I stupidly picked up a copy of “Southern Living” magazine. In my defense, I had a $2 off coupon. I’m a sucker for a coupon and fell for this one when I very well knew better. If you read this magazine’s mission statement, it will say something like “Publishing monthly for the sake of destroying the confidence and self-esteem of readers everywhere.” Job well done “Southern Living.” For the record, there’s a big difference between Southern Living and Southern Reality!
Maybe I shouldn’t have read the magazine when I was hungry — or awake or breathing or alive – because I got to the recipe section where I found this picture of an amazing apple pie. It was beautiful and appley with the crisscross crust on the top. Normally I would have laughed defiantly and turned the page, refusing to get drawn into this trap. Then I saw they had provided detailed instructions on how to make the crisscross crust on the top. In a moment of weakness, I believed the lie that I could make it. Tip #1: Never fall for the pie lie.
Off to three different stores looking for three different kinds of exotic apples that would “balance tartness and sweetness in a mouth-watering way.” When a recipe calls for ingredients that aren’t sold at Kroger, that should be a red flag to stick with Hamburger Helper or ordering out.
Somewhere between browning the butter and having to purchase an 8 oz. bottle of heavy cream to use half a teaspoon, it all went wrong. First of all, I didn’t know you could brown butter, but whatever. I figured that out. Despite detailed instructions including photos, making the crisscross crust top was a complete exercise in futility. Good thing this all day project was now in its later hours because I had to open a bottle of wine to finish it.
For any reader that navigated the gauntlet of ingredients and directions and was still standing, baking was the final test of endurance. “Bake at 425 for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to the squared sum of the coefficient of the lesser of the two angles. Remove the pie to an alternate universe to cool. Serve with ice cream.” I translated that to “Bake at 425 until nearly burnt then eat with BlueBell (listeria be damned)! Next time, we just eat cake!