After posting a picture of my messy, messy kitchen a short while ago, I thought I should try and redeem myself. You know, just so my mother in law doesn’t have to worry that she married her son off to a total delinquent of a wife. I’m caring like that.
A while back, I went apple picking with some dear friends of mine (Hi Lisa, Jack and Grace!), and came home with a lot of apples. I was feeling the whole fall season, and thought it would be fun to do all sorts of apple baking over the Thanksgiving holiday. We were at my parents for the weekend, and I thought – “what a better way to relax than to bring home all my baking supplies, and bless my family with my superb baking skills?”
The more I thought about it, the more excited I got. I could do crisps! And sauces! And dips! All of the apple variety, of course. I had visions of the days over that weekend spent creating my desserts with ease, as if I was created to bake, as my family relaxed around me; laughing, lounging, and (naturally) all dressed in the typical fall attire of dark blue jeans, and that sweater that just exudes autumn. You know which one I’m talking about – it’s probably brown, or green, warm enough to wear on it’s own in the cooling fall weather, and somehow, looks even better if you’re holding a hot mug of cider while wearing it.
And the piece de resistance would be… my apple blossoms. How great, I thought, it would be to create these little apple delights – I was sure they would be the hit of the weekend -everyone would be coming back for more, just because of how quaint and delicious they would be.
Well, the problem with my little theory was that I had never made these so called apple blossoms before. (Nor did I have a recipe…) My inspiration came from the professionally baked ones that we bought from the apple farm where we went picking. But “how hard can it be?” I thought to myself. I will just make the same filling that you would put in a pie, and then manipulate the pastry dough into beautiful little blossoms.
I should probably mention that I’ve never actually worked with pastry dough before. (Unless you count eating it raw as my mom would bake…). Nor have I ever baked a pie before. (Unless you count taking it out of the box and turning the oven on to 350. (“Minor details“I thought to myself)
So I forged ahead, and all was going fairly well. At first. Then reality kicked in and I realized that things maybe wouldn’t be going as well as I had envisioned. I had flour everywhere, the dough wasn’t rolling out evenly, there was no hot cider anywhere to be consumed, and I certainly wasn’t in a fall sweater. I cut out circles with a cookie cutter, and proceeded to plop a serving of my apple filling into each circle.
Now came the part where I would somehow magically create beautiful flower-like blossoms. But that didn’t happen. On some of them, the dough had been rolled too thin and kept breaking as I tried to fold all of the sides in. On others, the dough was way too fat, and the sides wouldn’t stay folded in. And the biggest problem was that there actually WAS no sides. In my genius planning, I neglected to realize that I probably should have cut out square pieces of dough.
As I surveyed my surroundings, the situation was getting more and more grim. I had more flour on me, the apple filling was starting to ooze out of the bottoms of the dough cups (yes, I resigned myself to the fact that these blossoms weren’t going to so much be blossoms anymore), my family was not as enthralled in my baking skills as I had planned, and I still had no cider, or a fall sweater on.
In the end, I realized that the blossoms I had hoped for, would not be, and just started to squish, pinch and prod pieces of dough together, in hopes that I could create some sort of container to hold the measly apple filling I’d put in the middle.
The outcome? Not really something to write home about…
(Go ahead, say they’re ugly. I know you’re thinking it…)
All in all though – I think they tasted ok. I’m hoping that by next Thanksgiving I will have perfected the art of pastry dough manipulation and will be able to create anything and everything apple. My family ate them all, so they couldn’t have been that bad. And for the rest of the weekend, I stuck to things I knew something about: eating far too much turkey, potatoes and stuffing.
(Oh, and I also made a big batch of apple sauce and some apple dip).