There is something about apple pie that just makes everything right. It promises to right every wrong and make the world a better and more human place. It calls to mind the warm, cosy smells of autumn and winter and mothers and grandmothers in kitchens covered with flour. The smell of the apples, cinammon and butter wafting through the creases of the stove, waking you up from even your deepest slumber. Yes, apple pie is that good. It’s like a simple, easy dessert for the soul. A lot of love in a little dish.
So when I had to return the dish of a friend recently, I decided that I would not return the dish empty. This is a charming custom of our Arab hosts in the UAE which I picked up along the way when I worked in kitchen and tableware retail. Sharing dishes is popular in every culture and different ones have different ways of looking out for each other. During Ramadan, families and friends send around huge platters and containers to each other’s homes. The tradition is for food vessels to be returned the way they came- filled with food.
My friend Debbie is a working mom and she has raised five fantastic boys, with old- great manners and lots of personality. Both her and her husband Darren are pilots and I have great admiration for her bravado to dare to have a big happy family and a successful career. I wanted to give them an unexpected weekday dessert that they could all enjoy and it also had to be practical for me to pull off with my own duties as a working mother as well.
I usually make apple pie with a mixture of apples but since Chef had bought loads of granny smith for juicing, I decided to stick to convention. The tartness of this variety balances out the sweetness of the pastry and sugar and spices.
I decided to go easy on the pastry as to lighten it up a bit. I packed it with lots of apples in a rustic haphazard manner. The house smells ever so good when you have a good pie in the oven.
I made this pie from a slightly modified version of this one. If you want more pastry on the sides and top if you are baking it in a pie dish or just want a pie the size shown here, use all of the pastry instead of cutting it in half like I did. for this particular pie. Whatever you decide, eat it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.