If you have never been apple picking, do it.
I'm sure I'll be taking a bag and dragging a pregnant wife out to the orchards of New York... near the sad hill they call a ski resort... to pick apples. It's ever so much fun.
This is the reward for the IKEA run we are making tomorrow. We are not buying baby furniture yet.
That's saved for Trimester Three.
But we will be looking.
Back to the apples!
Angie makes applesauce. It's unbelievable.
I couldn't wait for Monday. So, I went to the farmer's market and grabbed a ton of apples ($0.75 a pound) and cranked out a tarte Tartine.
Here's the recipe: Go to Mark Bitteman's site, http://bitten.blogs.nytimes.com/, and look up the recipe. It couldn't be easier. He just explains it better than I, but it's so simple. A huge saute pan overflowing with cored, peeled quartered apples put over a moderate heat with some sugar... Just cook the hell out of it until you've cooked out the liquid, add butter. (yes, Ethel, butter.)
Carmalize them... just brown and sugary and gooey.
Toss them into a smaller, buttered saute. (from a 12" to a 10" or a 10" to an 8"... whatever, this is a pretty loose-y goose-y thing...)
Top it with a pastry crust. It can be store bought, puff pastry, filo... again, whatever.
This is a good opportunity to try your own crust. I made a pie crust in about 15 minutes. It was straight out of Jeffrey Steingarten's The Man Who Ate Everything. He writes about learning from Marion Cunningham, author of the Fannie Farmer Baking Book and a pie genius. Easiest thing ever. I"ll never fear pie crusts again. Try it. Makes enough that you can put on into a tart mold and freeze for a little tomato, goat cheese, arugula tart... mmm...
So! Back to the tarte... apples, butter, sugar, pastry... slip it into that oven you've had waiting at 400 degrees and bake for a bit... Take it out, carefully - it's like lava at this point - shake the pan to loosen, cover with an upside down plate, flip and slap some good ice cream on it.
It's a skill that will serve you well, you stay at home dads... An easy apple pie that you can whip together and make it seem to your spouse that you've slaved on it all day.
Much the same way you can clean the house in under an hour, bathroom included, before she gets home... That's actually something she does to me. Reads all day and then pretends she's slaved over the house.
I do the same. On my days off, I sometimes shower at 4pm and manage to get dinner on the table right quick claiming it's taken me forever to prepare it. I tracked the beast, killed it with a pocket knife, butchered it and cooked it just after I harvested the good for the salad...
My question is this... Will I have time, with a child, to get away with this trick or is a constant game of catching up?