It's a perfect day to make a perfect Apple pie #eatpie
It's been a long couple of weeks for the Sugar Sisters. We've had quite a few outdoor fall festivals lately, in addition to running our storefront, fulfilling orders, wedding catering, business catering, wholesale accounts and getting some new projects off the ground.
When you run a small business you can expect to run it 24/7. There are many days we start at 5 am in the kitchen, close the shop at 6 pm and go home to respond to emails until midnight. Somewhere in there we have family needs to attend to. Baking is hard work. It is physically demanding. Unlike sitting at a desk or behind a computer for hours (we used to do this) we stand at a mixer, in front of a hot oven or work the counter for hours. Sometimes all you want to do is come home and collapse, but you know you can't.
We have awesome customers. Some of them have been with us since the beginning of our journey and they raise us up, keep us going. We have one that comes in every weekend and tells us she is praying for us. She reminds us of our grandmother. When you have a customer that prays for you and your business to do well, it warms your heart. It balances the times when you have to deal with difficult situations. Everyone likes to be told they are doing a good job and that they make a difference. This is especially true for small business owners who try their hardest.
This weekend we discovered an article identifying our little business as one of the nine great places in Illinois to eat the best pie. (you can find the article here: http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/illinois/pie-il/)
As we lay prone on the couch trying to recover from the arduous Friday we had, casually surfing the web, we sprung up and nearly killed ourselves in the process (Nina may have wrenched her knee a little).
Somebody loves us and wrote about us? It always makes our day! Like I said, these moments keep us going on our path because we know that we add value to others and it's why we do what we do, in addition to the fact that we LOVE to bake.
Living in Illinois, fall is a baker's paradise. We LOVE pie in fall, don't you? Our nation's favorite Apple pie reigns supreme in our state this month. Here's why:
Our bakery is located within a short distance of some of the most amazing apple orchards. A visit on a sunny and crisp fall day yielded sweet apples, perfect for baking. Which is why today is a perfect day for baking a perfect apple pie. Everyone is capable of pulling off a perfect pie when you have amazing fruit. It may be a little difficult to pull off hundreds of pies in a single day that all look and taste the same like we do in our commercial bakery---but one pie? You got this.
Plus, it will make your house smell amazing and your family do things for you. Like bring you your slippers (do people still wear slippers?)
Start with the apples. We always use a mix of apples in our pie. When you go to the orchard there are descriptions above the apples you want to select in the farm store. Choose one sweet and crisp variety and one tart. DO NOT-- (read carefully) DO NOT EVER CHOOSE RED DELICIOUS. Unless you want a flavorless mushy mess. Remember, what you put into the pie is what you will get out. If you put in flavorless apples you will get a flavorless pie no matter how much sugar you dump into it.
By the way, we should be brand ambassadors for Honeycrisp apples. Please try them at least once. Please.
Next: Slice your apples, toss them with sugar, flour and spices and put them into a pie shell. What? Have you been stressing about amounts of sugar, spices and such? Are you stressing about the crust?
Why are you stressing? There's no stressing when making pie.
If you have amazing apples, you do not need much else. You can go simple and cover your apples with some sugar and cinnamon and a dot of butter. Then bake them in the oven until the apples are soft and you get an ooze of juice. DONE. Take them out, scoop them on ice cream and suddenly you are a goddess.
One step further, coat the apples in cinnamon and sugar. Cover the apples with an oat crumble. Again, DON'T STRESS. Toss together some oats, brown sugar, butter and flour and dump it on top of your apples. Bake until oozy (OOZY is a very technical term we bakers use in our commercial kitchen).
Do not stress on time. Your oven is different from mine. It's even different from your neighbors. Just look for ooze.
OR GO BIG---GO FOR THE PIE.
Afraid of pie crust? Call The Sugar Path and buy one. Yes, we sell them. Or take one of our classes and we will teach you how to make it. But if you have a fabulous family favorite, go for it!
(Just don't buy the ones with so many preservatives you can't even pronounce, it's not worth it).
Now, put your apples coated in sugar and cinnamon, flour and dotted with butter into your pie shell. Cover with crust or an oat crumble. Bake until OOZY.
There, so simple. No reason to stress. Just stuff those apples into a crust and bake. Trust us, it will be amazing. Serve with ice cream and hot coffee, linger over the table with laughter and conversation. Memories made and it was cheaper than a trip to Disney.
Send us a picture of your pie and we will post it on our Facebook!
The Sugar Path Classic Apple Pie
8 Cups Apples
3/4 to 1 Cup Sugar
2 to 3 T flour
2 t Cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
Butter for dotting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Peel and core apples. Cut apples into slices. Mix together dry ingredients and coat apples. Place apples into a pie shell, dot with butter. Either cover with an Oat Crumble or Pie Crust. If using pie crust, cut slits in crust to vent and brush with an egg wash. Bake one hour or until OOZY.
Eat warm or cold. Pie is also great for breakfast. So we've heard. . .
The Sugar Sisters