Monday, October 24, 2011

My "Apple" Love

Song Pairing:
Before It's Too Late by The Goo Goo Dolls
I had a heck of a time choosing a song to go with this post.  You know how sometimes you can't find the right words?  Well, this time the words are there - but the music has escaped me.  Hasn't anyone written a song about the indomitable spirit of those really cool people who blaze the way and make life easier and better for the rest of us?  If they have I can't seem to put my finger on it right now - but The Goo Goo Dolls do a good job here.  I'm sure something will come to me later - something I'll smack my forehead over for it's obviousness.  For now, remember that "the risk that might break you is the one that would save, a life you don't live is still lost."  Here's to those who think outside the box.

My computer used to make me feel dumb.  It used to leave me frustrated that I didn't know it's language.  It expected me to be scientific and be able to reduce everything I needed to do down to a mathematical equation.  I couldn't.  I got by alright - but I clearly worked for the computer, not the other way around.

But Steve Jobs changed all that.  He brought Apple off the back burner and started giving us products that made me feel smart - nay, brilliant!

It all started when I purchased a third generation iPod.  I dazzled my husband with the speed at which I was able to create and burn CDs.  My iPod didn't skip during exercising either.  Next thing I knew, he had one of his own.  

Then came the Mac.  It took terms like "crash" and "booted off" out of my vocabulary - except when I was talking to my husband about his PC.  He eventually got a Mac as well.

My fascination with Apple products has become a passion.  Obsession is what many people would say but, so be it.  I embrace my "Apple" love.  Never before has any company made products that fit my life better than Apple.  There was no learning curve - my Mac and I knew each other from the get-go.  My Mac thinks like me and that makes me feel unstoppable.  I get ideas.  I feel empowered that I have a means to take those ideas and bring them to fruition.   

Apple has bridged the gap between science and the arts.  Once thought to be two different spectrums - right-brained vs. left-brained - creativity now has more backbone and science is more hip.  

The passing of Steve Jobs has left a little piece of my heart aching.  I didn't know him personally but I could swear he knew me.  Call him visionary, call him genius, but I shall call him mentor.  He was a champion of intuition and trusted in the human ability to obtain out-of-this-world goals.  He didn't talk down to me - he had faith that, given the chance, I'd know what to do.  How blessed we all are for his efforts.  

In honor of Mr. Jobs' passing I made an apple pie.  It's not a typical apple pie.  It has bits of genius in it - just like Jobs.  Bits of genius that taste remarkably like candied ginger- probably because it is candied ginger.  So, there you are, enjoying your comfort food and every now and then you get a zing - a spark - like a great idea when it pops into your head.  And, what's up with the cheese heart?  I grew up in Pennsylvania and the saying there goes "Apple pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze."  I would never serve Steve Jobs anything less than the absolute ultimate version of something.  He certainly gave us his best.

Apple Ginger Pie
printable recipe
For the filling:
6 apples, I like to use a variety
3/4 - 1 c. sugar
3 T. all-purpose flour
1 t. cinnamon
dash salt
1/3 c. chopped candied ginger, I find mine in the natural foods section of my grocery store 
2 T. butter, cut into teaspoon-sized pieces

Peel, core, and slice into even sized slices.  If the sizes of the slices are the same they will all cook and be done at the same time!  If you're feeling silly, take a picture of that single strand of peel, like this:

Combine all the filling ingredients except the butter in a large bowl and toss to coat the apple slices evenly.  (You can skip the candied ginger and the ginger reduction if you wish.)  Let sit while you make the dough.

For the dough: (this makes enough for two single-crust pies or a double-crust pie)
Printable Recipe Card
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. salt
1 T. sugar (I leave this out if it's a savory pie, like a quiche)
2/3 c. fat, chilled - use your preference or a combination of fats, i.e. butter, shortening, or lard
5 - 7 T. very cold water

Use a bowl that gives you ample room to work.  Add the flour, salt, and sugar to the bowl and stir well.  I use my pastry blender since I'll be using it to work in the fat.

Next add the chilled fats, starting with them in chunks about the size of a pat of butter.  

Use the pastry blender to break them down and work them in to the dry ingredients.  DO NOT OVERWORK!  You will end up with cardboard.  Work until the pieces resemble marbles and peas.  

You want chunks of fat remaining.  Why?  Science lesson time!  When you eventually cook the pie, those chunks of fat will melt and let off steam.  That steam will create a pocket in the dough.  All those pockets are what give you a flaky crust.  And a flaky crust is a beautiful thing.  Work quickly so the fat doesn't melt before you want it to.  The dough will not be pretty at this stage.  It'll look kind of raggy.

Wrap it in plastic wrap and chill it for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400.

After the dough is chilled, divide it in not quite even halves and roll the slightly larger half out into a circle that's about 2 - 3 inches larger than the pie plate (hold the pie plate over the dough to get an idea if you're at the right size yet.  Line the pie plate with the dough and, using kitchen scissors or a knife, trim the dough evenly so it extends past the rim of the plate by about an inch.  Fill the crust with the apple filling.  Place 6 dots of butter about the size of a teaspoon around the top of the filling.  Roll out the smaller half and carefully center over the filling.  Trim the dough so it just meets the rim.  Fold the outer dough up and over the top crust, lightly pressing to seal.  Use a fork to press the two crusts together or use your fingers and do a zig-zag crimp to seal all the way around.  Use a sharp knife and cut steam vents into the top of the pie.  These can be just slits or you can cut designs.  I'm usually in such a hurry for pie that I don't get fancy - I just cut evenly spaced slits.  But today I took the time to attempt a cut-out of the Apple logo.  

I did this while the top crust dough was still on the counter after rolling it out, but before placing it on top.  Brush the top of the pie with cream and dust with caster/superfine sugar.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 50 minutes.


  1. Awesome tribute to a wonderful man! And I will have to try this with the ginger; it sounds intriguing.

  2. Wow, even though I didn't know Steve Jobs like you did, I can see, through your eyes (and through the eyes of my son, Chris, who also worshiped the man)that I have missed out by not getting to know him better. That is why I have a friend like you to teach me about such things. Beautiful!! -Ciel