Mar 172018
 

Today is the birthday (1846) of Catherine “Kate” Greenaway, a Victorian children’s book illustrator and writer whose work influenced the children’s dress styles of the day. She is part of what is called The Golden Age of Book Illustration which actually covers a huge raft of styles and techniques.

Kate Greenaway was born in Hoxton, London, the second of four children. Her mother, Elizabeth Greenaway, was a dressmaker and her father, John Greenaway, was a wood engraver, whose business failed when he took a commission to engrave illustrations for Charles Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers from a publisher who went bankrupt. As a young girl Kate lived with relatives in Rolleston, Nottinghamshire. John wanted to work without interruption on the Dickens engravings and sent the entire family away for about two years, a period that for Kate, according to children’s literature scholar Humphrey Carpenter “was crucial … she felt it to be her real home, a country of the mind that she could always reimagine.”

John Greenaway

On the return of his wife and children the family moved to Islington, living in the flat above a millinery shop Elizabeth Greenaway opened to provide an income. There was a garden outside the building, which Greenaway wrote about in letters and an unfinished autobiography in the 1880s, describing it as place with “richness of colour and depth of shade.” Her father took on work for The Illustrated London News, often bringing home the wood blocks to carve during the night. Kate was interested in her father’s work, and through him was exposed to the work of John Leech, John Gilbert and Kenny Meadows.

As a young child Kate was educated at home and also sent to series of dame schools. When she was about 12 she began formal art education when enrolling in the National Course of Art instruction,[5] first at Finsbury School of Art and later at the South Kensington School of Art headed by Richard Burchett. The curriculum was design-based with a focus on technical skills, with emphasis on geometric and botanical designs to create patterns for architectural elements such as decorative wallpapers and tiles. She completed the five stages of ornamental courses in one year and the ten stages of the drawing courses with similar speed. In 1864, she completed the final course, “Elementary Design,” winning a national bronze medal for her designs. Later awards included a national silver medal in 1869 for a set of geometric and floral decorative tiles.

She later attended the Royal Female School of Art. With classmate Elizabeth Thompson, Greenaway augmented her studies by learning to draw the human figure from life and the two women rented a studio in South Kensington for a year for this purpose. At the school she did have the opportunity to work from models dressed in historical or ornamental costumes but she continued to be frustrated that nude models were not permitted in the women’s classes. Later she enrolled in night classes at Heatherley School of Fine Art where she met Edward Burne-Jones, Edward Poynter and Walter Crane and in 1871 she enrolled in the Slade School of Fine Art.

By 1867 she began to receive commissions, in part the result of the national awards she received and in part because of exposure at exhibitions. The publisher of People’s Magazine, W. J. Loftie purchased a set of six watercolours Greenaway exhibited in 1868, printing them in the magazine set to verse written by his contributors. A year later Frederick Warne & Co purchased six illustrations for a toy book edition of Diamonds and Toads.

Her first book, Under the Window (1879), a collection of simple verses about children, was a bestseller. As well as illustrating books Greenaway produced a number of bookplates. Greenaway was elected to membership of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours in 1889.

She lived in an Arts and Crafts style house she commissioned from Richard Norman Shaw in Frognal, London, although she spent summers in Rolleston. Here’s a gallery:

Greenaway died of breast cancer in 1901, at the age of 55. She is buried in Hampstead Cemetery, London.

Greenaway’s paintings were reproduced by chromoxylography, by which the colors were printed from hand-engraved wood blocks by the firm of Edmund Evans. Through the 1880s and 1890s, her only rivals in popularity in children’s book illustration were Walter Crane and Randolph Caldecott. “Kate Greenaway children” were dressed in her own versions of late 18th century and Regency fashions: smock-frocks and skeleton suits for boys, high-waisted pinafores and dresses with mobcaps and straw bonnets for girls. Liberty of London adapted Kate Greenaway’s drawings as designs for actual children’s clothes. A full generation of mothers in the liberal-minded “artistic” British circles who called themselves The Souls and embraced the Arts and Crafts movement dressed their daughters in Kate Greenaway pantaloons and bonnets in the 1880s and 1890s.

We have to go with apple pie to celebrate Kate Greenaway, and Mrs Beeton has to be our guide. I have given modern recipes for apple pie in other posts, but this one works fine. Adding beer or sherry to the apples would work fine as long as you pick the right ones. A dark or amber ale would be all right. I would use a dry sherry rather than a sweet one. Then again, I would prefer brandy.

APPLE TART OR PIE.

  1. INGREDIENTS.—Puff-paste No. 1205 or 1206, apples; to every lb. of unpared apples allow 2 oz. of moist sugar, 1/2 teaspoonful of finely-minced lemon-peel, 1 tablespoonful of lemon-juice.

Mode.—Make 1/2 lb. of puff-paste by either of the above-named recipes, place a border of it round the edge of a pie-dish, and fill it with apples pared, cored, and cut into slices; sweeten with moist sugar, add the lemon-peel and juice, and 2 or 3 tablespoonfuls of water; cover with crust, cut it evenly round close to the edge of the pie-dish, and bake in a hot oven from 1/2 to 3/4 hour, or rather longer, should the pie be very large. When it is three-parts done, take it out of the oven, put the white of an egg on a plate, and, with the blade of a knife, whisk it to a froth; brush the pie over with this, then sprinkle upon it some sifted sugar, and then a few drops of water. Put the pie back into the oven, and finish baking, and be particularly careful that it does not catch or burn, which it is very liable to do after the crust is iced. If made with a plain crust, the icing may be omitted.

Time.—1/2 hour before the crust is iced; 10 to 15 minutes afterwards.

Average cost, 9d.

Sufficient.—Allow 2 lbs. of apples for a tart for 6 persons.

Seasonable from August to March; but the apples become flavourless after February.

Note.—Many things are suggested for the flavouring of apple pie; some say 2 or 3 tablespoonfuls of beer, others the same quantity of sherry, which very much improve the taste; whilst the old-fashioned addition of a few cloves is, by many persons, preferred to anything else, as also a few slices of quince.

VERY GOOD PUFF-PASTE.

  1. INGREDIENTS.—To every lb. of flour allow 1 lb. of butter, and not quite 1/2 pint of water.

Mode.—Carefully weigh the flour and butter, and have the exact proportion; squeeze the butter well, to extract the water from it, and afterwards wring it in a clean cloth, that no moisture may remain. Sift the flour; see that it is perfectly dry, and proceed in the following manner to make the paste, using a very clean paste-board and rolling-pin:—Supposing the quantity to be 1 lb. of flour, work the whole into a smooth paste, with not quite 1/2 pint of water, using a knife to mix it with: the proportion of this latter ingredient must be regulated by the discretion of the cook; if too much be added, the paste, when baked, will be tough. Roll it out until it is of an equal thickness of about an inch; break 4 oz. of the butter into small pieces; place these on the paste, sift over it a little flour, fold it over, roll out again, and put another 4 oz. of butter. Repeat the rolling and buttering until the paste has been rolled out 4 times, or equal quantities of flour and butter have been used. Do not omit, every time the paste is rolled out, to dredge a little flour over that and the rolling-pin, to prevent both from sticking. Handle the paste as lightly as possible, and do not press heavily upon it with the rolling-pin. The next thing to be considered is the oven, as the baking of pastry requires particular attention. Do not put it into the oven until it is sufficiently hot to raise the paste; for the best-prepared paste, if not properly baked, will be good for nothing. Brushing the paste as often as rolled out, and the pieces of butter placed thereon, with the white of an egg, assists it to rise in leaves or flakes. As this is the great beauty of puff-paste, it is as well to try this method.

Average cost, 1s. 4d. per lb.

BUTTER.—About the second century of the Christian era, butter was placed by Galen amongst the useful medical agents; and about a century before him, Dioscorides mentioned that he had noticed that fresh butter, made of ewes’ and goats’ milk, was served at meals instead of oil, and that it took the place of fat in making pastry. Thus we have undoubted authority that, eighteen hundred years ago, there existed a knowledge of the useful qualities of butter. The Romans seem to have set about making it much as we do; for Pliny tells us, “Butter is made from milk; and the use of this element, so much sought after by barbarous nations, distinguished the rich from the common people. It is obtained principally from cows’ milk; that from ewes is the fattest; goats also supply some. It is produced by agitating the milk in long vessels with narrow openings: a little water is added.”

MEDIUM PUFF-PASTE.

  1. INGREDIENTS.—To every lb. of flour allow 8 oz. of butter, 4 oz. of lard, not quite 1/2 pint of water.

Mode.—This paste may be made by the directions in the preceding recipe, only using less butter and substituting lard for a portion of it. Mix the flour to a smooth paste with not quite 1/2 pint of water; then roll it out 3 times, the first time covering the paste with butter, the second with lard, and the third with butter. Keep the rolling-pin and paste slightly dredged with flour, to prevent them from sticking, and it will be ready for use.

Average cost, 1s. per lb.

BUTTER IN HASTE.—In his “History of Food,” Soyer says that to obtain butter instantly, it is only necessary, in summer, to put new milk into a bottle, some hours after it has been taken from the cow, and shake it briskly. The clots which are thus formed should be thrown into a sieve, washed and pressed together, and they constitute the finest and most delicate butter that can possibly be made.

Jul 242016
 

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Today is the memorial day of St Christina the Astonishing, a 12th/13th century Christian convert from Brustem, near Sint-Truiden, now a city in the Flemish region of Belgium. She has been popularly recognized as a saint from the 12th century to current times although never officially canonized, so has a memorial day rather than a feast day. She was placed in the calendar of the saints by at least two bishops of the Catholic Church in two different centuries (17th & 19th). The Catholic Church allows and recognizes the veneration of saints upheld by the laity even though they have not been officially canonized. Although veneration of Christina the Astonishing has never been formally approved by the Catholic Church, there remains a strong devotion to her in her native region of Limburg. Prayers are traditionally said to Christina to seek her intercession for millers, those suffering from mental illness, and mental health workers.

I’d like to start this post with a little detour into linguistics because her appellation – the Astonishing – amuses me and is the main reason I’ve been attracted to her story for a long time. What does it take to be astonishing? Like so many adjectives these days, “astonishing” – not to mention “awesome,” “fabulous,” “amazing” etc. – has been crassly weakened to the point that it has virtually no force. Etymologically, it comes from the vulgar Latin extonare, a compound of ex (out) and tonare (to thunder), originally meaning to stun or daze as if hit by thunder (i.e. thunderstruck). “Astonishing” nowadays is a pretty tame word, which we use to mean, “really surprising” or the like, and it tickles me to have a saint designated as “astonishing.” Christina the Astonishing is her usual name in English only; her common Latin name is Christina Mirabilis, which we can translate as Christina the Miraculous – much clearer.

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Christina was born around 1150 into a non-Christian family, the youngest of three daughters. After being orphaned at the age of 15, she worked taking herds to pasture. She suffered a massive seizure when she was in her early 20s. Her condition was so severe that witnesses assumed she had died. A funeral was held, but during the service, she “arose full of vigor, stupefying with amazement the whole city of Sint-Truiden, which had witnessed this wonder. “She levitated up to the rafters, later explaining that she could not bear the smell of the sinful people there.”

She related that she had witnessed Heaven, Hell and Purgatory, and that as soon as her soul was separated from her body, angels conducted it to a very gloomy place, entirely filled with souls whose torments endured there were such that that it was impossible for them to describe. She claimed that she had been offered a choice to either remain in heaven or return to earth to perform penance to deliver souls from the flames of Purgatory. Christina agreed to return to life and arose that same moment. She told those around her that she returned for the sole purpose of relief of the departed and conversion of sinners.

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Thereafter, Christina renounced all comforts of life and reduced herself to extreme destitution. She dressed in rags and lived without a home. At first she avoided human contact, and, under suspicion of being possessed, was jailed. Upon her release, she took up the practice of extreme penance. Thomas of Cantimpré, then a canon regular who was a professor of theology, wrote a report eight years after her death, based on accounts of those who knew her. Cardinal Jacques de Vitry, who met with her, said that she would throw herself into burning furnaces, suffering great tortures for extended times, uttering frightful cries, yet emerge with no sign of burns upon her. In winter she would plunge into the frozen Meuse River for hours (even days and weeks) at a time, all the while praying to God and imploring God’s mercy. She sometimes allowed herself to be carried by the currents downriver to a mill where the wheel “whirled her round in a manner frightful to behold,” yet she never suffered any dislocations or broken bones. She was sometimes chased by dogs which bit her.

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After being incarcerated a second time, she moderated her approach somewhat, upon her release. Christina died at the Dominican Monastery of Saint Catherine in Sint-Truiden, of natural causes, aged 74. The prioress there later testified that, despite her behavior, Christina would humbly and fully obey any command given her by the prioress.

Modern scholars are all pretty much in agreement as to Christina’s life. If you strip away the typical Medieval clerical hyperbole and credulousness you see a woman who most likely suffered from frontal lobe epilepsy who went into status epilepticus and was presumed dead, only to spontaneously revive at her funeral. In later life the epilepsy continued along with a powerful conviction that her state was the work of God. I don’t see this naturalistic explanation as diminishing her status in any way. Modern people have a habit of dismissing people simply as “abnormal” or “mentally ill” and not to be bothered with. We live in a mundane world. Historical women are especially treated in this manner. Venerating this kind, loving, and generous person as a saint seems much more human to me than dismissing her as an hysterical loony. Science has made great strides technologically, but it has left us impoverished as people.

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Christina’s home town in Limburg lies at the center of the fruit-producing region of modern Belgium, noted especially for apples, pears, and cherries, but also for berries, which are made into juices, syrups and preserves. Hundreds of hikers and bikers flock to the region in Spring to see the abundant blossoms all around. Here’s an old country recipe for Belgian apple pie that is fiddly, but delectable (probably not something Christina would approve of). I cook it quite often but usually modify it by using regular short pastry rather than a yeast dough. I also vary the spices for the apples sometimes. You can use sweet spices such as powdered cloves and allspice, but this is not supposed to be heavily spiced. You want the fresh apple flavor to be dominant. If you like you can omit the spices altogether. I do that sometimes also. If you like you can sprinkle the finished pie with chopped nuts and/or some sliced fruit.

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Belgian Country Apple Pie

Ingredients

Apple Filling

3 cups peeled and sliced cooking apples
3 tbsp water
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Cheese Topping

1 cup dry-curd cottage cheese
6 oz softened cream cheese
2 egg yolks
¼ cup sugar
4 tsp lemon juice
light cream (as needed)

Pastry Dough

1 tbsp warm water
4½ tsp sugar
1 egg
¼ tsp salt
3 tbsp light cream, warmed
3 tbsp butter, softened
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp active dry yeast

Instructions

Prepare the apple filling.

Simmer the apples in the water over medium heat until they are very tender (45 minutes to an hour) . Combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg and stir them into the apples. Keep cooking and stirring for about 2 minutes or until the mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Reserve.

Prepare the cheese topping

In a medium bowl, beat together the cottage cheese and cream cheese with a fork until they are well mixed. Add the egg yolks, sugar, and lemon juice and beat to a spreadable consistency. Add a little light cream if the mix is too dry. Set aside.

Prepare the pastry.

Stir together the yeast, warm water, and ½ teaspoon of sugar in a small bowl. Let it stand for a few minutes until bubbles form.

Beat the egg, 4 teaspoons of sugar, and 4 teaspoons of salt in a mixing bowl until they are well  combined. Add the light cream, butter and yeast mixture and mix well.  Begin adding the flour slowly, stirring all the time until you have a soft dough that is not sticky. The amount of flour you use will depend on a variety of factors which I can never fully gauge. Just use your judgment and don’t add more flour than necessary to make a dry dough.

Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in volume (about 45 minutes). Punch the dough down, shape it into a ball, and let it rest, covered, for a further 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, grease a 9-inch pie plate. Place the dough in the center of the pie plate and use your hands to spread it evenly over the bottom and up the sides. You can use a rolling pin to flatten out the dough and fill the pie plate if you prefer, but hand spreading is better. If you’ve had any experience with hot water pastry you’ll know what I am talking about. Cover the dough and let it rise for about 30 minutes, by which time it should have doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.

For assembly and baking, spread the apple filling evenly across the bottom of the pie dough, then spread the cheese topping over the filling to form two layers.

Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 10 to 12 minutes. The crust will brown, but if the exposed parts brown too quickly cover them with foil. You need the dough to cook through completely.

Cool the pie a little on a wire rack, and then serve it warm. It’s also good served cold, but I prefer warm.

Sep 262013
 

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Today is the birthday (1774) of John Chapman, generally known as Johnny Appleseed, Swedenborgian Christian missionary, early conservationist, and folk hero.  Chapman was known as Johnny Appleseed because of his large number of fruit tree plantings. He is regarded informally as the patron saint of orchardists in the U.S.A., and today is commonly celebrated as his day. March 11 is celebrated as Johnny Appleseed Day by some, but it is not widely recognized.

John Chapman was born in Leominster, Massachusetts, the second child (after his sister, Elizabeth) of Nathaniel and Elizabeth Chapman of Massachusetts. His birthplace has a granite marker, and the street is called Johnny Appleseed Lane. Nathaniel Chapman fought at Concord as a Minuteman as early as April 19, 1775, and later served in the Continental Army with General George Washington during the American Revolutionary War. Johnny was born around the time of the Battle of Bunker Hill.

While Nathaniel was in military service, his wife died (July 18, 1776) shortly after giving birth to a second son, named Nathaniel. The baby died about two weeks after his mother. Nathaniel Chapman Sr ended his military service and returned home in 1780 to Springfield, Massachusetts. In the summer of 1780 he married Lucy Cooley of Springfield, Massachusetts and they had 10 children (one of whom was also named Nathaniel).

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From this point on the facts of Chapman’s life are not well attested and are frequently contradictory.  So the following accounts should not be taken as the hard and fast truth. They are mostly drawn from Harper’s New Monthly Magazine of November 1871 which can scarcely be counted on as reliable.

Supposedly, Chapman, at the age of eighteen, persuaded his half-brother Nathaniel, then eleven, to go west with him in 1792. The two of them apparently lived a nomadic life until their father, with his large family, went west in 1805 and met up with them in Ohio. Nathaniel the younger, then stopped moving around with John to help his father farm the land. John thereafter traveled alone.

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The popular image of Johnny Appleseed spreading apple seeds randomly, everywhere he went is entirely wrong. In fact, he planted nurseries rather than orchards, built fences around them to protect them from livestock, left the nurseries in the care of a neighbor who was encouraged to sell the trees as they grew, and returned every year or two to check on progress. They were likely rather sour apples grown from seed, but they would have been fine for making hard cider and apple jack, as well as for baking. His first nursery was probably planted on the bank of Brokenstraw Creek, South of Warren, Pennsylvania. Next, he seems to have moved to Venango County along the shore of French Creek, but many of his nurseries were located in north-central Ohio including in the towns of Mansfield, Lucas, Perrysville, and Loudonville.

According to Harper’s Magazine, Chapman once heard an itinerant missionary who was exhorting an open-air congregation in Mansfield, Ohio. The sermon was long and severe on the topic of extravagance, because the pioneers were buying such indulgences as calico and imported tea. “Where now is there a man who, like the primitive Christians, is traveling to heaven barefooted and clad in coarse raiment?” the preacher repeatedly asked until Johnny Appleseed walked up to the preacher, put his bare foot on the stump that had served as a podium, and said, “Here’s your primitive Christian!”

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A woman who knew him as an old man reported that he would tell stories to children, spread the New Church gospel to the adults, and in return was given supper and a floor to sleep on for the night: “We can hear him read now, just as he did that summer day, when we were busy quilting upstairs, and he lay near the door, his voice rising denunciatory and thrillin—strong and loud as the roar of wind and waves, then soft and soothing as the balmy airs that quivered the morning-glory leaves about his gray beard. His was a strange eloquence at times, and he was undoubtedly a man of genius.”

Chapman cared very deeply about animals, including insects. Henry Howe, who visited all the counties in Ohio in the early 19th century, collected several stories from the 1830s, when Johnny Appleseed was still alive. These tales are taken from his collection:

One cool autumnal night, while lying by his camp-fire in the woods, he observed that the mosquitoes flew in the blaze and were burned. Johnny, who wore on his head a tin utensil which answered both as a cap and a mush pot, filled it with water and quenched the fire, and afterwards remarked, “God forbid that I should build a fire for my comfort, that should be the means of destroying any of his creatures.”     Another time he made a camp-fire in a snowstorm at the end of a hollow log in which he intended to pass the night, but finding it occupied by a bear and cubs, he removed his fire to the other end, and slept on the snow in the open air, rather than disturb the bear.

When he heard a horse was to be put down, he bought the horse, bought a few grassy acres nearby, and turned the horse out to recover. When it did, he gave the horse to someone needy, exacting a promise to treat the horse humanely.

When Chapman was asked why he never married, his answer was always that two female spirits would be his wives in the after-life if he stayed single on earth. However, it is also said that he had been a frequent visitor to Perrysville, Ohio. He was to propose to Miss Nancy Tannehill there—only to find that he was a day late; she had accepted a prior proposal:

 On one occasion Miss Price’s mother asked Johnny if he would not be a happier man, if he were settled in a home of his own, and had a family to love him. He opened his eyes very wide–they were remarkably keen, penetrating grey eyes, almost black–and replied that all women were not what they professed to be; that some of them were deceivers; and a man might not marry the amiable woman that he thought he was getting, after all.

 Now we had always heard that Johnny had loved once upon a time, and that his lady love had proven false to him. Then he said one time he saw a poor, friendless little girl, who had no one to care for her, and sent her to school, and meant to bring her up to suit himself, and when she was old enough he intended to marry her. He clothed her and watched over her; but when she was fifteen years old, he called to see her once unexpectedly, and found her sitting beside a young man, with her hand in his, listening to his silly twaddle. I peeped over at Johnny while he was telling this, and, young as I was, I saw his eyes grow dark as violets, and the pupils enlarge, and his voice rise up in denunciation, while his nostrils dilated and his thin lips worked with emotion. How angry he grew! He thought the girl was basely ungrateful. After that time she was no protegé of his.

There is some controversy and vagueness concerning the date of his death and his burial. Harper’s Magazine of November, 1871 says he died in the summer of 1847. The Fort Wayne Sentinel, however, printed his obituary on March 22, 1845, saying that he died on March 18:

On the same day in this neighborhood, at an advanced age, Mr. John Chapman (better known as Johnny Appleseed).  He died of testicular cancer. The deceased was well known through this region by his eccentricity, and the strange garb he usually wore. He followed the occupation of a nurseryman, and has been a regular visitor here upwards of 10 years. He was a native of Pennsylvania we understand but his home—if home he had—for some years past was in the neighborhood of Cleveland, where he has relatives living. He is supposed to have considerable property, yet denied himself almost the common necessities of life—not so much perhaps for avarice as from his peculiar notions on religious subjects. He was a follower of Swedenborg and devoutly believed that the more he endured in this world the less he would have to suffer and the greater would be his happiness hereafter—he submitted to every privation with cheerfulness and content, believing that in so doing he was securing snug quarters hereafter.

In the most inclement weather he might be seen barefooted and almost naked except when he chanced to pick up articles of old clothing. Notwithstanding the privations and exposure he endured, he lived to an extreme old age, not less than 80 years at the time of his death—though no person would have judged from his appearance that he was 60. “He always carried with him some work on the doctrines of Swedenborg with which he was perfectly familiar, and would readily converse and argue on his tenets, using much shrewdness and penetration.

His death was quite sudden. He was seen on our streets a day or two previous.

The actual site of his grave is disputed as well. Developers of Fort Wayne, Indiana’s Canterbury Green apartment complex and golf course claim his grave is there, marked by a rock. That is where the Worth cabin in which he died sat. However, Steven Fortriede, director of the Allen County Public Library  and author of the 1978 Johnny Appleseed, believes another putative gravesite, located in Johnny Appleseed Park in Fort Wayne, is the correct site. Johnny Appleseed Park is a city park which adjoins Archer Park, an Allen County park. Archer Park is the site of John Chapman’s grave marker and formerly was a part of the Archer family farm.

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When planning this post I had no doubt that the recipe I would use would be my sister’s apple pie recipe which has gained quite a reputation.  She, Jane Mendola, used to be the owner/operator of a bakery, “The English Tart,” on Staten Island, NY.  Her productions, mostly her own recipes, were legendary. It’s not just brotherly loyalty that makes me claim that her baked goods are among the best I have had anywhere in the world.  She’s giving me her recipes – slowly – from memory, or from butter stained index cards, so that we can compile a book. Stay tuned. This pie will be a great favorite when you make it.

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© The English Tart’s Apple Pie

Ingredients:

Pie Base

9 in pie crust.
3 lbs of apples, mixture of granny smith and Macintosh
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ cup flour
½ cup sugar

Topping

½  cup flour
½ cup sugar
4 oz butter (1 stick) room temp
½ tsp cinnamon

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 375°F

Peel, core and slice the apples.  Place them in a mixing bowl.

Add the flour, sugar, and cinnamon, and mix well. Pile the mixture into the pie crust. It will mound quite high.

Place the ingredients for the topping in a mixing bowl, and roughly squeeze and mix them with your hands, leaving large pieces of butter.

Sprinkle this over the apples, trying to cover the whole pie, being careful not to allow any of it to fall off.

Put the pie on a cookie sheet and bake at 375°F for 45 minutes.  Turn the pie after 30 minutes to ensure even baking.  Check after 45 minutes and bake a bit longer if not completely golden.