A couple of weekends ago A and I visited his mother; she was worried about her big tree filled with apples and didn’t quite know how to go about lightening its load. We spent a lovely sunday afternoon picking apples (and pruning the tree, which when it was my turn was more about getting rid of inconvenient branches than anything else – I don’t know anything about pruning).
It reminded me of picking grapes with my family, which is something I really enjoy doing. In October, whenever we are able, we go to my uncle’s vineyard and help pick grapes for wine. It’s always fun because the whole extended family gets to be together which invariably ends up in some healthy competition, laughs, and incredible food (none of which is in this post as I am sadly not making it this year).
There’s something about occasionally being in contact with nature that really appeals to me. Don’t get me wrong, I have never been a big fan of nature, really dislike the well, everything; but lately I have begun to appreciate it a bit more I think. I like getting dirt on my hands, and getting fruit straight from the apple, or even tending to my herbs – even if only the chives have survived. Of course everything in moderation, so for now once a year is quite enough, thankyouverymuch.
Anyway, we picked A LOT of apples (with a lovely tea break with ginger cake and clotted cream ice cream) and ended up bringing some back with us.
You know what they say about one bad apple? UGH. I hate that saying. It cost me a number of apples, and I had to dig through the whole box to find the one ruining all our hard work. I finally did, and managed to save most of the apples, which meant I had to use them for something. My initial thought was compote, and believe me, I made a lot (using this recipe). I used about 1.5 kg of apples (I guess not a huge amount by others’ account, but certainly a lot for two) for my compote, and started consuming copious amounts mixed with yogurt.
We discussed what to do with the remaining apples. A’s aunt suggested chutney, as it keeps for long and it’s always nice, I thought mincemeat would be a good idea as well (I have Christmas on my mind).
A then asked me to make apple pie. Well, they were his mother’s apples, so I suppose I should.
Let’s make one thing clear right now: the world has way too many apple pie recipes. How is one supposed to master apple pie, when there is always a different one around the corner? This upsets me.
I figured I’d have a go with Michel Roux’s recipe (bastardised of course, as I have yet to follow a recipe to the letter – other than macarons) as he’s French and probably knows his pastry.
Boy does he ever. The pastry was lovely and flaky, and baked to perfection (merit of the recipe, I’m sure).
Of course my pies aren’t as handsome as the one in the book, but they’re not too shabby. I’m pretty happy with them, even if the photos don’t exactly do them justice. Anyway. They’ll have to do.
They were delicious. And maybe someday I will make them again.
Sorry for not writing the recipe to this, but it’s just too long, even if it doesn’t take that long to make. The book, Michel Roux’s Pastry, is however totally worth buying.