Sometimes a pie is just a pie. I need one for a special occasion, so I bake it and eat a slice or two. End of story. However, one day while I was coated in flour and cinnamon, I noticed a correlation between my stress level and baking habits and came to the following life-altering conclusion:
When I’m frazzled, I bake pies, and the higher the anxiety, the more complex the pie.
Profound, I know.
Cream pies represent a moderate stress level because they are are slightly less difficult to make. They don’t have a top crust and don’t require cutting fruit into uniform pieces. I’m particularly fond of black raspberry cream pie.
However, this pie probably shouldn’t be relegated to the less-complex category because of the sacrifice required to pick the berries. A gallon of bug spray and full-body armor are necessary tools if one wants to avoid bites and scratches while harvesting the key ingredient.
My go-to recipe is my family’s French apple pie. Because it takes approximately an hour to construct, it’s perfect for reducing high levels of stress. By the time I finish slicing, rolling, and stealing samples of the crumb topping, my worries ebb to minor annoyances.
Today, in preparation for Thanksgiving, I will be in the kitchen constructing my favorite stress-reducing pie. And in spirit of helping you lessen your holiday anxiety, I offer up my family recipe.
French Apple Pie
Single unbaked piecrust for a 9-inch pie
¾ cup of sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons minute tapioca
6-7 cups of sliced apples
Let the apples stand for fifteen minutes. Then put in unbaked piecrust and dot with butter.
½ cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
Then cut 1 cup of flour into the butter and sugar mixture. Sprinkle the crumbs on top of the pie. Bake at 400 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Cover with foil halfway through baking time if the crumb topping becomes too brown.