Apple time

This has been an exceptionally beautiful foliage season in Connecticut and the local apple orchard has a bumper crop of apples. My favorites here are Macouns and Honeycrisp. They do not have Winesap apples, which seems to be a New Jersey apple. It was always my favorite as a child when we had a rustic house there. Coincidentally, my daughter discovered this apple at the Brooklyn farmers market where they are trucked in on the weekend and it became her favorite.

There are so many things to do with apples that it might require two entries to cover them all. My hands down favorite is apple pie. I always like to use a mix of apples for this. I find that with a food processor, crust is very simple to make.

I like to use very cold butter, and only butter, no crisco or lard. I take 1/2 lb very cold butter and cut it into very small pieces and put it in the processor with 2 1/2 cups flour. I process it until there are still bits of butter visible. With the machine on, I slowly add up to 1/2 cup ice water until the dough begins to come together. When the processor first came out, Julia Child instructed followers to process until it forms a ball. Over the years the wisdom has changed, feeling that this makes a somewhat tough dough.

Empty the dough onto a silicone mat or other flat surface and gather it into a ball, kneading a few times. Divide in half, form into two discs, wrap and chill for at least an hour.

To make pie, butter a nine or ten inch pie plate. Roll out one disc as thin as you can and place in pie pan and return to refrigerator.

Peel and cut 8 to 10 apples into pieces. Mix with cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice and some honey, according to taste. Put into pie plate. Roll out second disc and place over apples. Trim edges and pinch them together. Make slits in top layer of dough to let steam escape. I like to do this in the shape of an apple. Brush with milk. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes and at 350 for another 45.

If you prefer a rustic tart you can use one disc of dough and freeze the other for another time. Roll out the dough and place apples in center, leaving at least a 2 inch margin of dough. Bring the ring of dough to the center, pinching it together as you go around. Brush dough with milk and bake as above.

Goldie loves visiting the orchard; here she is getting ready to drive there. She will not eat raw apples but rather prefers them cooked.

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