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The tape delayed live blogging of an apple pie
2007-11-21 21:26
by Bob Timmermann

Instead of my usual purchase of a pie to take to Thanksgiving dinner, I decided to make my own. From scratch. Well, not quite from scratch.

My grandmother loved to bake and when she was in her 80s (and still baking quite often), I asked her how to make piecrust. She said the best thing to do was buy some premade crust at the store. She said she was too old to make her own. I respect the wisdom of my elders.

However, I did buy apples and a couple spices (my cinnamon and nutmeg I had at home where long past their prime) and I got to baking.

The first I realized that you cannot just drop a full apple in to a pastry shell and have pie. It would be a lot easier. So I was to off to peeling and coring and slicing of six apples. I got out my knives, my peeler, and a big bowl.

After I had finished three apples, I looked at the bowl and like Richard Dreyfus Roy Scheider in "Jaws: the Pie Edition" said, "You're going to need a bigger bowl." So I dug around my kitchen and came up with the biggest pot I could find.

20 minutes later, I had something approximating six sliced apples. And I had all my fingers still intact and no severed arteries.

I think mixed up the spices, sugar, butter (which I was out of so I have margarine, sorry), flour and got to mixing up the apple slices. I thought to myself, "This is going to be one enormous pie if these all fit."

I rolled out the crust and it was too big for my pie pan. But I trimmed off the excess and it turned out that I could fit about 2/3 of the apple slices in. Which was fortunate because I could see some slices were about an inch thick and had seeds stuck in them. So out they went. Then the top crust went on and I cut some ventilation slots and then into the oven it went.

And now we wait ...



Update (25 minutes in) - Item in oven appears to be changing color. Still unsure if it will come out as an actual apple or some unholy concoction of dough, fruit, and sugar that will develop sentient thought and attack me while I'm not looking.

Update (35 minutes in) - Distinct smell of apple pie detected in my apartment. There is hope.

Update (45 minutes in) - Pie appears to need about 10 more minutes. The recipe said 45 to 55 minutes and my oven is not the most accurate or particularly clean. I did not know that pies can make a sizzling noise. But I can see the apples caramelizing through the vent holes.

Final result?



No report on taste until tomorrow night however. The pie is now under wraps at a secret undisclosed location. Such as some place my cat won't go.

Final update - The pie tasted good although I should have put in more filling as the pie sunk a bit.
2007-11-21 21:48:48
1.   dianagramr
So when will this air on Discovery Channel's
"Dirty Jobs"?
2007-11-21 21:50:46
2.   Bob Timmermann
I never had seen an apple pie before it had been baked. It did not look nearly as tasty as I thought it would.
2007-11-21 21:52:27
3.   bhsportsguy
As someone who bakes, it is time for the miracle of baking.

It sounds like you put the right ingredients together so it should be just fine.

2007-11-21 22:00:43
4.   Ken Arneson
My wife is baking an apple pie at this very moment, too.

The smell is making me quite hungry. Although I find that apple pie is, like coffee, something that often smells better than it tastes.

2007-11-21 22:28:09
5.   Johan
Congrats on your first pie, but you lost me at "margarine." That's like trying to get a hit gripping the barrel of the bat.
2007-11-21 22:33:03
6.   Bob Timmermann
I thought I had butter! I didn't want to go to the store just for that at this hour. And I didn't have a cow and a churn handy.
2007-11-21 22:57:42
7.   Cliff Corcoran
Reading this as my pumpkin pie (made my own crust, but didn't go so far as cutting up actual pumpkins) has about 7 min left on the timer.

The 25 min update is wonderful, but the Jaws line was Roy Scheiders.

Congrats on the pie, Bob, I'd certainly take a slice (with some vanilla ice cream!). Myself, I'm picking up an apple pie in the morning from a local orchard as backup to my pumpkin.

Happy Thanksgiving, Mr. Timmerman and all Toaster/Griddlers.

2007-11-21 23:01:39
8.   Ali Nagib
I just got to my sister's new condo in San Diego today, and she just finished baking this:

I think it's going to be pretty good, especially since I didn't have a hand in it.

2007-11-22 00:34:08
9.   rbs10025
4 Add vanilla ice cream and all sins are forgiven.
2007-11-22 01:04:53
10.   sporky
May your pie be as tasty as the one I.. er.. pre-tasted tonight.
2007-11-22 01:54:21
11.   joejoejoe
I've already botched the sweet pototoes for tomorrow. The recipe called for one-half teaspoon of vanilla extract. I figured that is one shake of the bottle. Well a lot more than that came out. Then I double checked the bottle and it was rum extract. Oh well.

You pie looks better than Felix Pie. Happy Thanksgiving!

2007-11-22 04:32:56
12.   DXMachina
I can just hear Alton Brown's commentary on Iron Chef Pasadena:

"Looks like Iron Chef Timmermann is going with margarine instead of butter. Could be a deduction or two there. And what in the world is he doing with that apple?"

2007-11-22 05:46:37
13.   Sam DC
If anyone sees LAT, I'd be obliged for a tasting slice of this sucker -- early evening works.
2007-11-22 08:07:19
14.   Andrew Shimmin
11- Vanilla extract is supposed to be made with rum. That's how the vanillaness gets extracted.
2007-11-22 15:02:04
15.   Daniel Zappala
Yum. We've got an apple pie in the oven right now, real homemade crust and all. It makes the job a lot more fun if you have an apple corer/slicer. Took me less than a minute to do our 6 apples.
2007-11-22 22:06:32
16.   das411
15 is dead on, my mom inherited one o' these things from my grandmother and it definitely is something to be thankful for:

and Bob, next time will you put in ALL of the apples?

2007-11-22 22:42:28
17.   Bob Timmermann
Every time I tried working with apples, a smartass math genius with a Boston accent kept coming up to me and yelling "Do you like them apples?"

It got very annoying.

2007-11-23 09:01:35
18.   Andrew Shimmin
No final update? Huh. It's almost like you were hiding something...
2007-11-23 09:07:23
19.   das411
Bob, I have been given permission to tell you that my 85 yr old grandmother also does not bake her own crusts. You (and yours) are in good company!
2007-11-23 09:13:43
20.   Bob Timmermann
I did have a final update!
2007-11-23 19:15:12
21.   Andrew Shimmin
It only sank because it was embarrassed to be made with margarine, instead of butter.

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