Sunday, September 29, 2013


Two words are glorified in American culture. 

Two words that supposedly make something better. More desirable. More efficient. 

Quick and easy. 

I fall prey to this all the time. 

I download songs from iTunes. I go through the Zoe's drive thru. I buy break and bake cookie dough. I text instead of call a friend. So often I do what's quickest and easiest for me. 

But when it came time to cross #12 off of my list (pick apples and make an apple pie from scratch), I knew that my first task was finding the perfect recipe.

Somewhere in my Pinterest search, I came across a recipe called "With Love Apple Pie."

The blogger said, "I will warn you, this pie is a labor of love. It takes time. It takes commitment. It takes a personal outpouring of love and support.... If I haven't yet scared you away, if you're so full of love that you just might burst, throw it into this pie, and send it out into the world. It's important."

I loved this lady's obvious passion for baked goods. 

I loved that there was buttermilk in the made-from-scratch crust.

I loved that it wouldn't be quick or easy. 

This was a recipe worthy of my 30x30 project. 

Step 1: We picked the apples. (I love Sky Top Orchard even when it takes 30 minutes just to get up the mountain and park. I love it even when the trees have almost been picked clean and finding an apple bigger than a golf ball is like a treasure hunt. The scenery is like a page out of a coloring book and the apples are  so sweet and juicy they taste like candy.)

Step 2: Make the crust. Start with butter. Two whole sticks of real butter. 

Paula Deen would be so proud. 

You've gotta cut that butter into chunks and let it chill. 

(There's a LOT of chilling in this recipe. There's so much chilling, in fact, that I think it should be called "Chilly Apple Pie." But on second thought, people would probably get confused and think its an apple pie made with chili, which sounds positively disgusting. Never mind.)

Step 3: Make the crust (really this is 134 steps, but I'll spare you the gruesome details). Let it chill. 

I love this sifter. It's old and maybe even a little rusty and I can't imagine how many baked goods it's helped to make. It is a symbol of my momma's biscuit-making kitchen. It is a symbol of recipes that are not quick and easy. 

Roll it, and pat it, and mark it with a B...

You know it's not time to put it in the oven. Not even close. Time for the dough to chill. Again. 

This pie crust is my personal Mona Lisa. 

Step 4: Get those apples ready!

Peel, chop, and let them sit in a heavenly mixture of sugar and spices for an hour. 

Step 29: Fill the pie with apples and look up how to make a lattice crust. 

I spy a 30x30 decoration. Cute right??

Step 456: Let the whole thing chill for another hour to relax the dough. (See?! I wasn't exaggerating!)

Step 457: Pop those beautiful babies into a 425 degree oven for an hour. 

You may notice a little stream of juice falling onto the floor in this pic. It was almost midnight and Katie and I were in a total pie-baking delirium. We thought the dog was peeing on the floor. Then we realized I had just tilted the pie too far forward. We got a good laugh outta this one.)

And... Voila!!! 12 chill times, 6 apples, 4 hours, and a sink full of dishes later....

I present to you- my first homemade apple pie. 

Now I know:
Quick and easy isn't always best. 
Some things need time to chill. 
Family makes life a whole lot sweeter. 

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