While finding a career I’m passionate about has been difficult, I have no trouble finding things to get excited about in other arenas. Largely, cooking and reading.
I found a recipe on Pinterest for Apple Braid Bread and thought it looked amazing. I wanted to make pretty braided baked goods too, but decided to alter it slightly. So slightly, that by the end it’d be unrecognizable. And I NAILED IT.
I have enough trouble working with yeast at home (unless we’re talking about my lady parts (just kidding, that’s fucking disgusting.)), and being in India working with a celsius gas oven, I didn’t feel up to the task. After googling, I spotted a Perfect Pie Crust recipe and decided to finnagle some…something.
Disclaimer: This went way way wrong. Don’t attempt, just laugh at me. Or do (it’s your life), but fix all the things I botched. Here’s what I ultimately ended up using/doing.
(This is pretty close to the Apple Braid recipe’s filling)
3 Granny smith apples, cored, peeled, and chopped
2 T sugar
juice from 1/2 lime
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
(This is sorta 3/4 of the Perfect Pie Crust All Butter Crust for Sweet and Savory Pies recipe)
3/4 c. butter? I was hacking at a 500g brick, so I guessed.
1 3/4 c. flour < y flour < 2 c. flour, solve for y
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp sugar
5 T ice water
So far sounds good right? Did to me anyway.
To prep the crust: I cubed the butter and put it in the freezer before my massage (YOLO). When I got back, I threw the flour, salt, and sugar in a blender. I added the (previously frozen) cubes of butter to the mix and blended some more. There is nothing strategic behind my using a blender except that I don’t have a food processor or mixer. Once combined, I added the ice water until it looked like it would stick together (less is better). Then, wrapped it in saran wrap and threw ‘er in the freezer to chill.
For the filling: I cored, peeled and chopped the apples, then combined with the sugar, lime, cinnamon and nutmeg. Once combined, I baked at 375, stirring every 5-10 minutes. I just kept cooking it till it was soft to bite into, probably 30 minutes total.
Up until this point everything was dandy. I pulled the crust out of the freezer and rolled it out into a somewhat rectangular shape to start my coiffing. Dividing the crust in thirds, I cut the outside thirds into somewhat even strips. I added my filling to the middle, then kriss-krossed (make you wanna!) over the filling. Still looked good. Ready for a trip south? Cause that’s where this is headin.
It all went to shit when it came time to move the concoction to the pan. Why didn’t I put the crust on the pan before adding the filling? I don’t know, great question. Why didn’t I pre-bake it slightly so that it wouldn’t immediately soak through the crust? I’m not sure, but I actually don’t think that would work anyway…how would you criss-cross the top later if you had pre-baked it?
Ultimately I decided to slap some more butter on the top and carry on… I figured it works for restaurants (anything with 2500 calories per bite has to be good, right?), why couldn’t it work for me?
While I don’t know for sure, I imagine one of the best parts of having kids is getting to blame hack jobs like this on them. Johnny was crying, I was late picking Seth up from soccer practice, then I got a call from school saying Jenny was sick and bam! Half the pie collapsed on me. But I don’t have kids, I just failed.
So here’s where I went wrong:
- I’m not even sure I used real flour in the crust. I used something Kumar bought called Alta MultiGrain. So I mean, idk, maybe.
- I don’t have any measuring spoons, so when I say 3/4 tsp, I mean that I pinched off what looked like a non-disgusting amount of salt, and so on.
- Idk what I was thinking trying to move a soggy apple log from the counter to a pan. Total BJ – botch job, that is. Next time, assuming there is a next time, I’ll move the crust over to the pan before cutting the slits and adding the filling.
- I need to either let the filling cool, or work faster. The top of the log was going fine, but when I got to the bottom it had started to get all wonky on me. I think letting the filling cool to room temp is a safe bet.
In the end it was edible, which is more than I can say for those piece of shit Granny Smiths before I added sugar’n’spice and somewhere under 500g butter. Better luck next time.