A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Man Who Planted Trees and a Recipe

You'll have to be patient.....the recipe is coming. First you will have to read a little story about a man, who some of us thought was a legend...but he was very real. I thought it appropriate for this week, when we celebrate arbor day.

Since we have arbor day coming up, I tried to think of someone who has planted some trees. Of course Johnny Appleseed came to mind. I think we all learned about him in school. Here's some info on this man who made my life so happy.....lots of apple pies. Yum!

Johnny Appleseed was born in Leominster, Massachusetts, on September 26, 1774. His real name was John Chapman, but he was called Johnny Appleseed because of his love for growing apple trees.
Johnny died at the age of 70; he is buried in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He had spent 50 years growing apple trees and traveling to spread his precious trees around his country. John Chapman (September 26, 1774 - March 11, 1847) was an American pioneer and Christian missionary known as "Johnny Appleseed" because he planted apple trees in large parts of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. He became an American legend while he was still alive, being portrayed in works of art and literature. He is considered an early conservationist, what would be called today an ecologist.
There is some vagueness concerning the date of his death. Harper's Magazine of November, 1871 (which is taken by many as the primary source of information about John Chapman) gives the date as 1847. Other sources, however, give the year as 1845 and some give the date as March 18, though it is difficult to find documentation of this date. A memorial site is located on a hill in Johnny Appleseed Park in Fort Wayne, Indiana. His actual grave is unmarked and located somewhere along the St. Joseph River in the park.
The apple orchards sown by Chapman yielded highly variable, small, sour fruits. They were not today's familiar sweet snack, produced by grafting clones of a few exceptional varieties. The seed-grown apples popular on the early nineteenth century frontier were primarily used to make hard cider (sometimes distilled to make applejack), which was the preferred alcoholic beverage in the early American West.A memorial site is located on a hill in Johnny Appleseed Park in Fort Wayne, Indiana.


And now what you've all been waiting for:
Balisha's Apple Pie

4 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, and cored. I have used a mixture of different apples which makes an excellent pie too.
1 lemon, zested
1 orange, zested
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 teaspoon to sprinkle on top of the crust.
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

Perfect Pie Crust, recipe follows later...
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash for crust.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut each apple quarter in thirds crosswise (this makes the apples in chunks instead of thin slices and looks more rustic) and combine in a bowl with the zests, juices, 1/2 cup sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.
Roll out half the pie dough and drape it over a 9- or 10-inch pie pan to extend about 1/2-inch over the rim. Fill the pie with the apple mixture. Brush the edge of the bottom pie crust with the egg wash so the top crust will adhere. Top with the second crust and trim the edges to about 1-inch over the rim. Tuck the edge of the top crust under the edge of the bottom crust and crimp the 2 together with your fingers (I like a rough edge on the crust...not too perfect...it looks more earthy and rustic) Brush the entire top crust with the egg wash, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar, and cut 4 or 5 slits. Sometimes I use more sugar on top....it gives a sweet crunch to the pie.
Place the pie on a sheet pan and bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until the crust is browned and the juices begin to bubble out. (I put foil on the edge of the crust while baking...so it doesn't get too brown) Serve warm with icecream or if you are like me a slice of a good cheddar cheese on the side.

Perfect Pie Crust:
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) very cold butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening
6 to 8 tablespoons (about 1/2 cup) ice water
Dice the butter and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball. Dump out on a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Cut the dough in half. Roll each piece on a well-floured board into a circle. Fold the dough in half, place in a pie pan, and unfold to fit the pan. Repeat with the top crust.
Yield: 2 (10-inch) crusts
If you have crust leftover be sure to put the rolled pieces on a pan and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and dots of butter....bake for a few minutes..until the crust starts to puff a bit, and you have a treat for the kids.


Lynn said...

That pie looks amazing I will have to try this one!!! Thanks for sharing... Have a great weekend!!

Kim and Victoria said...

The pie looks delish!
So, apples for hard cider, huh? Guess they knew what was important back then!

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Balish...about three years ago I bought a lovely RED (naturally) food processer...and have never ever used it. It sits in my cupboard and if I could use it to make pie crust I would bake pies much more often as they are my very most favorite dessert. Especially home made apple pie. A close second is apricot.
Thank you for sharing this recipe and I will give it a try. No...honest...ok..I have every intention in trying it!! Sigh. I have gotten just plain fat and lazy lately, Balisha! Makes me SO darned mad at myself. My roses are still sitting in tubs on my front porch..just blooming away. I must get them into the ground before the heat. You know...I never, ever do anything by the book!! And..what is worse..I NEVER learn!!
P.S. That...is one of the most beautiful apple pies I have ever..and I mean EVER seen in my life!!! No fancy cut outs...just good down home apple pie!!! YUM! Thanks for sharing...and I LOVED the story! I can always count on you for a bit of History! Hugs!!!

Balisha said...

Pie is my downfall...when I bake one...I can't leave it alone. Cake can sit there, but pie..oh my!
Now Mona....you are a stitch. I can always count on you with a great comment. If we were neighbors...we'd never get anything done.
Hope you four have great weather and a wonderful weekend.Are y'all going to plant a tree today...or make a pie..LOL

OhioMom said...

We share the same weakness, cake can go stale ... but pie calls to me, even for breakfast :)

Your pie is beautiful, now where did I put my fork ?

One Woman's Journey said...

This pie is beautiful. I have to admit I am not good at pie crust.
Wish I lived nearby and would sit and have a cup of tea and a slice of your pie with you. Or you could teach me how to make pie crust. Your pie would win a prize.

Balisha said...

I've had pie for breakfast...why not? The crust is like toast, apples for the fruit, lemon and orange juice, protein and calcium in cheese,fiber in the grated citrus...basically a well rounded meal topped off by a glass of milk.

Elenka said...

hmmm, sugar in the crust. Sounds wonderful.
I wish I had a slice right now.