Monday, September 14, 2009

Children's Book: The Apple Pie that Papa Baked

Apple season is just about here, reminding me of a most fabulous book: The Apple Pie that Papa Baked written by Lauren Thompson and illustrated by Jonathan Bean.

This delicious book (I had to say it) brings me so much joy. A couple of years ago, I gave it to a dear friend for her second birthday, and I have been meaning to get a copy for my children ever since.

Written in a spirally-this-is-the-House-that-Jack-Built fashion, with humor and warmth, this book celebrates the earthy, worldly elements in a sweet (again) story of an apple pie from roots to table. The father-daughter love and sharing within this book makes me long for my childhood yearly apple orchard trips complete with cider, apples, and of course, apple pie.

In my head, it goes without saying that the illustrations are perfectly matched to this story. I like to believe that if I had heard the story before seeing the artwork, I would have imagined the very same pictures, or very close. Simple yet intricate, nostalgic yet fresh, raw yet gentle, scruffy yet whimsical, and so much subtle beauty to warm your heart.

And here is a (because it's another pie themed book) recipe for you!

Good Old Apple Pie
1-1/2 Cups Flour
1/2 Teaspoons Salt
1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/8 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cups Shortening or butter
Ice Cold Water

Find your children. Ask them to help you measure and then sift flour and salt. Work in the shortening or butter with a fork. Add enough ice cold water to make a stiff dough (the dough should be soft but not sticky). Roll out on a floured counter top until about 1/8 inch thick. Place the rolled out dough in a 9-inch pie plate and trim the edge to fit. Save the trimmed dough for the top.

6 cups sliced, peeled cooking apples
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 TB lemon juice

In a small bowl mix the cinnamon, cloves, ginger, flour, and sugar together. Mix in apples and lemon juice. Fill pie crust with the apple mixture. Using the remaining dough roll out the top, place on pie, and pinch all the way around the edge. Poke holes (or a pretty design) and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 55 minutes. The top crust should be golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

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