I snickered to myself as I wrote my last column. (Remember the borsch?) I knew exactly the response I’d get from my friend Mary, and she didn’t disappoint.
Mary is not — to put it mildly — a borsch girl. She questions the edibility of beets and a lot of other vegetables, including most green things that can’t be put on a hamburger. She also puts up with my poking fun at her culinary preferences, as only a really good friend would.
I, on the other hand, am a foodie — anxious to try (almost) any edible thing that’s not inherently gross. I don’t do insects, certain organ meats or food that’s on the edge of “turning,” but nothing is repugnant to me because of its ethnic background, or its color or texture.
People have different likes and dislikes. Otherwise, as my daughter Heather pointed out years ago, we’d all live in the same lookalike houses with the same flower print sofas in the living rooms and the very same painting with colors that match the sofa hanging above it — centered, of course.
Most children don’t care for squash (I didn’t); a lot of teenagers just go for fried and fast foods (I fondly remember the 18-cent hamburgers at McDonald’s); and many adults stick with the foods they were raised with (such as ground beef in all its forms, hot dogs, and mac and cheese).
Usually, if you grow up in a household with a creative cook who makes food look good, smell good and taste good, it doesn’t make a whole lot of difference what it is. Of course, there are foods that are universally liked and enjoyed no matter your age or ethnicity. This is one of them. It’s easy, comes out of the oven a beautiful golden color, smells mouth-watering and tastes delicious.
I found this wonderful recipe on Epicurious. Here’s to everybody’s favorite — good old apple pie.
CHEF JOHN’S EASY APPLE PIE
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup water
1 15-ounce package double-crust ready-made pie crust
4 large red apples, cored and thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
To make the caramel sauce melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Stir in sugars, salt, cinnamon and water. Bring the syrup to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar, then remove from heat.
Unroll pie crusts, press one into a 9 inch pie dish, and place the apples into the crust. Unroll the second crust on a work surface, and cut into about eight 1 inch wide strips. Crisscross the strips over the apples, or weave into a lattice crust. Crimp the bottom crust over the lattice strips with your fingers. Spoon caramel sauce over pie, covering lattice portion of top crust. Let remaining sauce drizzle through crust.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake until the crust is golden brown, the caramel on the top crust is set, and the apple filling is bubbling, 35 to 40 more minutes. Allow to cool completely before slicing.
Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached at [email protected]