Strung out on no food or sleep for 4 days with a 103°F fever, sobbing in front of a well-meaning young doctor who was trying to convince me that life would soon revert to normal, several questions popped into my head. How can the nanny you just hired no show on her very first day? Did he just suggest I have Scarlett Fever? But what I asked was “will I be well enough for Thanksgiving?” Followed closely by “well enough to make pies?” “When is it?” he asked. “Thursday,” I whimpered. “You will be much better by then, if not in good spirits.” The tears started to stream again but this time in gratitude.
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. There is no god or presents to make things complicated. It’s about food and warmth and welcome. It’s a day of surrounding yourself with those you love and being thankful. It’s been a long time since my words graced these pages and I figured now is as good a time as any. So much has changed since my last post almost a year ago so much to be grateful for. So here it goes.
I give thanks for the wonderful family I was born into and the one who arrived later down the road. I am thankful for my husband and my two beautiful children, my cat who behaves like a dog and my first cat who taught me that cats could be like that. I am grateful for modern medicine, that I had strep throat and not Scarlett fever, for childcare and back up back up childcare and being able to afford it. I am thankful and amazed by our beautiful new house, being a homeowner is different much like being married. I am grateful to feel at home in London while still longing to be at home in the US. I give thanks that I will spend tonight with wonderful friends and be treated like a host and a guest and be missed by those back home.
For the Piecrust: 500g flour, 250g butter (cubed and cold), pinch of salt, cold water
For the Filling: 6-8 apples, your choice (firm is good), peeled, cored and sliced, not too thin, lemon juice, ½ cup sugar, ¼ cup flour, ¼ packed brown sugar, ½ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp nutmeg, extra butter, a beaten egg
In a food processor or by hand combine the flour and butter until sandy, add the water until the mixture forms a ball. If in the food processor it will start to come away from the wall. Separate the batch into two disks, wrap in plastic wrap and pop in the fridge while you prepare you filling.
Put all your apples into a bowl with the lemon juice. In another bowl (or not if you don’t feel like it) combine all the dry ingredients. Then combine the two.
Take out your pastry and roll it out. Line the bottom of the tin with one then fill the tin with the apple mixture. Dot with butter and use the other rolled disk to cover the pie. Here you can get as creative as you’d like or just go plain covered. If you use a solid top, make sure to use a knife to create some slits so the steam can escape. Brush with the egg wash.
Pop in a hot oven (180°C, 350°F) covered with tin foil for 25 minutes. Then remove the tin foil for a further 15 minutes.