"Easy as Apple Pie."
I have apples that need to be used up quickly. I decided to try my hand at apple pie. I've never made apple pie before, but the saying convinced me that I should try it. Because it's easy.
I first peeled, cored and diced apples. Some people don't like cooking because of the prep work. I love it. I use it as a time to self reflect. Introspect. Soul searching. While I cored and diced my apples, I came to peace with my recent situation with job loss and failure to land a new job.
I mixed 2 tablespoons of cinnamon/sugar blend, 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, and a tablespoon of melted butter with the diced apples.
Next I took a roll of pastry dough. Yeah, I totally did NOT do this by scratch. I have a handicap when it comes to baking anyway. Really no need to push the envelope at this time. If this whole process with premade pastry is easy, then next time I can tackle from scratch.
Difficulty: Very easy.
Remember my cute little baking pots? They're back! I placed the dough inside my baking dishes. It took me a minute to figure out how to get the dough to line the pots. I figured out the secret is to cut it into a circle, then cut triangles in four corners. This allowed me to fold it into a cylinder inside the pot. I lined the pot and poked holes into it. I blind baked at 350F for 20 minutes.
Difficulty: Moderate. Figuring out how to line the pot with pastry took a minute of trial and error.
I planned to make a lattice to go on top of my single serve apple pies. I thought it would look nice. I read online how to make a lattice top, and I cut strips from leftover dough.
Difficulty: Easy. My carving knife was the perfect length to cut straight strips.
Fiance was sniping bits of apple and eating them with walnuts. They were delicious. He had the idea to add toasted walnuts. I sauted crushed walnuts in butter.
When I took the pots out of the oven, I discovered the pastry shrunk. Arg. I just tacked in extra pastry on the edges where the pastry shrunk. I filled the pot with apple bits. I should have diced the apple even smaller. Topped with the walnuts.
Difficulty: Hard. I didn't know the pastry would shrink in the blind baking. Apple chunks were too big for my little pots. I could have packed more apples in with smaller dice.
Then I attempted the lattice. I read that you just keep making crisscrosses, and you get the awesome lattice. Well, I got 3 or 4 rows, then I got lost. Umm. Need more practice.
Difficulty: Hard. I need video to demonstrate. I didn't catch on to the pattern.
I gave up, and just made a flat top to cover the apple filling.
Difficulty: Easy. Just roll a flat pastry, use a ramekin to cut a circle, put it on top, and poke holes.
Baked for 35 minutes. I made dinner while they baked, until the tops were lightly browned.
Difficulty: Easy. They were ready to cool by the time dinner was ready to eat.
The verdict: My pie filling was too dry. I forgot to add moisture so the apple chunks would float in a yummy apple filling. I used way too much pastry. It was unnecessary to line the dish all the way with pastry. Just a pastry top would have been enough, since the idea was to serve it in the pot.
Easy as Apple Pie? Where did this saying come from? Was it meant to be ironic? And I didn't even make the pastry from scratch!
Easy compared to what? Easier than churning butter?!
I will try it again so I can correct my mistakes. But I'm definitely busting this saying as 'bunk'. Unless it is meant to mean it's not really easy. From my experience, saying 'easy as apple pie' means something moderately challenging and time consuming that may be easy with practice and skill!