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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

double fisted French apple pie


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These are my apple pie tools.

Apple pie may be very American, but this is French apple pie, needing special considerations. The buttery crumb topping makes it French, according to Mme. Betty Crocker. I always thought crumb topped pie was called Dutch apple (remember double Dutch, in jump rope?). Dutch apple pie is actually when you pour cream in through slits in the top crust during the last five minutes of baking. Wow.

I rolled the dough out on the cutting board that I carried home on the Metro from the Paris flea market. People on the train looked at me like I was carrying a weapon. I tried to look nonchalant, as if a) I weren't an American tourist and b) it is perfectly normal to get on the Metro with a big round board with a handle. Travel tip: no matter how you try to blend in, those Parisians pick up your Americanness every time. I is what I is, I guess.

The apples I used were our yellow transparent apples, what was left of them by the deer and the kids playing knock-the-apples-off-the-tree at the wedding. I used Don's ice scraper to pull the high, remaining apples within reach.

I see that the winner of the national pie championship was made with yellow transparent apples. I don't think you can find them in many shops or farmers markets, so we are fortunate to have this very (French)-tart variety right in our little orchard. (I don't think they're really French apples; I just threw that in with the tart.) You can use Granny Smiths, another tart apple, if you can't find transparents. But really, wouldn't you rather have a French tart than a Granny Smith?





This is Don's ice scraper tool co-opted for pulling apple boughs down.



















Here are the yellow transparent apples, so pretty, with Don counting sunflowers in the background. (It's over, Don, the wedding is over, it doesn't matter how many we have now.)













The weapon.









French apple pie before adding ice cream.





The recipes:




Instead of a top crust, I topped it with crumbly yums, making it French apple.
I added chopped, salted pecans to the crumb topping:


46 comments:

Anet said...

My all time favorite pie, crumbly topped apple! I didn't know it was French either.
I have to figure out how to make a wheat-free version of it someday soon. The topping would be simple enough and the apples... who needs the bottom crust anyways?!

Poor Don, still counting the sunflowers! lol;)

Don said...

47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 52, 53, wait, did I miscount? AAARGH!! Now I have to start over! 1, 2, 3,

Susan said...

Yummmmmmm! I love apple pie in any shape or form, double crust or crunchy yums! Dutch apple is Jaye's favorite pie. Didja know that apple pie makes an excellent breakfast item? Warmed with a little cream on top makes it a hot cereal, right? Or it can be lunch with a slab of cheddar cheese melting on top.

Those yellow transparents make the best fried apples, too! Piled on top a hot biscuit....it just doesn't get any better than that! David's parents have a tree in their yard.

I have a question about the sunflowers. How the heck did you guys keep the bugs and birds from destroying them before the wedding?

Kat said...

I love apple pie! any way it is prepared. Now I know what kind of apples those were that, as a child in Ohio, I used to bring a salt shaker and sit in the tree and eat all the apples I wanted. We don't have good apples in the south. I used to say that when an apple makes it to the south it turns to cotton.
But things have improved over the past 35 years, thank goodness.

Nautankey said...

Err..sorry for my ignorance I never knew applie pies are made with apple :|,blame it on the indian apple pies I have had,they are more or less normal pies..thanks for clearing my ignorance as well as the wonderful recipe :-)

dutchbaby said...

Apple pie made of freshly-picked apples? I'm there! A la mode, please!

dutchbaby said...

P.S. Thanks for the tip on the yellow transparents. I'm going to look for them at our local farmer's markets. I hope we can grow them here in California.

shicat said...

Hi Ruth, you must be rested enough from the wedding to bake! I didn't think apples were ready yet. Yum. I remember when I first got married I wanted to bake an apple pie and enter in the state fair. My crusts never turned out good enough.I guess I should of entered my spinach and cheese pie, now that's a winner.

The french cutting board is beautiful,what a treasure and with such a wonderful memeory.
The garden tool( ice scraper for the winter garden,sculpting and such) is a very inventive way to get at the fruit.
I enjoyed seeing you well worn recipe cards, i think that makes the recipe even more inviting. Hey maybe I'll make a pie, when the weather cools.

Christina said...

Oh Don- pay my dear friend, no mind. Keep getting those apples down and send a few to me in Wisconsin.
Hello neighbor!
Yum!
xo : )

Arti said...

What a lovely post... just the pictures are delicious enough! I love apple pies, but would never venture out to make my own. You see, I've zero aptitude for cooking/baking. I haven't seen it yet, but I think you'll really enjoy the new movie Julie and Julia.

ds said...

I love love LOVE apple pie, but right now, it's peaches. Bet this would work beautifully for them, too (anyhow, I'm going to give it a try--especially with yummy roasted pecans in the crumb topping). See? You inspire in many ways. Thanks!!!!!

And I am giggling over the mental picture of you with that wonderful board--looks like a pizza peel, kinda--in the Metro & all those proper French ladies (who go to the patisserie, after all) giving you The Look...

rauf said...

i don't remember having tasted apple pie Ruth, i must have as usual, without knowing what i am eating. i don't ask questions, i just eat. Somebody drags me to fancy restaurants occasionally, like an unwilling goat i go and look around feeling completely out of place. Suddenly i become aware of what i am wearing and what others are wearing and i become nervous.
Would you have an apple pie ?
No i want to get out of here.

Though abundantly available, south India is not an apple country. Apples come from cool Himachal and Kashmir. A flood of apples comes from Australia as well. Nice to see apples neatly stacked up at fruit sellers. Now big players have moved in pushing aside small traders. But i am no longer angry Ruth, as i heard the middle men are eliminated and farmers are directly benefited. i prefer green apples after the Beatles changed their record label. i know you are smiling Ruth. Is it true that Macintosh Apple sued the Beatles Apple and withdrew the case out of embarrassment ?

Your apple pie must be as delicious as the pictures.

rauf said...

Its here Ruth

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Corps_v._Apple_Computer

*jean* said...

hi ruth - i found these yellow transparent apples today at the farmer's market - yay!!! i can't wait to make this for my hubbie tomorrow!!

thanks for sharing!

jean

Claudia said...

My favourite pie! You can also make it with great tasting Egremont Russet apples.

CottageGirl said...

You're killin, me, Ruth!! I'm working 12 to 15 hours a day getting ready for my first graders and can't get into the kitchen! Could you please just send a small slice with a little ice cream my way, please??

CottageGirl said...

LOVE your recipe card! It has been cherished!

Ruth said...

Anet, sure, you could make it without the crust. Doesn't anyone have a wheat-free ready made crust out there? (Yeah, right.) Have you checked Foods for Living or the one over by Frandor? Hmm.

Ruth said...

Don, I think I counted those sunflowers three times. Or was it four?

Ruth said...

Susie, you are way ahead of me. I hadn't seen or heard of transparents before we researched and figured out what these were.

Apple pie for breakfast? Mais bien sur!

Bugs and birds? What bugs and birds?

Ruth said...

That is a marvelous image, Kat, you sitting in a tree with a salt shaker eating them apples.

Yes, yes, apples need the northern cold air, which does something for their sugar. (I sound very scientific, don't I?)

Ruth said...

Nautankey, apple pie without apples? There is actually something called "mock apple pie" that has no apples. In my ignorance I didn't know you had apple pie in India.

Ruth said...

I bet you make good apple pie, Dutchbaby. I hope you won't feel bad if you don't find transparents. I never even heard of them until the farm and Don's dad said that's what they were.

Since you're pretty far north, maybe they do have the apples there.

Ruth said...

Cathy! Right you are about being rested! I got to the weekend - one week after the wedding - and I wanted to cook a nice meal and bake a pie. I knew then that I was feeling rested.

Transparents are early ripening apples. Ohh, spinach pie, I love that. I love any pie actually. Even mince meat.

You and I know about scraping ice. I like your idea for sculpting with it too.

You know, I've had this recipe card 31 years. I am getting so old.

Ruth said...

Christina, sweet. I envision something quite tasty and beautiful that you would create with these apples.

Ruth said...

Arti - you're the first to tell me about the film. I am completely out of it when it comes to movies these days. And I used to know everything that was showing.

My friend Karl played host to Julia Child for a day, and he said she was wonderful. I can't wait to hear Meryl imitate that inimitable voice!!

Ruth said...

Oh, DS, you are sophisticated. I had never heard of a pizza peel. Then my friend Karl came into my office yesterday to hear about the wedding, and I was showing him photos, and he saw this "cutting board" and said, "Oh, cool pizza peel!" Well, he was a test kitchen cook for a number of cook books. (That's how he got the hosting Julia Child gig for a day.) I suppose I would have stared at me holding this monstrosity too, heh.

But yes, peaches! These transparent apples are an early variety actually. After you mentioned peaches I remembered the recipe I have for peach kuchen. It's time.

Ruth said...

Yes, rauf, many yeses. Yes, I am smiling. Yes, apples need the cool northern air. Yes, I picture an unwilling goat - though I would never call you a goat. I had to corral ours once when it got out (last farm) and I was not at all pleased. It was a big goat and very unwilling.

But no, I did not know about Macintosh Apple and the lawsuit against the Beatles Apple. That is pretty silly, glad they withdrew it.

I was thinking of something I was going to say in this comment box, but I forgot. If I remember I will come back.

Ruth said...

Oh, that's good, Jean! These apples get very soft, but the tartness is perfect for pie. Enjoy.

Ruth said...

Claudia, I don't know Egremont Russets. Did you know apples came from Europe to the U.S.? We only had crabapples before European settlers brought the bigger varieties.

Ruth said...

CottageGirl, oh dear, I'm sorry. So many long hours. Please don't overwork. I know how much work primary school teachers put in, believe me.

I took the recipe card out of its plastic sheath for the photo. Even in plastic it looks pretty battered. It's 31 years old after all, and much used.

Ruth said...

Oh, rauf, I remembered what I was going to write you! I fully expected you to say something about my abysmal hand writing on the recipe card. :|

alice said...

Bonjour Ruth! Your French apple pie looks yummy!

I'm just rereading a book I do like, maybe you already know it: "A country year" by Sue Hubbell. In the very first pages, the author writes about blue birds... If you don't know this book, I think it could please you...

rauf said...

For a chapee who can't read his own handwriting, yours is so legible like a print.
very feminine and elegant Ruth and very determined

Pat said...

I love the photo of the apples. My sisters and I try to get together every fall to make apple pies. We make anywhere from 12-20 pies in a day. A great time is had by all. Sometimes we can get our brothers to come over and help out, too.

Sandy said...

I don't bake often but if I did, I would try your recipe simply because you put such gorgeous photos up in this post. I had to laugh at Don counting the sunflowers. Forgot to say in the post about the wedding you did, I complimented you and Leslie and forgot Don and he looked great too!

Ruth said...

Bonjour, Alice!

Thank you for the book recommendation. I had not heard of it. I love the subtitle: Living the Questions. Amen to that.

Ruth said...

Well, you surprise me, rauf. I wrote in a hurry, and it is very irregular. After these comments I actually found a very interesting "improve your handwriting" site called papernalia. It focuses on writing with your whole forearm, not your fingers. It would take a lot of practice to change my style, but I can see that it would flow better if I worked on it.

I think you have gorgeous handwriting.

Ruth said...

Whoaa, Pat, that's amazing. I assume you freeze most of them? It sounds fun to do that together. Don and I have talked about canning when my family comes for Farm Day every August (this year we had a Farm Wedding instead, and I wasn't in the mood to put up preserves).

Ruth said...

Sandy, you and I are very visually oriented, so maybe like me, you care about how food looks almost as much as how it tastes. Well it is a big part of it, isn't it?

Yes, Don looked fantastic, in his tan and all dressed up in his nice suit. Thank you!

Ginnie said...

LOL at Don still counting the sunflowers! :D Even after cutting all the ones for the table vases, there are still some left? WOW!

So glad to see you could put those apples to good use, Ruth...and that you've not been plumb tuckered out to continue with your delicacies!

Ruth said...

Boots - I definitely found myself again and wanted to cook and bake last weekend (that isn't even all that normal for when I feel myself). I hope you saw how beautiful the Adirondack chair and the sled look in that photo, that you finished. :)

Oh said...

You are not going to believe this,(well, maybe you will...) but I have the very same tablecloth pictured with the plate of pie, above. No, really. Very cool.
And I'm telling ya', these pictures are wonderful. Yum!

Ruth said...

Oh, really? Cool! I have a drawer of these cloths from my mom, and the colors in this one really send me. I keep trying to get the old stains out, but of course I don't photograph those.

Anna said...

Ruth, thanksgiving coming in few months, may be I will make one. I have gone banana baking this year, and master few nice baking recipes, but not the pie. Cool story too, thanks for sharing, you are a charm. Anna :)

Ruth said...

Anna, baking is a good way to bring in the winter softly, warmly.