Fall Harvest Time and the Ultimate Apple Pie!
It is just a few days past the fall equinox, the days are sunny and crisp, and it is the perfect time for you and the kids to pick your own apples. What wholesome fun to visit a local farm, pick apples right from the tree, then return home to bake a delicious apple pie from scratch! I'm not sure if it was the recipe or the freshness of the ingredients, but I've never tasted a more delectable apple pie then the one my kids and I made this past weekend.
Wondering where you could pick your own apples? I found this handy website which helps you find a pick-your-own farm near you: pickyourown.org.
In the Bozeman Montana area, Rocky Creek Farm is a popular fall destination. In addition to apples, you can pick your own pumpkins, sunflowers, berries and more.
For our recipe, we needed about 6 tart apples. The kids took their time about choosing "perfect" apples. There was ample opportunity to chat about the different varieties, colors and flavors of apples. We also took pictures of the different life cycle stages: seed, tree, and fruit. We ambled among the trees, enjoying the sweet scents and warm sunshine. At the end of this pleasant day, we had a tasty treat to savor together.
"Aesthetic and moral education are also closely connected with the training of the senses. By multiplying sense experiences an developing the ability to evaluate the smallest differences in various stimuli, ones sensibilities are refined and ones pleasures increased."
~Dr. Maria Montessori
HOW TO MAKE APPLE PIE FROM SCRATCH
First you must make the crust with the following ingredients:
- 2 Sticks of butter diced, (remove 2 tablespoons and set aside for use in the filling.)
- 2 level cups of flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 5 Tablespoons of ice water
If you don't normally make your pie crust from scratch, rest assured, it is not difficult and children love to make and roll out the dough. Using a large mixing bowl, cut the butter into the flour and salt with a pastry cutter or knife, until butter pieces are no bigger than a pea. Then add the iced water, one tablespoonful at a time, tossing the moistened dough with a fork until all of the dough is moist but still crumbly.
Shape the dough into two balls and wrap them in plastic. Refrigerate the dough while you make the filling. Also, preheat the oven to 425°F.
Apple Pie Filling Ingredients:
- 6 medium sized tart apples
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1/4 cup of flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
- 2 tablespoons of butter
Mix together sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Peel, core and slice the apples and stir them into the sugar mix. Set aside while you roll out your dough.
Making the Pie Crust:
Place one of the dough balls on a well floured surface and press it into a disk. Now flour your rolling pin and roll the dough from the center of the circle out to the edges, keeping the shape a round as possible. When your circle is large enough to cover the bottom of the pie pan (about 10 inches across), pick it up by wrapping it around the rolling pin and lay it into the pie pan. Press dough firmly into the bottom and sides of the pan and leave the edges loose for now
Pour the apple filling into the shell and dot the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Roll out the second dough ball and cover the pie. Crimp the edges with your thumb and fingers or a fork. Lightly brush the top of the pie with a bit of water and then sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over the top. Don't forget to cut 3-5 vents in the top as well.
Bake at 425°F for 35-45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Cover the edges with foil if they start to look too brown. Let cool before serving. Enjoy with the whole family!