October 23, 2010
Season of cinnamon and pie crust
One of the things I like most about making apple pie is the way the scent of cinnamon and apple fills the house. Pie-making is messy: flour gets all over the table, the floor, and my clothing. But homemade crust is worth the mess, especially if you eat the pie warm with a cup of hot tea.
Apples ripen here in September just as soon as it’s cool enough to turn on the oven. Apple pie season marks the beginning of fall, when I’m still looking forward to the cold, and ends in late October, when the last apples come off the trees.
The last and best apples to ripen are the Northern Spies: they are hard and tart. The last couple of pies I made were filled with Northern Spies, and the apples were well worth the wait. I don’t like pies that are too sweet (that’s why I only make pie with apple or rhubarb), so the tart Spies are just right for my taste.
I’ve enjoyed seeing my older kids every time I’ve made pie this fall: a text message about homemade pie is usually all it takes to get them home. Last weekend, I went apple picking with my parents, With-a-Why, Red-haired Sister, and her kids. Most of the apple orchards were just about stripped bare. The kids and I spend a pleasant hour climbing the tallest tree in an orchard to get the last remaining apples down from the very top. Beneath every tree, old apples crunched and smooshed under our sneakers.
Apple pie season is almost over.
In my house, food needs to be protected from wandering cats, so apple pies are imprisoned under over-turned laundry baskets while they cool.
Posted by jo(e)