Sittin' pretty.

My family is generally not a make-it-from-scratch kinda group, but this year Mr. Tea showed up with what looked like a Bible but was actually “The Joy of Cooking.” (Luckily– things would have gotten uncomfortable if it was a Bible.) Under his tutelage we crafted an apple pie, completely from scratch (dough included).

My sister (Dana) decided that she would very much like to make a lattice crust. Luckily Mr. Tea knew that sticking a lattice atop his usual recipe would cause an explosion in the oven. He consulted the Good Book, which instructed us to pre-cook the apples. So we did.

Smells delicious... sorry this isn't in smellovision. (Imagine mulled cider.)

They’re stewing in pure butter (plus cinnamon, sugar, and salt). Ah, baking.

We used Braeburn apples, a variety I’m not very familiar with. They’re a little bit tart, and not too sweet– and proved to be very pie-friendly.

Fast forward past the cooling of the apples (on pans) and the making of the dough (which we did pre-apple, and had been chilling in the fridge), and here are the apples in the crust, waiting for their lattice.

Cover us up!

The lattice was prophesied in the Book of Joy of Cooking…

And on the eighth day, there was baking.

… and was skillfully executed by Dana, who claims to have a minor in basket-weaving.

In, out, up, around...

Shortly thereafter the lattice top was hoisted onto the pie, and the decorative edging commenced…

Merrily we fork along.

Fast forward another 40 or 50 minutes of baking (just like a cooking show, here)– the pie is all baked and flaked and ready to eat!


But an apple pie is not complete without a scoop of a la mode! (AKA vanilla ice cream.) And you can see that we also had pumpkin pie (almost from scratch, minus the crust… and the pumpkin was canned, but who really scoops their pumpkin out of a pumpkin?).

Just desserts.

I don’t know about you, but I eat apple pie with ice cream, and pumpkin pie with whipped cream. That’s that. No ice cream with my pumpkin pie, no whipped cream on my apple pie. That just seems wrong. (Or, to follow a theme: sacrilegious.)

After dessert, Mr. Tea commenced drinking many mugs of tea… hence his moniker, for those of you who missed the initial explanation. Just as Sampson drew strength from his hair, I believe Mr. Tea draws his powers from his namesake. 🙂

Dana must have been very inspired by the making-dessert experience, because here’s a peek at what she’s been up to this morning…

All things baked.

She used the extra pie dough to improvise “apples in a blanket.” (And the red velvet cupcakes are from a mix, but still… she made them.)

As for me, I’m more of a supporting player when it comes to cooking. And sometimes it weirds me out to see the sausage being made, so to speak. I mean… did you know that pie crust is mostly made of Crisco and butter? About that…

But let us not dwell on THAT fact. Let us enjoy the long weekend! And (in my case, at least) all the sweet treats.


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