The Tastiest Thing About Fall

There are a lot of reasons why I love fall.  The air starts to turn cool and crisp.  The leaves are beautiful and they have such a wonderful smell.  Not to mention, they make a delicious crunch under your feet and are fun to shuffle through and kick away while you are walking.  I’m pretty sure that’s a temptation that no one can resist.  I got my first taste of this year’s fall colors this past weekend.

Another thing that I have come to love about fall since moving to New England is apple picking.  It has become a wonderful ritual for me.  I may not always go with the same friends, but it is always a great time.  I am always especially amazed how in a few hours apples can go from this:

to this:

and finally, to this:

Now, this is a spectacular thing about fall, indeed!  Apple pie, mmmm.

I made this pie with a mixture of apples.  The most prominent being Mutsu and Golden Delicious, with a McIntosh and a Cortland thrown in for good measure.  The Mutsu and Golden apples are both green, which tend to make the pie a little bit more tart, but they also hold their shape and crunch better when baked.  The McIntosh and the Cortland help to add some sweetness, but I tend to find that a whole pie made with them is a bit too mushy for my tastes.

My basic apple pie roughly looks like this:  7-8 cups of apples, peeled, cored and sliced very thin.  As I’m cutting the apples up I toss them with lemon juice to keep them from getting brown.  To the sliced apples I add 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup white sugar, a few tablespoons (2-3) flour and basic apple pie spices (liberal amounts of cinnamon plus what ever else is handy – nutmeg, ginger, etc).  Pile all of that into your favorite crust (I’m bad at making crust, so I don’t really have a favorite to share!) and top the whole thing off with an egg white was and a few sprinkles of white sugar.  Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes, then at 400 until the top gets nice and brown (10-15 minutes more).  I don’t think I’ve ever made apple pie quite the same way twice, but it is always delicious!

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