I write blog posts every day for the company I work for and I love it! If you're reading this - welcome to the first post on my new venture into lifestyle blogging.
Recently, my Uncle shared two boxes of recipe cards that had lived in the same place on Nanny's kitchen counter my entire childhood. Just taking off the lid and smelling the old notecards and lingering scents of spices was enough nostalgia for me to embark on a baking adventure.
I digitized all the recipe cards and one-by-one I'm recreating all our family favorites into one amazing cookbook - but I started with the Apple pie because, well, obviously...
My grandmother never did anything fancy with her crusts, but it's important to me to bring her recipes and love of cooking into the world - with my own spin on it. Making the lattice crust was not so hard, but I did struggle with my first attempt at a pie crust braid. Mostly because it's been decades since I braided my hair.
The leaves and flowers were the easy part! I got the cookie cutters and Michaels and they were a breeze to cut out from the pie crust - I even made a fun design.
I have a background in design and photography, but that's not a requirement to take beautiful photos. If you have a passion for what you're doing there's enough information out there to easily learn how to do anything yourself.
I rely on the natural light in my apartment and I take all of my photos with the camera on my Galaxy S7 edge because it's honestly an incredible camera. Maybe someday I'll buy a DSLR, but right now I spend more money kitchen props! I know you feel me Homegoods addicts.
It smelled like Nanny's and tasted like Nanny's. I couldn't have been more pleased with the results of this pie and how deceptively easy it was to make! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Send photos!
For the Pie crust:
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
Pour hot water over the butter and beat with fork until mixture is creamy. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Place in refrigerator until cold enough to handle. Roll out on floured surface.
I made three crusts. One for the bottom, one to cut out the decorations and another to use for the lattice and braid.
For the pie:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
6 - 8 Medium tart apples, sliced
1/4 cup heavy cream
Place pie crust into a pie plate and form the edges to the plate. Mix together flour, sugar, spices and salt. Cut in butter. Add 1/2 cup sugar mixture and toss apples slices gently in it. Sprinkle with remaining mixture. After you've finished the crust, bake at 450 for 10 - 15 minutes and then at 350 until done.
After the first 15 minutes, I put a pie shield on the crust to protect those leaves!
For the decorative crust:
I used a knife to cut 8 1/2 inch strips and 8 1/4 inch strips to use with the lattice crust. Lay four of the 1/2 inch strips across the pie, alternating with four of the 1/4 inch strips. I firmly pressed them on one end so I could move them as needed. Alternating the remaining 1/2 and 1/4 inch strips, manipulate them over and under the first set of strips. When you get close to the other side, leave out your last strip - that's where the braid goes.
For the braid & decorations:
Take 3 1/4 inch strips and press them together at the top. Make a braid with the crust like you would hair. If it's been awhile since you made a braid, I googled it! It took me a couple tries but don't give up, they're worth it!
Using cookie cutters, cut out the decorations for the top of the crust from a rolled out piece of pie crust. When I had all the leaves cut out, I used a knife to gently make the designs on top. I put a little water on the bottom of each one before placing them around the rim of the pie plate. The flowers and other elements I put where I thought they'd look nice! Use a little water to make them stick and don't be afraid to layer!
When it comes out of the oven, brush it with some melted butter and sprinkle a mix of sugar and cinnamon on it as it's cooling!
Thanks for reading my first attempt at a personal blog post.