Near the end of October, we took our annual family trip to our local apple orchard. We waited until the last minute, so of course the only day we could go it was overcast, rainy, cold, and dreary. To top it all off, the farm tractor that they use to cart folks to the far end of the orchard (and the high point of the whole trip, according to Silas) had some mechanical difficulties and while it was able to take us out into the orchard, it was not able to bring us back to the barn. Honestly, the whole ordeal was hardly noticed by Silas who had a fantastic time and once Steve and I had some hot apple cider and fresh apple cider doughnuts, we had forgotten our cold fingers and damp toes as well. We will, however, remember next year to plan to go earlier (much earlier!) in the season.
Of course, apples then made their way into much of what we've been eating since then: lots of squash and apple soups, pork chops with apples and onions, and the like. But, it was only just this past week that we got around to making the star of apple season: apple pie.
I've been making an effort to search more for recipes in the books on my shelves, rather than on the Internet. Not only do I think the recipes tend to be more reliable (especially with pastries!), it's also easier to include Silas in the hunt. It's so much more satisfying to sit down on the couch together and pore over beautiful photographs of pie rather than clicking through images on the computer. We settled on the basic apple pie recipe in this book, a title that I picked up years ago at the thrift store for a dollar or two and had almost completely forgotten about. It took us the whole afternoon to make; six hours, I think, from start to finish with all the crust resting times included, which served to make it an incredible treat for dessert after dinner.
During the process Silas kept trying to pull me outside to play in the dusting of snow that fell the night before and that had caused much excitement when we woke that morning. At one point we did make it out, shovels in hand, to do the important work of clearing the deck of the quarter inch of accumulated snow.
The pie was delicious, thankfully, and, in fact, Silas and I are headed right now into the kitchen to make some homemade ice cream and have another slice for tea.