I went on a run on Saturday, keeping it short because I’ve sadly come down with another stonking cold. A grumpy old man HARRUMPHED me loudly as I waited for him to cross through a gate with his dog. I have no idea what made him so cross as I’m fairly sure I wasn’t giving off any signs I was desperate to overtake him – no running on the spot for instance.
It made me wonder why people sometimes get so cross about bumping into runners? We don’t take up the whole road, and we don’t slow cars down. We don’t tend to jump red lights, and we tend to be lone rangers rather than roam in packs.
That’s not to say that most encounters I’ve had are like this. Most people I meet are very friendly. We either nod in acknowledgement of one another’s pain or say a cheery hello.
Anyway, back home, we’ve collected quite a few of the first windfall apples, so after my run, I got stuck into making an Apple Pie.
I have to say I didn’t pick a good weekend for pastry-making. It was warm, and muggy, and humid. Not so much Autumn as Indian Summer. So the pastry was a bit sticky, and hard to work with. Just for a change, I sealed the pastry by pressing by thumb evenly around the border instead of using a fork.
As I stewed the apples down for the pie, it occurred to me that different varieties of apple behave very different during the cooking process. Bramleys cook down to mush very quickly. I used a mixture of varieties, so my apple filling became a combination of applesauce and chunks. I like my apple pieces to hold their shape in a pie, but this meant that the apple mixture filled the pastry case very compactly, with no gap between the pastry lid. Next time I think I might try using a combination of Granny Smiths and Golden Delicious, with one Bramley thrown in to create a little bit of sauce.
Despite the heat, the pastry also turned out beautifully, crumbly and short with no annoying shrinkage.
With my cold, I sadly couldn’t really taste the pie. However, I am assured by tasters with a functioning olfactory system that it was good! I think next time I bake a pie, I’ll pick a weekend that’s a bit nippy, and dashing with rain outside. It’s the perfect dish for a cosy night in.