Move Over Mary Poppins!

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Birth and Pie

Today was our day at Isis Maternity in Needham for our prepared childbirth class. It was a marathon class, lasting from 9:30 AM until 4:30 PM, with an hour's lunch break. We covered a ton of information, but our instructor was great. She was funny and knowledgeable. I think even Mark didn't hate it altogether...

After we got home, I was feeling all domestic and nesty, and so, I baked an apple pie. I don't like pie. But Mark loves it, and changing my own mind is always a fun challenge, so I searched out a pie recipe that might do the trick. I modified it a little, and used my own techniques here and there. It was really good, especially the filling (mmmm, like apple crisp), and the crust was flaky and tasty. Trouble is, as flaky and tasty as it was, I'm still just not fond of pie crust.

If you want to give it a try, though, I highly recommend the recipe.

Caramelized Apple Pie
adapted from Better Homes & Gardens

2 pounds Fuji apples
2 pounds Granny Smith Apples
1/3 c. unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 recipe Oat Pastry (below)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
dash fresh nutmeg
1 egg
1 tsp. water

Preheat the over to 475 degrees.
Peel, core, and slice the apples.
In a large bowl, toss them with the butter and cinnamon. Transfer to a large roasting pan.
Roast the apples for 10 minutes, turning once. Remove the apples from the oven and cool in the pan. Reduce oven heat to 375 degrees.
Meanwhile, make oat pastry, and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 15 minutes.
While pastry is chilling, mix brown sugar, salt, cornstarch, and nutmeg in the original apple bowl. Add apples and any juices back to the bowl, and combine.
Divide the pastry, refrigerate the unused half while you roll out the bottom crust. Roll out the crust for your pie plate, planning for some overhang. Transfer crust to pie plate.
Fill the pie with the apple mixture.
Roll out the top crust, transfer to pie, crimp and trim the edges, cut steam vents.
Combine egg and water in a small bowl and mix. Lightly brush the mixture over the top crust. Cover the edges with foil (to avoid over browning), and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove foil, and bake for another 35-40 minutes, or until top is golden and filling is bubbly.

Oat Pastry
adapted from Better Homes & Gardens

2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. quick oats
1 t. salt
dash fresh nutmeg
dash cinnamon
10-12 Tbsp. ice water (I usually fill a measuring cup with ice water, and just take water out by the tablespoonful)
1/3 c. shortening
1/3 c. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled

In a medium bowl, combine flour through cinnamon and stir to combine.
Add shortening and cold butter. Combine with a fork or pastry cutter until shortening and butter form "pea" sized pieces.
Add water in 1 Tbsp. increments, fluffing lightly with a fork, until mixture is cool and moist, but not sticky.
Form into a ball, smoosh with the heel of your hand once against the side of the bowl, reform the disc, and repeat the smooshing action. Form dough into a ball.
Wrap the dough ball in plastic and chill for a minimum of 15 minutes.

I also made mac and cheese with stewed tomatoes, a variation on homemade favorites from both Mark's and my childhood. A very fallish kind of dinner, as far as I'm concerned.

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Blogger Jules said...

Mmm...I get hungry just looking at it all!

10/15/07, 10:21 AM  
Anonymous Laura said...

Well, there's always Tart tatin. Apple-pie-y with puff pastry instead of crust. Now that you can buy puff in the supermarket, it's one of my go-to desserts when I'm having a bunch of people over but have no brain.

10/16/07, 12:19 PM  
Blogger Alta Dantzler said...

I have to say.... the words birth and pie should never appear so close together....

10/16/07, 6:47 PM  

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