Apple pie and birthday candles might seem an odd combination to most people but, apple pie is generally what my daughter asks for when it comes to the sort of birthday cake she’d like. I reckon that’s lucky for me because I’m a functional baker, not an artistic one. I happily marvel at the birthday cake creations of others but I have neither the patience nor the skill to replicate their magnificence. I don’t care how supposedly simple it is!
It was my daughter’s birthday last week, so it was apple pie time again! For the last couple of years I’ve been lucky enough to be able to use our own home-grown Granny Smith apples for the pie. This year, we have a great crop and I hope to bottle some of those apples as well as make pies.
My least favourite part of putting together an apple pie is: peeling apples. Imagine my delight when I came across this at the hardware store – A gizmo for (among other things) peeling apples. And yes, I’m pretty sure ‘gizmo’ is the correct technical term.
Along with being a functional baker, I’m a bit of a throw it together kind of gal. I don’t follow recipes for many things and apple pie is no exception so, I can’t give you any useful measurements or ratios for number of apples to use or the amount of sugar to add. The answers to both will depend on the type of apples you have on hand (some are better than others for cooking) and how sweet they are. My Granny Smiths were still a little on the tart side for my taste so I added more sugar than I normally would. My preference is always for less sugar with the fruit and more in the pasty – but each to their own. I used a basic sweet short crust pastry like this one and gave it plenty of chilling time. I also add a little plain flour and cinnamon to the fruit.
As you can see on the left, it didn’t turn out too badly! It was very tasty topped off with some fresh custard.
And yes, the pie did get the birthday candle treatment (it was covered in them) but I couldn’t grab the camera in time to get a shot before the pie crust was sealed in pink and purple wax. I’ll be better organised next year. Maybe!
So, that’s another birthday celebrated. Another pie made. And proof that you don’t have to be Martha Stewart to bake an awesome apple pie!
Do you have slightly off-beat traditions for family birthday celebrations?
Or, do you have a favourite apple pie recipe to share?
Let us know in the comments.