Thursday, November 20, 2008

french apple pie anyone??

i am so enjoying our thanksgiving memories series...(can you say you are enjoying your own blog without sounding weird)?....i love the stories being told by my wonderful guest bloggers...and i love sharing the memories i have from my own family. all the posts focus on family, friends and good food being shared...today's story by sarah caron is a perfect example. she reminisces about preparing thanksgiving dinner as a child with the women in her family...and continuing that tradition with her own children. (she also shares a killer recipe for french apple pie!)

i very purposely titled this series thanksgiving memories...because, to me, telling your family's stories is a very important way to remember, to teach, to record, to question and to learn...don't wait...tell your stories to all the children in your family...inspire the next generation to keep the traditions going...

i am so grateful to sarah for taking the time to join the group of guest bloggers for this project. i "met" her via twitter...love her "tweets"...and was surprised she could find the time to write for another blog..(she writes for 4 of her own). i am most familiar with her blog sarah's cucina bella as she shares a lot of the posts via links on twitter...but to give you a more complete picture..i decided to cut and paste her bio from the fit fare site...here you go...

Sarah Caron (Editor of Fit Fare and Well Fed On The Town). As Managing Editor, Editorial, Sarah Caron helps to oversee the content on the Well Fed sites. Sarah developed a passion for writing in early childhood that has never waned. She is a writer, editor, mommy and wife, who is based in Connecticut and loves cooking for family and friends (and then taking photos of everything). When she’s not hard at work on Well Fed, Sarah works as an editor for a top educational publisher. She also writes a personal cooking blog, Sarah’s Cucina Bella, and is author of Families Eat Together, due out this year from Ladder Press. She has a bachelors degree in political science from Barnard College.

whew!! and the bio misses her blog the voice of mom and the website she knows ..... i thought writing for one blog was a lot of work. thank you again sarah..i love your story..AND...i love the pie recipe....i am going to try it out this weekend..just cannot wait for thanksgiving...

From Sarah Caron
"I wish I could capture the images, voices and conversations from my childhood and transfer them to a memory holder, like Dumbledore’s pensieve, so that I could revisit them in full clarity whenever I choose. I’d like to hold tight to the laughter, smiles and joy of the family of my childhood together.

We would gather in the kitchen on the eve of Thanksgiving, three generations of women in the family standing around the smooth stretch of tan-speckled Formica countertop that we ate dinner at nightly. But this wasn’t dinner time. It was time to prepare for Thanksgiving.
We’d gather cans of tender peaches and pears, and bunches of tart green grapes. A glass bowl, with smooth sides and curved edges would await the salad. The grapes would be halved. Then, we would carefully dig into each one, removing the tiny seeds. Then the grapes would be dropped into the bowl, with pears, peaches and fiery flashes of maraschino cherries. Someone older than I – my grandmother, perhaps – would stir the mixture with a large wooden spoon, making rhythmic circle motions around the perimeter. Then aluminum foil would seal the top, patted and crinkled to fit the lip of the bowl. Into the refrigerator overnight the fruit salad would go. At the last minute before serving, sliced bananas being tossed in to prevent them from browning.

To serve, the fruit salad would be spooned into diminutive footed glass bowls, one at each placesetting. Cups filled with cocktail sauce and rimmed with pink curves of jumbo shrimp would join the table. A relish platter, vegetables, turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes and more. And cranberry sauce, sometimes made fresh, other times poured from the white can.
Then would come dessert, glorious dessert. Two or three pies would wait, apple, pumpkin, sometimes pecan or cherry. But I only had eyes for the pumpkin.
Thanksgiving was a day for simple indulgence, for giving thanks for the gifts we had – family, love, intelligence. The table would overflow with food prepared with but one objective: feeding a family. They say that preparing food with love makes it taste so much better. Whoever ‘they’ is, they are right.
These days, some of the faces gathering around the table are different. There is a new generation of family present and an older one passed. I’ve taken over the task of cooking Thanksgiving, making the meal more elaborate and extensive. It’s my style. Whereas my grandmother appreciated simplicity and clean, fuss-free tastes, I relish in creating new side dishes and appetizers that expand my family’s palates. Desserts still include pumpkin and apple pies, but now it’s my special French apple pie awaiting the overstuffed bellies. But the feeling and meaning are still the same.

Whatever it is that hits the table, I hope that 25 years from now, my children will look back on the Thanksgivings of their childhood and remember the three generations of family members crowding around our kitchen table, eating food that they helped prepare. It doesn’t matter the style or variety, just as long as they are a part of it, just like I was."
French Apple Pie
yields one pie

1 good quality deep dish pie crust (I like Oronoque Farms)
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
dash of salt
8 cups peeled and sliced apples (about 1/4 inch thick)
1/2 tbsp vanilla

Crumb topping:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup firm butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in apples.
Pour apple combination into the pie crust, making them slightly higher in the center than on the sides. Sprinkle vanilla over the top of the pie.
Place pie in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour and brown sugar for the crumb topping. Cut in the butter and mix until crumbly.
Remove pie from the oven and sprinkle crumb topping over the apples. Place pie back in the oven and cook for an additional 30-35 minutes.
Let cool on a wire rack. Serve warm…with vanilla bean ice cream.
(all photographs for this post courtesy sarah caron)

when you were a child did you help out in the kitchen preparing thanksgiving dinner? or other holiday meals? please share your stories in the comments section of this post...

and as i close, i am reminded that thanksgiving day is exactly one week from today.....yikes...off to plan the shopping lists....happy thanksgiving everyone!

best,
diane
napa farmhouse 1885™
"live a green life of style"™

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2 comments:

Colleen said...

This is my dad's favorite pie and the first I ever learned to make. He thought two crusts were unnecessary and it made it easier to make as well. :)

napa farmhouse 1885 said...

this has been a very popular post according to my tracking co..apparently, a lot of people are looking for a recipe for french apple pie...hope you all enjoy it!

thanks colleen, is your recipe different from this one? if so, pls share...