July has always been a month for reflective appreciation of our forefathers and this nation they formed. Independence Day is always a reminder for how blessed we are, how grateful to those who fought to form our nation on its principal and liberties, and for those today who continue to fight for them for all of us
At a time when there is much polarization in both state and local governments , it is renewing to remember the roots of this nation, it’s principals, and those who sacrificed and continue to sacrifice so that we may have the life we do.
So, with that heart the recipe this month is the quintessential American fruit pie. Depending on which part of the country you hail from, decides if your “American pie” is apple, cherry, blueberry, strawberry, ….
Our foremothers didn’t have grocery stores to go buy butter , or flour, and they didn’t have refrigerators and climate controlled environments either to keep things cool and fresh (their closest option was a cellar, if they had one). They did have sort insulated clay jugs, but butter was labor intensive muscle-work out to create, and meals/desserts had to be planned out days to weeks in advance, to ensure they had what was necessary for when.
Our foremothers were masters at knowing what do with what little they had, and how to make a little go a long way. They lived green and self sustaining – “going locavore” or note.
Obviously this is not our life now, but their planning and efficiency is something worth emanating.
My “home” pie (which also happens to be my favorite) is apple pie. As I do it from my short hand memory, here is an easy recipe I found that is just deliciousness by Betty Crocker (no required beating cream into butter for hours before either! 😉 )
Betty Crocker’s Easy Apple Pie
**Store Bought. Pillsbury in refrigerated section of store- rolled-up in a box
1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Gold Medal all- purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples ( 8 medium)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1. In Medium bowl, mix 2 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender ( or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl ( 1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).
2. Heat oven to 425 F. With floured rolling pin, roll one pasty round into round 2 inches larger than upside- down- 9-inch glass pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and sale.
3. In large bowl, mix sugar, 1/4 cup flour, the cinnamon, nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Stir in apples until well mixed. Spoon into pastry-lined pie plate. Cut butter into small pieced; sprinkle over filling. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1/2 inch from rim of plate.
4. Roll other round of pastry into 10-inch round. Fold into fourths and cut slits so steam can escape. Unfold top pastry over filing; trim overhanging edge 1 inch from rim of plate. Fold and roll top edge under lower edge, pressing on rim to seal; flute as desired. Cover edge with 2 to 3 inch strip of foil to prevent excessive browning.
5. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust, removing foil for last 15 minutes of baking. Serve warm if desired. And let’s not forget the ice-cream! If you’re from up North, you can add the cheese (though to me that’s pollution)…
** Makes 8 servings ( depending how you slice)