so, my mom interchanged them and I think it was common to do so. Somewhere along the line, the pumpkin trumped everything else, at least “in name.” I don’t remember seeing a recipe for squash pie in a long, long time! I looked in one of my old cookbooks and they had recipes for both pies, the only difference was a different variety of spices in the pumpkin – cinnamon, clove, ginger vs. ginger and nutmeg in squash. Another cookbook simply has “squash or pumpkin pie.”

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    • Me too but I just happened to have gals on hand as they were on sale. They were good, dense and crisp like a granny Smith so I knew they would turn to mush but hold up under the baking better than softer varieties. I liked that they were a bit sweeter as well, allowing me to reduce overall added sugar.
      The brown sugar just adds a bit if lively richness. Let me know if you enjoy it or it it’s not your preference.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It was really tasty with the Gala apples! They are crisp enough to bake well but sweet enough that you dont have to add as mu and h sugar! If I had vanilla bean ice cream, I would’ve let it soften enough to mix in cinnamon to serve with it. I do want to make apple dumplings this year so maybe I’ll make cinnamon ice cream then. I also want to try roasting sugar pumpkins for real pumpkin pies as the canned stuff isnt really pumpkin but squash. ( no wonder I don’t care for it) I suppose I’ve never had an actual pumpkin anything before! The Lies!!!! Lol

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      • Ahhhh… cherry!!! Cherry is my favorite! Favorite since I was a baby and my grandparents always kept one made for me. Key Lime would be my summer classic though.
        You know….you may actually have never had a pumpkin pie or pumpkin anything else, that is unless you or someone you know have roasted sugar pumpkins at home. The canned pumpkin, has no actual pumpkin in it…..it’s a mixture of squashes! The FDA allows it because it’s all in the gourd family!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Noooo. Say it isn’t so. My whole life has been led by a lie!!! Although I had a real pumpkin pie up in Amish country! I just always thought that that was what they put in the cans. Not the pure filling pumpkin cans the other ones.

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      • Sad news, I know. I was shock to discover this as well. Even when the can says “realor 100%, it’s real, 100% squash!
        I’m definately going to buy sugar pumpkins, bake and puree it myself for a true pumpkin pie and blog about it hoping it turns out well. Apparently the large pumpkins are for carving and livestock and you can’t use them. They are too stringy, tough and tend to be very watery. That’s pretty good news as I always felt so guilty about carving them then throwing them out. Sugar pumpkins are the small ones in the produce department.
        So glad to see you though, friend. I hadn’t heard from you in so long, I thought I’d lost my longest reader! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

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