I'm sure you've noticed by now that this blog has a new layout. I finally got the motivation to draw something of my own to put on here. I was never good at drawing faces, so after a bit of googling and lots of drafts, I ended up with the two at the top of this page. It's not much, but I think it adds a personal touch to the layout.
This is part of my "resolutions" for the New Year. I didn't see the New Year as such a big deal because I guess I'm in denial. I don't usually make resolutions because I'm definitely not the type of person to keep any of them. But there are some areas of my life that I want to focus on.
Of course, there's my student-teaching coming up. I want to come out of that experience knowing if I want teaching to be my future or not. I keep having second thoughts, so I'm sure spending a whole term in the classroom will let me know. Secondly, I have just 6 months left in Lexington and I want to explore the place as much as possible. Do as much as I can in this town before I have to leave. Even if I visit sometime in the future, it will not be the same as being a resident of the town. Third, I want to cook and bake more. I want to become a better blogger and a better food photographer. This seems like a big goal for me, but I just want to make some progress. No matter how busy I get, I always tried to make time for the kitchen and I want to keep that up. And lastly, I want to be a better sister and a better daughter. I've felt that my parents and I have become a bit distant because our interests are obviously so different, but they're even more different than before. I don't call my parents as often as I should and we know we're all busy sometimes, but I need to make time to let them know what's going on in my life.
Enough blabbing. Last week, my sister requested I make Apple Pie. She gave me a recipe and I got to work right away. For some reason, I find making apple pie relaxing. Not that I feel pressured when I'm making other foods, but it was such a calming experience. Maybe this will inspire me to make more pies and I'll be on my way to meet at least one of my resolutions!
For the crust, I used a recipe from Donna Hay. While it is a great-tasting crust, it didn't work as an apple pie crust for us, so I'm still on a search for the perfect pie crust. I do have to say, though, the crust tasted better a few days later. I also, for some strange reason, thought the apples in Apple Pie had to be wedges and not slices. My sister liked this filling recipe because the filling isn't syrupy. The original recipe calls for 6 apples, but I used only 5, but I might consider using even less next time. Maybe 4, or 4 1/2. And a mix of Fuji and Granny Smith.
Sunday's Apple Pie
- 2 prepared pie crusts (recipe below)
- 6 tart (Granny Smith) apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp butter
1. Preheat oven to 350F (175C).
2. Place sliced apples in a large bowl. In a small bowl combine sugar, cinnamon, and flour. Stir well and pour mixture over apples. Cut half of butter or margarine into small pieces and add to apples. Toss apples until thoroughly coated.
3. Pour apples into pastry-lined pie pan. Dot apples with the rest of butter or margarine. Place second pastry on top. Seal edges and cut steam vents in top crust.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes, until crust is golden brown.
Sweet Shortcut Pastry [Makes 1 crust - double for a top crust also]
From Modern Classics Book 2 by Donna Hay
- 2 cups flour
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 5 oz cold butter, chopped
- 2 to 3 tbsp ice water
1. Process the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. While the motor is running, add enough iced water to form a smooth dough and process until just combined. Knead the dough lightly, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface or between sheets of non-stick bakin paper until 1/8 inches thick, or whatever thickness required, and line the tart tin or pie dish.
3. Preheat the oven to 350F. Place a piece of non-stick baking paper over the pastry and fill with baking weights or uncooked rice or beans. Bake for 10 minutes, remove the weights and bake for 10 more minutes or until the pastry is golden.