I baked you a shut your pie hole – Apple Pie

I’ve been thinking about millennials lately. It’s a lot to do with working on a project where “successful reaching the millennial generation” is enough cause for celebration or the fact that in my work space, I am in fact surrounded by the exact definition of the millennials — Snapchatting away, Instagramming their lives and basically thriving on living their lives as publicly as possible, well aware of the fact that what’s up on social media isn’t real life. And then there is this article by the founder of my favoirite site Refinery29, Philippe von Borries that talks about why we need to stop targeting these people.

Here’s the thing, I am part millennial [I fit the target age group] and I also feel that I am a baby boomer [at least in my head]. It’s easy to classify people as this or that, for research purposes, to pat our backs when we meet external client demands, but what about people like me — who don’t quite fit in? I come from a background that’s makes me both privileged  and grounded. Things are both traditional and modern — I fought to chase my passion and then quickly realised, making a job out of your passion [especially if you work for others] sucks out all the happiness from it. And then I’m also allowed the privilege, as are all of us, to find another passion. For me, it has been baking. Every weekend I have found my happiness in baking things from scratch, figuring out recipes, spending my entire Sunday on a single cake [there goes any social life]. And every often, I’ve heard people tell me, why don’t you make this into a business. Truth be told, I’m not entirely sure I want to turn this into a full-time bakery, just yet. This is what I love. I do it only for me, to see the smile on loved one’s faces when they love what I made or to have my team look forward to one of my baked goods. I am learning. A year ago, if you would have asked me to make an apple pie, I would have stumbled. This year, I tweaked my favourite Joy the Baker’s recipe to make it all my own. I added more ingredients even if the recipe didn’t require it. I understand texture and can somewhat predict how it’ll turn out based on what’s been happening. I have a long way to go, but I wonder, does perfecting something mean making money out of it?

Yes, it’s fair enough that some people turn their hobbies into jobs. But I already did that to one of my hobbies. Right now, baking for me is an education and a joy. One day I might make money from it, but not at the cost of losing myself like I did with writing. Does that make me very millennial? I am not even sure what that means anymore…

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Buttermilk Pie Crust

Ingredients:
2 sticks (8 oz) cold unsalted butter
2½ cups (12 oz) flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Teaspoon salt
½ cup (5-6oz) buttermilk

Method:
– Cut the butter into cubes and chill for 15 mins
– Chill the buttermilk in the freezer until it’s time for it to be used
– Sift the flour, sugar, salt in a bowl. Toss in the cold butter to the mixture.
– Dump the mixture onto a flat surface and flatten out the butter using a rolling pin. Don’t let the butter melt. Combine and wrap it in plastic wrap/cling film in two portions.
– Cool the dough in the freezer for an hour.
– On a well floured surface, roll out half the pastry into 1/8 inch thick or less. Cut them to the size of your muffin pan.
– Transfer it to a well greased muffin pan. Press them down and trim the edges slightly.
– Cover it with cling film and chill for an hour to 3 hours.

Filling
Ingredients:
2½ lbs apples
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 Cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 Cup granulated sugar
½ – 1 ½ Teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, preferably fresh grated
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Corn flour

Method:
– Peel and cut apples into small cubes.
– In a large bowl, combine apple, lemon juice, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt. Cover the mixture with a plate to allow to macerate at a room temperature for 30 mins to 3 hours.
– Transfer the apples and juices to a bowl using a colander to capture the liquid [about ½ cup]
– Boil the liquid so it reduces to about 1/3 cup.
– Toss in the corn flour on the apples till it disappears.
– Pour the liquid on the apples, tossing it gently. In some cases, the liquid might harden [that didn’t happen for me] but don’t worry about that.
– Remove the muffin tray with the pie crust. Add the apple mixture to the individual pies.
– Roll out the remaining the dough in to 1/8 inch. Cut them horizontally and then vertically.
– Place the cut pie pastry so it criss-crosses above the apple-filled pie crusts.
– Moisten the bottom crust, so that the above crust sticks t it.
– Cover the pie lightly with cling film and chill in the refrigerator for an hour before baking

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Baking:
– Preheat the oven to 425F/220C for at least 20 minutes before baking.
– Remove the muffin tray for the fridge and brush the top crust with a mix of eggs and water.
– Bake for 45-55 minutes, once done remove and allow it to cool.

IMG_0414_– Serve at room temperature with vanilla ice cream.

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