So my printing projects took a turn for the worse the other evening. In the middle of doing complicated things my squeegee cracked and broke. I had white ink everywhere and was just starting to actually print on some shirts. I had to scrap everything and clean up the ink. There was no way to proceed with a broken tool no matter how much I wanted to. I'll come back to all of that mess after I've had a few days to mentally recover from the frustration. It wouldn't be the first with printing things.
However, I wasn't going to let that ruin my plans for today. Today was pie making. Last November I made a pumpkin pie that was delicious except for the crust. That needed to be much better. Aside from that I have no other experience making pies. It's probably one of those things best learned from a seasoned pro in person so you get the feel of the pastry dough and every little intricacy. No such luxury here. The next best thing was my lovely sister though. She kindly gave me her trade secrets. There was some gaping holes in the directions that left me a little unsure but I figured I could make it regardless.
I popped into the local store in the early afternoon to check out the apple stock. I noticed they had gotten quite a few apples in the past week. I thought they had some Jonagold but I read the Japanese wrong. When I got there today I wasn't sure what to get. The cheaper Santsugaru usually don't impress me much. They go bad quickly and end up mealy. They are too soft as well. I still buy them because I'm thrifty. My eye caught some other bags that had five apples in them. The only thing the package told me was 紅玉 (kougyoku). Great, red ball apples. That was so helpful. They did look familiar to Jonathon apples but in the apple world the looks can be deceiving. That apples could have tasted terrible and still looked like Jonathon. I contemplated for awhile and figured the red ball apples were worth a shot. I also got a more expensive bigger apple to see how it tasted.
The red balls tasted perfect. A wonderful tart flavor. I went to the work of peeling and chopping the apples up. Then doused them in sugar and cinnamon to let the apples sweat their moisture out. Alli had told me to add flour if there was a lot of juice but I had no idea if that meant make the juices thick. I decided to look at some other recipes and found that caramelizing the juices and adding them back into the pie is delicious. Maybe you can just put the juices back in the pie but I feared it getting soggy. In the mean time I did the crust per the recipe. I kind of forgot what it was supposed to feel like so it was more wet than I thought it should be. I didn't make any changes and left it how it was. I decided to trust the directions of my sister on that. If there was more too it she would have said. Plus I remembered from watching her she didn't do much else anyway.
The pie went in the oven for about 50 minutes. I pulled it when the juices were beginning to bubble up and it looked brown.
Everything was looking splendid. An hour or two later I sliced the pie open and served myself a few slices.
I felt the joy of autumn surging through my brain. Might have been the sugary spike. So I didn't feel too guilty I cut up some pieces and delivered them to my neighbor. It's likely that I'll consume almost all the rest.
A great success for my first apple pie. Much thanks to my sister once again. I need to bake it longer next time to improve the crust texture but I think that's about the biggest modification it needs. In the process of writing this I looked up what 紅玉 was. Well what do you know? That is the Japanese name for Jonathon apples. My intuition deserves a pat on the back. The taste buds already got their reward.