I am going to share my links first, because I HATE having to scroll through a person’s life story just to get a to a recipe –

I followed this apple pie recipe, and the second link is my GO TO flaky crust recipe, though mine is modified now (for reasons listed below).

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/12682/apple-pie-by-grandma-ople/

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/24094/butter-flaky-pie-crust/

While the pie crust recipe is gold on it’s own, a knowledgeable friend taught me to cut the water with vodka (it cooks out) and for personal reasons, I no longer use butter in my recipes. I personally love allrecipes.com because they allow for reviews, and even the best recipes have rated comments where someone tells you what they did differently. I cannot smell. I rely a lot on what other people say works for them.

But to disclaim on the vodka and the butter…

I no longer drink. Which is a simple personal note of sorts. I at first advocated that drinking helped me get past my social anxieties when it instead magnified my anxiety and depression. So I cut it out. Simple as that. But for temptation reasons (I have the self restraint of a toddler) I no longer keep alcohol in the house. So while vodka does wonders for a flaky pie crust, I no longer use it – but it’s a fantastic tool.

I also TRY to not use animal products. This is a phasing out period where I am sure to slip at times, but I realized lately that I know far too much about the practices used to render animal products to use them. I do not judge others for what they do – that is their business. I can only speak for what I do. And while in the past I have LOVED my animal products (bacon, cheese…any kind of meat, really, and eggs, the list goes on…) I am choosing to no longer partake in them.

What does this mean for pie crust? You didn’t ask, but I’ll tell you anyway!

Recently at a gathering of sorts I experimented with gluten-free, dairy-free pie. What better time to experiment than when you’re with a large group of people in which you do not know half of them??? I don’t make good decisions, and if you do not know this about me, you will soon find out. I was told they turned out ok, but I am always suspicious of overly nice people. The point was to make a non-discriminatory pie, and that objective was achieved.

I’ll tell you that I LOVE this coconut spread and re: the last 3 pies I’ve made, I’ll swear by it (in place of butter). Now, nothing spreads like butter, but if you’re going to swear off animal products, this is the way to go –

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Behind it is my trusty hand-processor. I’ve dreamed about an electric food processor, but as far as inexpensive things go, the hand processor does the trick. When making pie crust you want to use a mechanical device because your hands will warm the butter (or butter substitute) and you want it to stay cold to make the crust flaky. If you replace half the water with vodka, it also cooks out, leaving for flaky, delicious crust.

Where I made the gluten-free crust, at the wonderful gathering of people I did not wish to disappoint, I learned that while Bobs Mill makes a wonderful gluten-free pie crust powder, it does not spread….Especially when combined with non-butter. You kind of patch it together in the pan. But everyone can eat it without dying. And that’s always a plus for me, when people don’t die eating my pies. So yay. This pie I made tonight, the crust spread fine with the coconut spread and the gluten-saturated flour, so that was cool. I just like knowing how to officially do both.

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Apple pie is a classic. And for good reason. It’s delicious. The “ople” version listed above entails simmering a sugary mess to pour over it, which in this case, lead to the “caramelizing” on top. Caramelizing is a euphemism for “it looks like I fucking burned it” but I’m told it is a good thing. By overly nice people. Can’t trust em 🙂

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How did it turn out? We shall see. Between you and me, I can’t smell and think a lot of things are fine. My kids will put up fights for the weirdest stuff but devour pies. So I can safely say it is officially a pie and it will disappear tomorrow as they’re all in bed already, but I got some stress baking out of the way, and it helped.

My next blog will cover the last year, and I just might have a drink for that, though I’ve sworn it off, because….2016, right? 2016 was a year filled with firsts for me, and half of them were great.

Random Movie Trivia: If you have not seen the movie Waitress GO WATCH THE MOVIE WAITRESS. Keri Russell. Nathan Fillion. PIES. And in a vein of dark news, the director (a woman, pictured in the featured photo, on the right) played a waitress in the movie, and her daughter was an extra at the end. She was murdered tragically in a random incident of violence before the movie made it into Sundance. See the movie for many, many reasons, including the fact that it’s great, but also see it because she wrote it and directed it.

PS: I need an apron

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