It’s fall. In Wisconsin. Sometimes it’s beautiful and golden and perfect. And sometimes it’s grey and overcast and ominous. And still perfect. I love this season.
It all started with pie. For a little while I had been worrying about my girls language. She wasn’t talking as much as a lot of kids her age. I knew she understood every word I said, but she didn’t repeat them and used very few words. Then came pie. She started saying pie like crazy. Day after day. More words started to come too. Now she’s been adding 5-8 words each day. She’s starting to string them together into tiny sentences too. It’s so cool to hear her talk. I feel like I’ve said every age and stage she’s reached has been my favorite, but this one by far exceeds them all. She’s so capable, and smart.
Finally I asked her if she wanted me to make a pie and she said yes. So since our oven was out that day(don’t ask, let’s just say there was a baking experiment gone wrong resulting in the temporary filling of our house with natural gas), we packed up our ingredients and headed to grandma and grandpas to make pie. When I was rolling out the crust she really got into it. She helped with the rolling pin and then went nuts with the measuring cups and spoons. Sometimes I find her in her play kitchen making “pie”. More them sometimes.
For the Crust:
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
5 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons ice cold water
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
For the Filling:
8 apples peeled and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 egg, beaten, for egg wash
To make the crust, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add cold, cubed butter and, using your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture. Quickly break the butter down into the flour mixture, some butter pieces will be the size of oat flakes, some will be the size of peas. Stir together the ice cold water and vinegar. This process goes even better if you keep your flour in the freezer like I do. Create a well in the butter and flour mixture and pour in the water and vinegar mixture. Use a fork to bring to dough together. Try to moisten all of the flour bits. On a lightly floured work surface, dump out the dough mixture. It will be moist and shaggy. That’s perfect. Divide the dough in two and gently knead into two disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Peel and chop your apples. In a large bowl mix sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, flour and cornstarch. Add the apples and lemon juice. Mix well and set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove one of the pie dough disks from the fridge. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out into about a 13-inch round. Roll the dough a few strokes, then use your fingers to move the emerging circle around the floured surface. This ensures that the dough isn’t sticking to the work surface. Gently lift the 13-inch round from the floured surface and center in the 9-inch baking dish. Place in the fridge while you roll out the top crust.
Roll out the top crust just as you did the bottom crust, moving the dough across the floured surface every once in a while, and creating a roughly 13-inch circle. Remove the bottom crust and fruit filling from the fridge. Gently pour the fruit filling into the pie dish. Carefully remove the top crust from the work surface and drape over the fruit in the pie dish. With a small knife, trim the crust, leaving about 3/4-inch overhang. With your fingers press the top and bottom crusts together and fold under. Use a fork or your fingers to crimp the edges of the dough. Cut small slits in the top of the crust so the juices and steam can vent. Brush lightly with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 15 minutes, then lower temperature to 375 degrees. Bake for 45 more minutes until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and cool. Serve with ice cream if you like all things delicious.
She had an incredibly full wonderful day. We started the day with trick or treat at the zoo(which was ridiculously packed, but she seemed to love), she took a long nap, we went to the park for a Halloween party(which was pretty much over when we got there but she could have cared less as she got to play with a baby and his dog), and ended with dinner out. She was so well behaved during dinner, even when it was clear she wanted more food and had to wait. She handled a restaurant that was clearly not regularly frequented by kids like a pro, and barely even dropped any food. I was so impressed. Oh, did I mention she discovered going down the slide on her belly today? Yeah that one might have topped her list.
This girl has the best family. She got to spend her afternoon with her grandparents and great aunts, and 7(yup, 7) dogs. She got to be covered in puppies, walk them and hang out a with a few big dogs too. It was pretty much the best day ever if you ask her.