Mmmm ... it smells like Fall outside!
Fall-O-Ween Treat Jar

Oh my ... apple pie!

My biggest disappointment in life is that I'm a failure at rolling out pie crust! Year's of 4-H and trying to master the technique for the silent demonstrations each year usually left me in tears. I might have gotten purple ribbons for my muffins and cookies but pie? So embarrassing ... I got a white ribbon one time. Most of the time the judges felt sorry for me and gave me a red ribbon ... but never a blue. So because of this handicap, my family has to suffer through commercially made pies.

I grew up on 80 acres in Lake Elmo and we had an orchard ... a very very large orchard! There were at least a half a dozen variety of apples so when Fall came around, we were making a lot of jelly and applesauce. Until the year my Mom found out she could freeze unbaked pies!

Mom went to the restaurant supply store and bought foil pans ... lots and lots of foil pans! As luck had it, there was an abundant harvest that year ... and we had two big deep freezers.

We'd drive the pickup out through the fields and it was filled with empty baskets. The ones on the ground were put into baskets for applesauce and the ones still in the trees were picked and put into baskets for pies. It seems there were a lot more in the trees than on the ground that year!

I knew no good could come from the giant bags of flour my Mom was buying. And I knew those brothers would somehow find a way to escape. That left my Mom, Sue, Kathi ... and me ... and Sue and Kathi had jobs ... I was doomed. Out came the trusted 4-H pie recipe. Download Apple pie recipe.

It didn't take long to get the bakery in full swing. Each pie was wrapped in foil as it was completed and then taken to the freezer in groups. Of course, we couldn't bake any of them because Mom was keeping a tally! In spite of the opportunity to learn the fine points of crust rolling, I was hopeless. Eventually Mom threw her hands up in the air and relegated me to skully maid. I washed dishes, cleaned tables and counters, ran pies to the basement, and peeled and sliced. Oh ... and I had to run the peelings out to the compost pit, too. And go to the orchard for more apples.

I know we made well over 200 pies that Fall. Anytime company came over we baked a pie. Family gathering? Apple pie. Funeral lunch church bake sale potluck? Pie. They took an hour to bake. They were delicious. We still had them in June.

My only regret at being so lame about rolling out pie crust is that I can't make apple pie cuts. So tasty but not for me any longer ... unless my sister Sue takes pity on me every now and then. She makes great pie cuts! Download Apple pie cuts. So when it comes to homemade pie now days ... it's just me and my boyfriend ... the Pillsbury Dough Boy!!