I just didn’t think. That usually doesn’t happen. (I said usually…)
Ugh. Let me tell you about Hurricane-turned Tropical Storm Irene.
It was supposed to be the storm of the century. I actually don’t know if that’s true, but it seemed that way from the CONTINUOUS news coverage that it received.
Heavy rain, high winds, power outages, storm surge, possible tornadoes, mandatory evacuations, flooding. Crazy stuff, right?
We also have ceilings that leak. And our basement will always collect water when it rains hard. Oh, and probably the most important problem is we have DirecTV. A cloud can float over our satellite and we’ll lose our signal. Me? Without TV? For more than a couple hours? Legit freaking just thinking about it.
So the day leading up to the storm, I was getting prepared. I had my cell phone charged, my iPod completely charged. I had my laptop. I was prepared.
I also had a project to tackle before dear old Irene came for a visit.
My friends daughter’s first birthday party was on Saturday, and I was asked to make cupcakes. I love that little girl as if she were my own, so OF COURSE I would happily make those cupcakes.
Operation Lily’s Birthday Cupcakes went successfully. I did the buttercreams one night, the cupcakes the next, and Saturday morning I constructed them before delivery.
Mission Completed. The cupcakes came out completely adorable, and everyone seemed to love them!
After that was all taken care of, it was time to get the house in order. Supplies, batteries, pots to catch water that will eventually leak out of the ceiling, food, water, more food, and more water.
We were all good to go. The only thing left to was wait. Wait for Irene, wait for the ceiling leaks, wait for the TV to go out and wait for the power to go out.
I was ready. I was prepared.
And then I freaked out.
In all my running around making sure the house was ready and prepared, I realized something majorly wrong.
I DIDN’T BAKE ANYTHING TO HAVE IN HOUSE!!!
Stage 5 freak out.
And knowing that the power going out was a matter of when and not if, I couldn’t do anything about it!
Thinking my weekend was doomed, I went to bed that night and tried to forget about it.
And then something strange happened.
I woke up, and my air conditioner in my window was still on. My digital clock was still on. DirecTV was still working!
I HAD POWER!!!!!
I woke up feeling motivated, empowered, inspired.
The only question left to answer? What do I make?
When you’re inside stuck with a leaky house, you need something to cheer you up. And nothing can do that better than pie.
Who on this planet doesn’t like pie?
Fruit filled, cream filled, chocolate filled. All flavors and tastes for anyone!
I’ve been dying to make a homemade pie for a while, and what better time than this? And what better pie to make for the first time than good old apple pie.
And off I went!
Pie dough. No, not the ready made stuff you get in the baking isle of your supermarket. No.
No. No. No.
I know you’re sitting there thinking it’s just too difficult and time consuming to make your own pie dough. Heck, I was that person too! And it didn’t help when my mom tells me right before I started the pie “Oh my God, making pie dough is SO hard!”
Now, after making it, I wish I could go back in time and tell myself not to worry. It’s SO easy! It’s literally 5 ingredients.
Flour, Sugar, Salt, Butter, Ice Water.
And with this recipe, you can make the entire thing in a stand mixer! Brilliant!
Guys, this dough comes together in less than 5 minutes. I promise. It’s so easy. It takes longer to chill the dough in the fridge than it does to make it.
Take that, Mom!
After chilling the dough for 30 minutes, it was time to roll it out and cover the pie dish.
Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Once the bottom layer is trimmed and complete, cover it in plastic wrap and put it in the freezer for 30 minutes. While that is chilling, combine the apples, sugars, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg.
I love how the spices dot the apples like little polka-dots.
Once the crust is done chilling in the freezer, fill it with the apple mixture and roll out the other half of the dough and place it on top.
Crimp the top and bottom crusts together so the apples can’t escape and make sure you cut slits in the top layer so the steam can release and your crust does not get soggy.
Me? I cut out a heart. Why? Because I love pie.
Stick it in the oven for 50 minutes, making sure the crust gets a beautiful golden brown and the apples are bubbling. You’re all done!
Come, on. Who wouldn’t want to slice right into that?!
I totally wanted to. And I did.
And the smell? Ahh, it’s just so warm. The smell of the cinnamon and apples cooking together is making me countdown the days until Fall.
The pie was everything you expect apple pie to be. Filled with warmth and love. The perfect ending to a crazy weekend.
So thank you, Irene. Thank you for sparing our house and letting our power live on. You let me make pie. My gratitude is never ending.
Recipe by Annies-Eats
Double Crust Pie Dough
5-6 medium/large Granny Smith apples (about 2½ lbs.), peeled, cored and sliced
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. grated nutmeg
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water (for egg wash)
On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the pie dough into approximately a 12-inch round. (Keep the other half of the pie dough chilled for now.) Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate, trimming the excess and crimping the edges. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Position an oven rack in the upper-middle position. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sliced apples, sugars, flour, spices and lemon juice. Toss well to combine. When the bottom crust is finished chilling, pour the apple mixture and accumulated juices into the bottom pie crust and use a spatula to even the top out slightly. Dot the surface of the apples with the pieces of cold butter. Roll out the remaining pie dough on a floured work surface. Place the dough on top of the apples and crimp the sides, combining the two dough layers. Brush the top and edges of the crust with the egg wash.
Place a baking sheet on the lower oven rack. Place the pie on the upper rack and bake until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling, about 50-60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature.
*Obviously it goes without saying that serving this pie with vanilla ice cream is probably the greatest thing ever. Do it. All the cool kids do.*