I've done this with all my children. The year before they start kindergarten I keep them at home and do our own preschool. We have a lot of fun and can work at any pace that suits us. This "home school" is always supplemented by a "joyschool" with our friends of the same age. It's funny how some of us have done it through the years; always having children around the same age.
Well, this year is Gracie's turn. At home, we always begin the school year by learning about apples. It's a great theme to jump start learning. In joyschool, we always begin with the letter "A"...naturally leading to apples:) The children have a great time together and learn some fun things in the process.
So, all this apple stuff has me in the kitchen wishing fall would come a few weeks early. I have some apples and some time to bake...how 'bout some pie? Last May, I participated in a dessert auction at our church. My contribution was a Pie of the Month club. The winner of the auction would get a pie each month for a whole year. It's been fun to bake the pies and know the money is helping the youth program. This month's pie is apple, so I got to work. I rarely ever make anything for someone else without making it for my family, too. Two pies at once is not that difficult. It's really as easy as, well, apple pie. OK, lame joke:)
5 or 6 large apples, preferably Granny Smith and Fuji
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
1/4 cup flour
3 TBSP butter, cut in pieces
Double pie crust
Roll one half of pie dough to fit pie dish, lay in dish and trim the crust. Peel, core and cut apples. I use the Apple Peeler, Corer, Slicer from Pampered Chef. It's such a great tool for this pie. Toss the cut apples with lemon juice in a large bowl. Add sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and flour. Toss together in bowl. Pour into pie dish. Dot with the butter. Roll out other half of dough. Carefully lay on top of pie. Trim, seal and flute the edges. I use leftover dough scraps to make cut-out appliqués for the top of the pie. Cute, huh? Cut slits in top of pie. Brush the top crust with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 375* for about 45 minutes or more. The pie juices should be starting to bubble from the crust when done. Be sure to have a baking sheet or piece of foil under the pie as it bakes. It could get messy. Let cool on wire rack. Inhale deeply. Good, isn't it?