After about a month of Bon Appétit’s cooking, I really miss home-cooked meals. So, on Friday, a few friends and I took it upon ourselves to cook a Shabbat dinner for about sixty members of the Wesleyan Jewish community. In addition to salad, a very interpretive zucchini quiche, and vegetable lasagna, the menu featured chocolate pie, blueberry pie, and apple crisp.
In my opinion, the pie versus cake debate is no contest: pie always takes the cake. While I have yet to meet a pie I haven’t liked—and trust me, I’ve eaten and baked a wide variety of flavors—the classic blueberry and apple pies always hit the spot and satisfy a home-baked pie craving.
As the leaves start to change color, my blood no longer boils in my un-air-conditioned dorm, and all of my classes are offering their first rounds of tests (the three most quintessential attributes of fall), apple pie is especially appropriate.
Foolproof Blueberry Pie
(Adapted from “Pie it Forward”)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, combine blueberries, lemon juice and zest, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, and salt.
3. Line the bottom of a pie dish with one piecrust, and then pour blueberry filling into the crust.
4. Sprinkle butter cubes over filling, and then cover with second piecrust. Fold the edges of the two crusts together and pinch to seal.
5. With a knife or cookie cutter, make small incisions in the upper crust for ventilation.
6. Brush upper crust with egg.
7. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and bubbly.
8. Serve warm with vanilla bean ice cream.
Foolproof Apple Crisp
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, combine apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, lemon juice and zest, and brown sugar. Pour into a 9-by-9-inch casserole dish.
3. Sprinkle butter cubes and oats over apples and distribute evenly.
4. Break sugar cookie dough into little clumps and spread over filling. Press and smear the dough into a lumpy blanket over the apples. Dust with cinnamon.
5. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the apples are soft.
6. Serve warm with vanilla bean ice cream.