Okay Pie Eaters…this week’s pie was Salted Caramel Apple and it was really really good. Maybe one of my favorites so far! For real! My friend Maggie came over to help me make the pie, as she is an experienced pie maker, and she gave me some good advice. As I was running around the kitchen like a ding bat she stopped me and said, “Molly, you know what you need to do to make a good pie? RELAX! No one wants to eat your stress pie!” Point taken Maggie, I DO get really stressed out when making my pies, and it can really take all the fun out of it, and fun is truly my favorite.
As far as the pie goes, I added all the lemons the recipe called for and it made for a sweet but tart pie that was refreshing instead of syrupy and I left the skins on the apples because I like it better that way. I also left out the bitters but if you wanna make this pie and add the bitters let me know how it turns out!
I should tell you that I was going to make a peach pie this week but my plan was foiled. My mom taught me when I was younger that if you want fruit to ripen quickly you should put it in a brown bag with a piece of fruit that is already ripe. Then when I was in college botany I learned why this is. There is a plant hormone called ethylene that has lots of functions, which include bringing about the ripening of fruit, the opening of flowers and the shedding of leaves. So if you have a ripe piece of fruit, it is already giving off ethylene and if unripened fruit is exposed to it, that fruit will begin to ripen too! The fruit is communicating, people – how cool is that!?!
What you should also know is that ethylene is the highest produced organic chemical in the world. When I say organic here I mean it is a molecule with a carbon backbone, not organic in the sense of sustainable farming. This synthetic ethylene is actually used by “big-agriculture” to quicken the natural process of ripening. They will bring fruit into big “ripening rooms” and gas them with ethylene to induce ripening. I have a lot of feelings about these kinds of agricultural practices, but I won’t get into all of them here. I will say that this is the kind of thing that happens when we get farther and farther from our food source.
In the end my peaches rotted in the bag. I think they were overly communicative with their hormones due to the heat, so the peach pie will have to wait. Also, for the next two weeks I will be on vacation (biking around the Finger Lakes and then working as a camp nurse!) so another Molly has stepped up to write the next pie post. When I first met her we were both wearing pink wigs, unplanned! I think it was a sign that we would one day be the Pie-Makin’-Mollys!! I’m excited to read your posts Molly! Take it away!!