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Fall – Apples – Pies

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Q. What are the best apples to make applesauce?

A. For extra tasty applesauce, try using apples that have been around for awhile (the ones that have become soft and not good for eating). Those aged apples are often more flavorful. Also, use more than one kind for a tastier sauce. The combination of sweet and tart makes the best sauce.

In 2001 the Farmers’ Almanac ran a Favorite Dessert Contest. The mission was to determine what was America’s favorite dessert. We narrowed it to 6 items and our readers determined that Apple Pie was the “All American Dessert”. The choices were between Ice Cream, Chocolate Cake, Strawberry Shortcake, Cheesecake and Apple Pie. We held a national convention at the Portland Public Market (Maine) and had speakers and accepted votes on our website for 6 months. No real surprise. Apple Pie was the hands down winner as the All American Dessert.

We then asked for the best apple pie recipes and published them in 2003 edition.

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Recipes are something that go as far back in our almanac as the tides, moon and weather information. Over the years the types of recipes and ingredients have changed. From time to time I do get recipes including this one below from Opal in Suffield, Conn. I am not a pie baker but since this is apple picking season, I thought you might enjoy her local award winner:

Crust: Double 8″ pie crust
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup shortening (4 ounce weight)
1/4 cup butter,cold (1 ounce weight)
3/4 t. salt
2 Tblsp. white sugar
1/2 cup ice cold watr
8 cups (mixed VARIETY of apples), peeled, cored, and
2 Tblsp. brandy
1 Tblsp. amaretto
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 Tblsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 t. cinnamon
example of a variety of apples, red delicious,paula
reds, granny smith, galas, MacIntosh and I added green
apples, very sour and tart. Any or all in combination
to equal 8 cups. Always include a little of the sour green apples!
Crust: Mix dry ingredients, cut in shortening and
butter with a pastry blender. Sprinkle with water and
mix until dough is moistened. If it is too dry, add
more ice water. Dough will be loose and crumbly.
Gather it into a ball, knead a few times, wrap and
chill for at least one hour.
Filling: Place apples in large bowl, toss with brandy
and amaretto. Mix all other ingredients together then
mix with the apples. Roll out 1/2 of the dough, and
place in pie pan, leaving enough to overlap. Fill pie
shell with apple filling. Roll out second half of
dough and place on top. Brush with egg, seal edges
well and crimp sides together. Let set in
refrigerator 1/2 hour. Bake 400 degrees for 10
minutes. Remove pie and cut slits in top of pie.
Return to oven, bake 350 degrees for 1 hour.

If you love recipes, check out our website and click on recipes and desserts for more favorite treats.

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If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1919, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.

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