Monday, April 13, 2009

Khalil's First Homemade Apple Pie!

On Sunday night I called Khalil because I'd been thinking about our last trip to a Nets game: it's safe to say we were both bored, because I know I was bored, and Khalil was falling asleep by the time we were getting ready to leave during the third quarter. So I gave him the option of doing something else the next night. He replied that he would like to do something else, and that he was thinking of making an apple pie. Which really disappointed me because you know how much I hate making apple pies - especially with kids.

On Monday night I got home thirty minutes late because of train problems. I grabbed all the ingredients, kitchen utensils and cookware on the list I'd prepared during the day. This list is shockingly long when you're used to just grabbing the stuff off the wall or out of drawers and cabinets, as opposed to loading it all in the car.

I grabbed ten Granny Smith apples at ShopRite and met Khalil at his place. Since making an apple pie takes a while, and since the train had delayed me, I was in a hurry to get the pie made and in the oven so that Khalil wouldn't be up too late past his bedtime. I didn't want Khalil to be rushing with knives, so I peeled the apples while he started measuring out the ingredients for the crust. I called his attention to the apple quarters I was slicing. Slice thickness is important: too thin, and the pie will have the consistency of applesauce; too thick, and the slices won't cook through the middle. We mixed the apple slices and the dry ingredients into the delightfully gooey jumble I know so well, and set it aside.

Khalil cut the shortening into the flour and salt, and we performed the ritual of adding just the right amount of water: add a tablespoon, wait for it to soak in, repeat until you think you're close, and test the consistency by forming the dough into a ball and trying to clean the sides of the pan with it. Then came the fun part: rolling the crust. "Oops! I forgot my rolling pin. Hey, that rod from the paper towel holder will work! Fun!"

We got the bottom crust into the pan, dumped in the filling, put the butter on top, and put the top crust on. Then I realized that I'd forgotten to put in the pie bird. As I pushed aside a bit of crust and made a hole in the filling so that I could put it on the bottom crust, I explained its purpose to Khalil: it's a chimney that allows steam to escape from beneath the filling. This makes the bottom crust nice and flaky, since there's less moisture soaking into it.

We'd started the oven early, but it hadn't heated up properly. By the time we got ready to put the pie in, I knew we couldn't; it never would have cooked. So I covered it with aluminum foil, gave Khalil's mom the recipe with the cooking instructions, and put it in the fridge until such time as she could cook it. Khalil showed me a video game on the Cartoon Network website. Soon I said goodnight so that he could get to sleep.

I spoke to Khalil's mom a few nights later, and she said that Khalil had brought the pie over to her sister's house and cooked it there. Apparently it was a huge hit: it got devoured quickly, and Khalil had been saying how good it was. Yay!

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