Because she lived just across the field, I spent nearly every free afternoon of my childhood with my grandma. She’d call me into her kitchen where I’d pull up the old metal step stool and help her squeeze together crusts on dozens of apple pies. As a reward she’d roll up left over dough spread with butter and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar for me to nibble. She taught me simple food can be the most delicious, if it is infused with love. Her dishes were never fancy.
Butter, flour, sugar. Apples from the homesteader trees in her yard. She prepared easy food most of which she had grown herself.
For my 35th birthday, grandma gave me her rolling pin, claiming she was done baking pies. She’s made plenty: hay boys counted it as part of their pay to enjoy a slice of back in the old days, and she figures she’d make 30 or so a year.
Over the decades I suppose she’s made thousands- each year arguing with the grizzly bears over who gets the best fruit off her trees. Even without that old rolling pin she managed to produce three pies for Christmas Eve this past year, but then again she is in her 90's now so it makes sense she'd slow down!
Grandma taught my Elaina how to bake her apple pie for the county 4H cooking competition a few years ago. She rolled out her dough on the same antique cloth she's always used. It was a gift from her mother in the 1940's. Generations of women pressing their prayers, worries and hopes into the woven fabric and each time something sweet results.
Of course, Elaina's pie won the big ribbon; it's just that delicious.
And, I think it is all that love.
Grandma's Apple Pie:
Bake at 425
Time: Bake 50-60 min.
For the Filling:
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
6 -7 cups peeled and sliced apples, slice about 1/4" thick
sprinkle of lemon juice, if needed
1 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter
Mix together sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl
Lightly stir mixture through the apples in a larger bowl
Heap up in your pastry--lined pie pan
Dot with pads of butter
Cover with top crust.
Bake until the crust is nicely browned and apples are cooked through.
Serve warm with ice cream or a slice of cheese (does any one else like cheese on their apple pie?)