I normally prefer cooking to baking, but given then 9 lbs of apples we picked last weekend, a pie seemed like the obvious choice. And I wasn't going to cut corners. We are still not sure how it came out so good - really might be the most perfect pie I have ever tasted. Here are the secrets: For the crust, use way more butter than you feel comfortable using (2 sticks). Make sure they are nearly frozen solid and cut them into small chunks. Drop them into a mix of 2 cups white flour and a half teaspoon of salt (or if you happen to salt it three times as much, like I did, that's ok too). Take an electric mixer to it. Add maybe a fourth cup of water slowly - so it gradually comes together into a ball you can pick up. Make two flat discs and refrigerate. If you're me, you let it sit there for a day or two because the weather is too nice to be inside baking. For the filling, peel, core and slice the apples. I used 6 apples because I got tired of peeling, coring and slicing after 6. Add spices - in this case, it was a half cup of sugar, 2 tsp of cinnamon, some grated nutmeg, and a pinch of all spice. Let the apple/spice mixture sit for a while to absorb water and get acquainted with each other. Then it's easy - roll out the first dough, put in in a pie pan, add the filling, roll out the second dough, lay it on top, pinch it shut around the edges, brush raw egg on top and make a few slits in the top. Bake. I did 20 minutes at 400 and then set it to 350 to finish it off for another 30-40 minutes. Allow to cool completely. Voila - the perfect pie. And don't ruin it by putting cold ice cream on top! IMO, that's the equivalent of putting ketchup on hot dogs! No no no.
|this pie is boss|
Besides making pie, we checked out Chicago's new 606 trail which is sort of (sort of) like New York's Highline. It's basically a recreational trail where you don't deal with cars or stop lights. It's 2.7 miles long, so a there-and-back is near 6 miles. We should have planned a family run, but none of us were up to a Sunday afternoon run and instead just walked some of it before spending the rest of the afternoon at a nearby playground.
My latest track workout was arguably a success. It was 400, 800, 1200, 1200, 800, 400. So an up and down kind of thing. Here were my stats:
400 - 1:36 (~6:30 pace)
800 - 3:30 (~7:00 pace)
1200 - 5:23 (~7:15 pace)
1200 - 5:25 (~7:15 pace)
800 - 3:31 (~7:05 pace)
400 - 1:37 (~6:30 pace)
Pretty consistent. I was hoping to smoke the last 400 but I'll take 1:37. On tired legs. It was borderline shirtless weather that day too. So now I'm "tapering" again for my second fall goal race: a 5K on Sunday. I have the same goals as last time.
Saturday - we grilled perhaps the spiciest jerk chicken I have ever tasted. Mouth was awn fiyah. It needed somethings to temper, and we didn't really have it. We did have a killer pineapple/mango salsa, but that was spiked with jalepeno peppers, so it only added fuel to the fire (literally). We were close to stealing the baby's sippy cup of milk - it was that hot! The beers were good tho ;)
Sunday - We did salads. Just greens, cucumber, tomatoes, blue cheese, 5 minute eggs, and scallions. With fresh bread. And pie for dessert.
Monday - Chicken/avocado wraps with celery and carrots.
Tuesday - Tofu/broccoli Kung Pao inspired - this could be a hit or a flop.
Wednesday - Italian noodles with onions, tomato and zucchini / side green salad
Thursday - kale and chick pea dish with fingerling potatoes
Friday - homemade pizza with TBD toppings