Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lord of the Pies

Last weekend I went apple picking at this farm in the middle of nowhere (also known as Newburgh, New York).  After a 90 minute train ride and a 25 minute cab ride (yes, we took a cab to the farm. What a bunch of City Pickers!), we finally arrived.  I felt a little less ridiculous for rolling up in a van cab when we saw a gigantic luxury bus of foreign tourists drive down the dirt road.

Apples hit their peak a little bit later in the season, but I was in town visiting my family so we decided to give picking a shot. I insisted on wearing boots even though it was 80 degrees. This wasn't a bad choice, actually, because the farm was super muddy (thanks, Irene).  The good news is there were a crap ton of apples!

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Hey honey crisps, get in my belly.  Is it just me, or does this look more like an apple shrub than an apple tree?


I don't know if you have any experience with picking your own produce, but I tend to go a little…um… overboard. My sensible friend said he was going to fill up his tiny backpack with apples and call it a day. I, on the other hand, suggested we fill up TWO GIGANTIC SACKS of apples.

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40 pounds of apples!!!! And you know what? It's four days later, and I have zero apples left. So there.

I used up the majority of apples making pies. My nieces and nephews went to town on the rest. Well, for some apples, they they took a big a bite and then put them back in the fruit bowl, which is sort of gross. I say "sort of gross" because I still ate those apples afterwards.  We're all related, right?

I made two pies: one for my friends who went apple picking with me, and one for my family.  My friends are sort of health nuts, as in, they don't have any butter in their house. No butter!  Astonishing. They are both big time runners so we wanted to keep it light. For them, I made a pie really low in sugar with a whole wheat crust (confession: we bought the pie dough from whole foods.  I'll listen to your complaints after you try to make a pie in a NYC apartment).  All things considered, this pie was pretty delicious!

The next day, I made a candy apple pie for my family.  It was amazing! It tasted like caramel apples and was perfect for the beginning of fall.  This pie, on the other hand, used over a half pound of butter. Whoops.

I made my favorite caramel sauce to toss on the apples, rolled out an all-butter crust, and then covered the pie in a basic streusel.  It looked really pretty until we tried to cut into it, at which point it became more of an apple blob.  Next time, I definitely need to add something to thicken up the filling or let the pie set overnight before serving.

I now feel content… even though I'll be in another country for the entire fall season, I've managed to get my apple pie fix in just a few days! Now, I just need to drink 4 more pumpkin spice lattes and 2 more pumpkin beers and I will be good to go!

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