WEEK15 – Baby Apple Pies

Right after Jeff and I found out we were pregnant we went to Babies ‘R’ Us just for fun. We parked in the “Expectant Mother” parking spot, even though I was just a few weeks along. And we walked around and looked at different items like the strollers and car seats and tiny little socks and talked about how incredible it felt to actually be parents-to-be.

As we walked and talked we found ourselves in the baby furniture section. Cribs, to be specific. Most of what I saw was not to my liking. I thought the ornate details that some of the more expensive cribs came with were unnecessary – our baby doesn’t need fancy stars carved into the top of unusually tall crib “bed posts”.  And I didn’t like the fake paneling of the cheaper cribs – there’s no reason for that. Others were too tall or too short, too light or too dark.  I didn’t want one that had a changing table attached to it. And I wasn’t excited about purchasing anything for my baby to sleep in that looked like a sleigh or the oval office.

But then, I found it. The most perfect crib. The color was exactly what I had been dreaming of. It was just the right height. It had no silly curves or carvings. It was a straightforward, no fuss, absolutely beautiful crib. We took a picture of it and made note of the name and style so that when it was time to come back and actually make the purchase we’d be ready.

Fast forward to WEEK 15. Jeff’s mom came up for a visit and told us that she wanted to purchase our baby crib for us. As I’m sure you can imagine, we were thrilled! We took her to lunch first at one of our very favorite restaurants in town (El Patron – fantastic guac and fish tacos) and then sped off to Babies ‘R’ Us to buy my dream crib.

I made a beeline to where I remembered the crib being the last time Jeff and I had gone to visit it. However, in the place where I recall my perfect crib standing stood a new crib. An ugly crib. A crib that looked like it would fall apart after a few good shakes. Jeff went and found a sales associate and we told him exactly what we were there for. He went over to his computer and returned with the sad sad news that the crib I wanted was no longer available. (*sob*)

I was crushed.

I know that sounds silly, but it’s true. I felt so defeated. And sad. It was just a crib, and believe me, I got over it, but only after a full 10 minutes of sulking.

(Jeff says perhaps it took more than 10 minutes of sulking…)

Luckily, I was with two people who know how to stay positive and keep moving forward. Jeff and his mom assured me we’d find another crib that would make me just as happy. So we moved on to a new store to start the search over with fresh eyes and a fresh attitude. And it only took 15 minutes for me to see that they were right! Standing in front of me at the new store stood a gorgeous dark brown, elegant yet traditional crib and I wanted it! We found a sales clerk who checked and told us we were in luck – they had one in the back. We were advised to head towards the front of the store and they’d meet us there with the crib.

What we met at the front of the store was a man with bad news. Their inventory was off and they most certainly did NOT have my new dream crib in stock. (*whaaaa*)

He made a few calls and assured us that a store no less than 20 minutes away would have our crib. So, we hightailed it over, fingers crossed, in hopes of finding out that this was true – and it was!!! It took three sales associates to haul it to the front and to heave into the trunk of our car, yet somehow my handsome husband was able to carry it into our house all by himself just fine. It’s still in it’s box waiting to be assembled and I can’t wait for that day to come! I already have the most PERFECT bedding all picked out. Here’s hoping it doesn’t become unavailable between now and the day I plan to get it!!!

A huge THANK YOU to my mother-in-law for buying us such a beautiful gift! And… for putting up with my 10 (…or maybe 15…) minutes of pregnancy hormone induced temper-tantrum throwing at Babies ‘R’ Us.  🙂

In WEEK 15 our baby was 4 inches long – about the size of an apple. Our baby’s arms and legs were moving and he/she could sense light. Blood was pumping throughout his/her body and his/her lungs were developing at a quick rate. And tiny taste buds were beginning to form!

BABY APPLE PIES

Several months ago Jeff and I discovered a new bakery in town called Bloom Baking Company. It is absolutely gorgeous and makes the most incredible and delicious sweets and treats! We limit the number of times we allow ourselves to go in because otherwise we’d both be in BIG trouble by now. (Get it? BIG? We’d be HUGE by now if we went in there as much as we wanted to). One of the things we’ve allowed ourselves to enjoy is their sweet apple tarts. We bought one last Fall and devoured it within minutes, but not before noticing a very distinct almond flavor. After a bit of prodding the owner finally told us that they use almond paste when making their apple pies and tarts. Thus, our not-so-secret ingredient for these sweet little pies.

Jeff and I made these pies together and had a lot of fun doing so.  The crust is my mother’s crust and I believe whole heartedly that it’s the best crust recipe you’ll ever fine. The addition of the vinegar and egg somehow magically changes the crust, making it much easier to handle.

Ingredients:

For the crust –

  • 1-1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c shortening
  • 3-5 TBSP ice water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TBSP cider vinager

For the filling –

  • 7 oz tube almond paste
  • 4 green apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • half a stick of cinnamon, grated (or 1/2 TBSP ground)

For the crumble –

  • 1/2 c oatmeal
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • hearty pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/4 almond slices (crushed)
  • 3 TBSP cold butter, cut into small pieces

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Butter four (6oz) oven-proof ramekins and set aside.
  2. To make the crust – sift together flour and salt. Using a pastry blender cut in shortening and blend till crumbly. Add egg, vinegar and 3 TBSP of ice water and combine until a ball forms, only using additional water if necessary (NOTE – too much water will make your crust tough, so be careful). Using a knife, cut the dough ball into four equal sections.
  3. Using a rolling pin, roll each section of dough into 6″ rounds and place in each ramekin, being  sure to mold the dough snugly against the sides of each dish. Feel free to cut away excessive pie dough (or leave to pull up and over the apples once filled).
  4. To make the filling – Cut the almond paste into four equal sections. Using a rolling pin, flatten each section of almond paste and press in the bottom and along the sides each ramekin on top of the raw pie crust. Don’t worry if it looks sloppy.
  5. Combine sliced apples, brown sugar and cinnamon. Toss to coat and then divide among ramekins.
  6. To make the crumble – Use your fingers to combine oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, almonds and butter. Use to top the pies that you’ve decided to cut away excess pie dough. For the pies that have extra dough, simply pull the dough up and around the mound of apples.
  7. Bake for 18 minutes and enjoy!

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One thought on “WEEK15 – Baby Apple Pies

  1. Kathie Duguid says:

    Sounds wonderful!

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