Recipes For The Tribe: Apple Pie On An Unexpected Holiday

20130129-152051.jpgFew things in this world offer the simple comfort given by a warm, home-made apple pie. The one baked good that my mother could turn out without burning the entire affair was apple pie, and I spent many year learning how to recreate the  childhood memory in my own kitchen. Maybe it is because I can never have too much of such comforts when I am alone in the winter night, or just maybe it is because I hope to one day spend afternoons rolling out dough with my own children; covered in flour and cinnamon. Sigh…pipe dreams can be so nice to pretend with when reality is less.

20130129-152115.jpgThe hilarious point to note about the dough is that it is mostly likely a lard company’s box recipe that has been misread for a generation until they believed it belonged to the family. Five cups of flour, 1 pound of lard, 1 cup of cold water, 1 egg yolk, dash of salt, tbsp of vinegar and we are off to the races. With a bird’s eye maple French rolling pin and a handful of flour on the granite countertop I was good to begin the rolling out of dough. I had to move fast to ensure the dough did not heat up too much, but that was fine given how hungry I was.

20130129-152130.jpgWhat to do with the left over dough? I decided to create little black cherry turnovers in my madelaine pan. It was so simple to roll out small discs of dough that would be placed inside the fluted, non-stick cookie spots. The fun part was always to burn the jam inside until it turned into a gooey, caramelized mess; I only like them when they are a bit overdone. Funny how our childhood memories form our adult preferences.

20130129-152148.jpgThe final pie was superb and only lasted 24 hours before I devoured the entire thing. With 2 litres of full fat milk and a glass of chardonnay, I thoroughly enjoyed my little piece of lost family tradition. Even if it is only for an afternoon when the school closed due to a power outage, the acts created by the imagination are often balm to what a man really needs and wants to fill up the stolen moments of his life.

20130129-152214.jpgThe final piece of food created from the first crust (the recipe makes two full pies) was The Pigpen. A weird experiment to say the least, The Pigpen was a decased French organic pork sausage layered between a roll of the dough and folded into a semi-sphere. Based on the idea of a pig-in-a-blanket, this pastry was shockingly good. Rich, meaty, flakey and comforting, The Pigpen could only be improved by adding one additional ingredient: Heinz Ketchup. The best things in life are simple; forget the money and spend time with those you love every second you can. If not now, when?



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