Thursday, August 27, 2015

Shaker Apple Pie

All right, so this isn't a presidential recipe per se, but a while back I posted a recipe for a Dolley Madison cake that called for rosewater as an ingredient. Intrigued by the idea of rosewater usage back in the day, I did some research and found that it was a common flavoring in sweets back then as vanilla wasn't yet a thing.

I also learned that the Shakers, a religious utopian community best known for their furniture, were also known for making high-quality rosewater. This further intrigued me because I'm from Shaker Heights, Ohio, a city named for a Shaker community that used to reside there (but was long gone by the time the modern-day city was incorporated). I also learned that the Shakers made an apple pie with rosewater, and I love pie. I mean seriously, I love pie.

It was only a matter of time, then, before I made a rosewater-apple pie of my own.

In true Shaker fashion, the recipe is very simple. Google Shaker rosewater apple pie and you'll find
tons of recipes, but most of them are exactly the same. You'll need:

Tart apples (I used 6 Granny Smiths)

2/3 c. sugar (I used a bit less because I like keeping it tart)

1 tbsp heavy cream (I used half-and-half because I didn't have any cream, and neither did my corner drugstore)

1 tbsp rosewater

You'll also need two pie crusts, of course. I cheated and used Pillsbury because, as much as I love to bake and as much as I love pie, I hate rolling things out.

Preheat oven to 350.

Core, peel, and slice the apples and dump into a large bowl.

Add the sugar, cream, and rosewater, and mix together.

Pour the mixture into the bottom crust, top with the top crust, and seal and crimp the edges. Slice a few vents into the top. I brushed a bit of cream (okay, half-and-half) on the top crust before venting.

Bake about 50 minutes. (You might want to set the pie on a foil-lined baking sheet to catch any spills.) Cool, slice, and enjoy.

What does this pie taste like? It tastes like a garden. Like a lovely English garden or something.

If you have a hankering for a traditional, cinnamon-laden, thick and hearty apple pie, you might be disappointed. Instead, this pie is light and delicate. The word that kept running through my head as I ate it was, "Delightful. Delightful. Delightful." This isn't a pie you'd serve at Thanksgiving (I mean, you can. I don't want to stop anyone from eating pie at Thanksgiving--or ever), but if you're having an elegant outdoor tea party in June...oh my god, make this pie. Or anytime. Even at Thanksgiving. Like I said: eat pie.

I'm actually going to recommend against topping it with whipped cream like I did. My 6-year-old said the whipped cream made the rosewater flavor disappear, and I agree. The flavor is so delicate that the whipped cream sort of overwhelmed it. But the whipped cream would melt at the tea party anyway.

1 comment:

  1. Sooo many jokes about keeping it tart.

    Must... Resist...