This is the post that almost wasn’t. You’ll know what I mean by that by the time you are done reading.
I like Marie. Marie Callender. All the pies I’ve ever made came from right our freezer to the oven, and Marie Callender was the best of them. While I am not a big pie fan, I do like a Dutch Apple pie once in a while, especially in the fall – when it’s apple picking season. Dan loves apple pie anytime.
So, knowing I am now armed with a KitchenAid Mixer and seeing a jar of apple pie filling (made by the Amish) for sale in our local fruit stand, I had the inspiration to exclaim, “Let’s get this! I’ll make an apple pie!” Back then, I was full of good cheer and enthusiasm and optimism. Never to turn down an apple pie, Dan loaded the glass jar on the counter and didn’t even flinch at the $9 price tag. The day came soon enough to make the pie. Here’s my lessons:
1. Sometimes you just need a tree. Or a Grandma.
My first lesson deals with the mixer’s mysterious attachments. I started with the hook, but it didn’t “cut in” the shortening at all, so I changed the hook to the “tree.” That worked, but then it was back to the hook for mixing the pie crust ingredients. The hook is used to make dough, so I thought it was right when I started. However, I now think that a pie crust might be considered to be a pastry, not a dough, so that’s why you use the tree, not the hook.
This is all self-taught, in case you haven’t noticed. My Grandma was our family’s pie making expert. So, this is her fault because she isn’t around to teach me. She was born in 1898. But still.
2. Measure twice, turn on the mixer once.
I’ve made a number of things with my new Kitchen Aid, but mostly I’ve made chocolate chip cookies. I make 2 batches at once since it is so easy with the mixer. Those 2 batches require 4 sticks of butter. So, I mistakenly doubled the butter in the dutch crumb topping ingredients, and as required, I then softened the butter. Since I make all those the cookies for Dan, this mistake can be attributed to him. Fortunately, I caught my error before turning on “Big Red” and was able to save the day by using a fork to remove a soft, collapsing stick of butter. Good thing we are eating a lot of corn on the cob right now.
3. Be careful when ordering online.
Before I could make the pie, I needed a rolling pin. I had one years ago, never used it, and at some point gave it away. I haven’t missed it until now. No big deal, I ordered one off Amazon. Yes, it came very quickly; however, it looked to be a toy rolling pin. One perhaps best used by little children playing with Play-Doh, not an older, though young at heart, woman playing with a KitchenAid mixer. I ordered it because I liked the bright green color, never even thinking about its size. I did use it to roll out my crust, but I didn’t quite get it thin enough and round enough. This is Amazon’s fault.
4. That is how the pie topping crumbles.
After making the dutch crumb topping, the directions said to cover the top of the pie with it. So, I pressed it out flat, making it like a piece of foil or plastic wrap. I guess I thought the topping would somehow magically crumble with all that butter in there.
I should have used a fork to crumble it up beforehand and then sprinkle it over the entire surface. I guess Betty Crocker thought people like me would know this, as she didn’t mention it specifically. Let’s just say it’s her fault. It might have worked out okay, if not for the next lesson.
5. Don’t wait until the last minute.
The directions said to bake 45 to 55 minutes. Ever the compromiser, I set the timer to 50 minutes. Betty C’s fault once again. I think she should have told me to CHECK the pie at 45 minutes or maybe even 40. Here’s what the pie looked like at the 50 minutes mark.
So, now you can see why this post almost didn’t make it to the “Publish” button. It doesn’t look like a dutch apple pie in any magazine I’ve ever seen! But the question is, did we eat it? Yes, in fact, we ate a piece when it had cooled off a bit, but was still warm. To be honest, the burnt crumb topping taste pretty much overpowered all the other tastes in the pie. One piece is all I’ll have. Dan said he’d eat more of it, but I think he was just trying to be nice because he wants me to make more pies in the future. He’s even said several times, “Your next one will be better.”
Some say I am stubborn, but what I hear them saying is that I am determined. And that’s a good thing in my book. So, before too long, there will be another dutch apple pie. And with all the vast knowledge and experience I gained on this try, what could go wrong?