Friday, October 10, 2008

The best time of year

Every now and again, I get a mild case of homesicknesses -- crazy, I know, for someone who has lived in seven cities in five states during the past 10 years (I just counted, I've moved 15 times in that period!). And rarer still, are the times that I feel nostalgia for Subtropical Paradise. But one of those rare occurrences has been happening during the past month or so. Chalk it up to missing out on a presidential debate in my hometown as well as some golden gridiron moments or turning a year older, but nonetheless I've been missing recently the rolling hills of Oxford, Saturday afternoons in the Grove, and humid Wednesday evenings spent sweating and listening to jazz in Lafayette Square.

But then something happened. The days started getting shorter. The nights started getting chilly. And before I knew it, fall was here, and I remembered why I love the East Coast so much.

Last weekend, I drove a friend to her hometown in West Virginia and decided to take the long way back to enjoy a solo romantic drive through the mountains to see the leaves that are beginning to change -- and let's be honest, to stop by Sonic in Winchester (a tried and true homesickness remedy). Doing so also allowed me to snag a whole bushel of freshly picked West Virginia apples (or maybe it's a peck -- I can never remember the difference).

I must backtrack now and explain that my family is known for our love of apples. I do, after all, share my birthday with John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed. There's a story that often gets shared at holiday gatherings about the time I told my parents' friend who was offering a much-younger me something to drink that no, I wouldn't like a Coke or milk. "I'd like apple juice, please." And my sister has a similar penchant for the fruit. In fact, one of her many nicknames, Teej, is strangely enough derived from her affinity for apple juice.

But this is all an aside from the story at hand: my elation at scoring the mother lode.

Obviously I had to do something with my apples. I ate a bunch. And I made some applesauce. But my honest-to-goodness "grown-up" favorite way to use apples is to make apple pie.

So I made some -- lots, in fact.

And they were delicious. My favorite apple pie recipe has been stiched together from several years of trial and error. And I'm pretty pleased with the current product. Or at least I was until I saw this recipe today. Thank goodness I'm going apple picking next weekend, so I can try it out.

But until then, here's the current front-runner. Enjoy!

Katie's Apple Crumb Pie

1 pie shell (store-bought or I usually use a generic Better Homes and Garden recipe)
6 cups peeled and sliced cooking apples
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinammon
Dash of nutmeg
1 cup flour (sifted)
1/2 cup brown sugar
Dash of salt
Stick of butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Wash, peel, and slice the apples. Toss apple slices with lemon juice in a large bowl. Add sugar, cinammon, and nutmeg. Stir to coat all the apples, then add the apple mixture to the pie shell. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, and salt with butter until the mixture is crumbly. (I usually let my butter sit out for a while first so it's softer to work with, but don't wait too long or your crumb topping will end up runny).

Sprinkle the crumb mixture on top of the apples and bake for about 45-50 minutes or until the apples are soft.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I wish we had fall down here. I love to be other places but home is home. No two ways about it.