Sour Cream Apple Pie

This year’s harvest is bountiful, a benefit of this past summer’s prolific rain, the apples larger and juicier than past years. The downside is the flavors are a bit more muted, taking a little more tweaking, playing with spices and sugar levels to maximize flavors. While my mother only used one type of apple for pies – Granny Smith – resulting in a consistent taste, I use at least two varieties, one that will holds its shape, and another that will break down during cooking into a lovely sauce.

Apple Pecan Cake

My paternal grandmother was a wonderful cook, employing her grandmother’s “lump of this and dash of that” measuring methods. Eventually, she translated favorite recipes to modern measuring devices – graduated measuring cups and spoons – meticulously recording the details on 3 1/2 × 5 index cards. After her death, it was this recipe collection – stored in a hand-made, beautifully dove-tailed hand-rubbed box, 6 by 12-inches long – that I held to be the most dear, of all her earthly possessions. I stopped my aunt and mother – Betty Crocker, General Mills, and Pillsbury women – from pitching the recipes and box into the trash bin, with both expressing surprise I’d want “something so old-fashioned and out-of-date – who wants to do all that cooking?” One person’s junk…..another person’s treasure……..