The 4th here on the island is really incredible. There are TONS of people downstreet for most of the morning. The parking lot is closed off to cars and there a bunch of booths for PIE, the Fire Department, Friends of the Library, ICMS, the Land Trust, the Childcare, a penny raffle, the French Club, and each of the high school classes has a game booth, the Lions Club hosts a food booth (mmm. . . crab rolls), as well as countless others interspersed. The parade goes by twice, with fire trucks, ambulances, little league teams, the town band, random floats by island businesses and groups of friends, and more - all following a theme set forth by the 4th of July committee. This year the theme was "Breaking News" and the floats were fantastic. Oh, and Vinalhaven experienced its first flash mob, too.
|no, really, it is easy!|
I was recruited again this year to bake a pie for the PIE (Partners in Island Education) fundraising booth. I've been on an empty-the-freezer kick, but there wasn't much by way of pie filling that I was ready to give up yet, so I decided to go with a good ol' apple pie. How very 4th of July of me.
As I mentioned before, the Pie book has a whole section devoted to apple pies. There were a couple of reasons I chose this one, the second of which I will reveal in a bit. The first being that I had seen this recipe when I was perusing the section previously, and decided with the busy weeks I've been having, I'd go with something really basic, and what I consider (for myself!!) to be a cheater pie. The author calls it a shortcut apple pie, and I highly recommend it for anyone who is newer to, or terrified of, pie baking. It's a recipe that he has in another cookbook, Apple Pie Perfect, and bills it as an easy, quasi-homemade apple pie.
|very few, very simple|
I'm pretty sure the preparation for this pie took me all of about 15 minutes, if that. If you're looking for a low prep pie, this would be it.
The pie crust was unrolled (the package comes with two 9" rounds, rolled up like a fruit roll-up!) and placed in an aluminum pie tin. I really don't like disposable aluminum pie tins because I don't think they bake up quite as well as glass or other pans. But, they'll do in a pinch, especially if you're giving away (or selling, in this case) the pie. You could also go with a pre-formed crust that is sold already in the tin (I think those are usually in the freezer section?) The pie plate was put in the freezer to firm up while the filling was prepared.
The apple was peeled and chopped, and combined with the canned filling (which, unfortunately, has high fructose corn syrup. . . I imagine you can find canned filling out there that uses something else to thicken it), lemon juice, craisins and cinnamon. This was poured into the pie crust and baked for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, I prepared the crumble topping in the food processor, cutting in the butter last. It was then turned into a bowl and mixed further by hand. It went into the fridge until the pie had finished its first baking session. After 30 minutes the pie came out and the crumble topping was spread over it. It went back in for about 30 more minutes.
The end product looked and smelled delicious!
bonus points if you can
read the secret message!
Oh, so the other reason I went with this pie? Well, for those eagle-eyed readers, check out the description of the pie and you'll notice a certain WBUR Here and Now host, who happens to be my mom's cousin, is mentioned. She, too, has baked the pie - when the author was a guest on the show, and he gives her props for the results. Next time I visit her, I might just demand an apple pie, now that I know she can bake!