Monday, October 5, 2015

Alpha Bakers - Luscious Apple Pie

Labor Day weekend was lazy. There was tubing. There were photo shoots. There were fires in the backyard at my parents' house and an abundance of tomatoes in all stages of ripeness. There was an Alpha Baker apple pie.

When I say lazy, I mean that I was lazy and went tubing, and while I drifted along wondering idly why the weirdos with the American flag on the bank were inquiring if I loved America and freedom, and calling me hipster scum when my enthusiasm didn't measure up to their beery standards, my hardworking mother and sister were shopping all over the Pioneer Valley for the pie ingredients. Rose's version of a classic apple pie includes apples, of course (we went with Empire and MacIntosh, given what was seasonally available), but also apple cider, preferably unfiltered. Even the apple haven that is Western MA couldn't provide us with unpasteurized cider (not freedom-loving enough?) but after a few stores my mother turned up some more pedestrian cider, which was then boiled down with some cornstarch to enhance the apple flavor in the pie. She also grabbed a half-bushel of peach seconds, which were so ripe they began to fall to pieces as soon as they got home, so I threw in a few of them as well.

For a crust, I used Rose's flaky cream cheese, despite my usual preference for a butter crust. I sliced the apples thinly and piled them in. My father asked 'how do you get it not to fall and leave a space?' I thought about it and then said 'I guess I don't. What's wrong with space?' Not to be cavalier, but some of NYC's most acclaimed pie makers, Bubby's included, leave big cushiony spaces in their apple pies.

I didn't actually wind up tasting the pie, as I left it for my Mother to take to a pot luck the next day, but she took this photo of the slice. Her verdict was that the filling was better than the crust, but I think this could have been addressed by a longer initial bake (always always take pie farther than you think you should...) or a re-warming before serving. Realistically, I am probably not going to make a boiled cider solution to thicken all of my future apple pies (I'm more likely to drink the cider), but it's a nice trick to know when faced with lackluster apples.*
 *Of course, I live in NY and am extremely unlikely to be reduced to lackluster apples at any time. But I do like cider.


Vicki said...

Sounds like a perfectly lovely Labor Day weekend. Your pie is gorgeous even if not browned enough. It sure is tricky knowing when to pull them out and when to leave. I don't think I've ever had an apple peach pie but it sure sounds good.

Faithy said...

Reminded me of how great and delicious the pie was! Your pie looks perfect!

Faithy said...

Reminded me of how great and delicious the pie was! Your pie looks perfect!

Rose Levy Beranbaum said...

that is one gorgeous photo of apple pie!!!

Katya said...

Thanks Rose. All credit for that lovely interior shot goes to my mom, who is a far better and more patient photographer than I will ever be. I love how it looks so towered and layered, like an icon of modern architecture.

Unknown said...

Your pie looks beautiful. I like the way those wierdos espouse freedom without allowing you to express your patriotism in your own way. One of a number of ironies in their behaviour. Sounds like you had a lovely day anyhow.