Pretty much the entire East Coast is obsessed by Hurricane Sandy. No surprise there. This hurricane may only be Category 1, but it is ginormous and is going to directly hit New York City, which is just bad news.
One of my friends posted the following on facebook:
She acknowledged that it is not actually about a hurricane, but she has been singing it all day.
In preparation for the hurricane, I made a pie last night. And I had two epiphanies. One was that because I was already at home and had all the ingredients at hand, it really was easier to make pie than to go out and buy dessert. The other was that the reason my pie crusts in the past have always been mediocre was that I hadn’t added ENOUGH water. So they were too dry.
My apple pie recipe (adapted from Settlement Cookbook, which was the go-to pie cookbook for Mama Clause, who made the best pie known to humankind, even though she used crisco [gross])
First make the crust:
2 c flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour, which was surprisingly good)
1 ts salt
3/4 c butter (the recipe said 1/2 c shortening and 1/4 c butter; but I don’t use Crisco, see above. Mama Clause always said that lard makes the flakiest pie, butter makes the tastiest pie, but Crisco and butter was her compromise)
When making pie, be sure that all ingredients are cold and that you handle them as little as possible. Blend butter and flour using a food processor (this works the best because you don’t have to touch it thus warm it), but it can also be done with a pastry cutter, and/or two knives. I’ve done it all three ways, but like the food processor best because I’m lazy and I have one.
Add ice water very slowly, stirring with a wooden spoon until the dough just holds together. Put in refrigerator to chill while you slice apples.
Slice 4-5 apples (you can keep them from growing brown by putting them in a bowl of cold water).
Separate dough into two balls, one bigger than the other. Roll out the bigger one and put in the bottom of a pie pan. Arrange apples. Add 1/2 c sugar, 1 Tb butter (I added 2 Tb butter), and the Young Man’s Patented Vanilla Bourbon (or a splash of whatever spirits you would like, brown liquors are probably the best, but a bit of cider or lemon juice would work as well), and cinnamon and/or nutmeg.
Roll out the smaller ball of dough to cover the pie. Make some slits in the pie with a knife. If you want to be all fancy, save a bit of the dough and use cookie cutters to make cutouts to put on top. Mama Clause used to do that with a few small leaf cookie cutters and it was very pretty.
Bake at 425 degrees F for 45 min to an hour.
And because apple pie makes me think about coffee, I have one more Dylan song for you.
(Can’t find the original Bob Dylan tune, but here is Frazey Ford of the Be Good Tanyas doing a pretty good version, but I miss the violin.)
Stay safe if you are in the path of the storm or otherwise.