I've been lucky enough to see two of my favorite TV personalities live in the last week. It's super cool to see people you watch on TV every week who are, in my case, incredibly personable in real life. First up: Donald Glover. If you haven't watched Community, go watch it, right now. This is a preview of Troy (Donald) and his BFF Abed, including Troy and Abed in the Morning. Anyway, Donald came to KU, and I went to see him with my friend Jon, who started me on the show. He was hysterical, and his standup act was incredible. And he came back to do an encore, which he said he'd never done before. That was the coolest, because he answered questions from the crowd, did the biblioteca rap and even told us he'd ask if he could wear a KU shirt on the show. He's my new favorite person.
And then on Monday, I saw Bobby Flay! He is easily my favorite celebrity chef. I've been to both his Mesa Grill restaurant in Vegas and Bar Americain in NYC, twice at each. And they're both amazing. Flay came to speak about his new Bar Americain cookbook, which has some pretty awesome-looking recipes in it (I plan to make his red velvet cake for my birthday this weekend!). He was also incredibly personable, which great. He talked about how he was a high school dropout, but still succeeded in the culinary world. He told some great stories, like how his wife, who is known for her role as a ADA in Law & Order: SVU, wakes up at least three days a week craving chicken. And how he learned so much in Jonathan Waxman's kitchen in one of his early jobs. I can't wait for more episodes of Throwdown with Bobby Flay to come on!
So for some reason, I had a huge desire to make apple pies this month. It started with this one. Apples are in season, but I've always sucked at crusts. I've made a few with Aunt Betty, but they always ended up less-than-round and falling apart. So I decided to challenge myself and make a basic Joy of Cooking apple pie, with Kelly's assistance. I made and rolled out the crust and used an apple cookie cutter, and actually got it round and flaky! Apparently all that practice helped. It was awesome. So I'm no longer afraid of pie. Which meant Aunt Betty and I decided to make three more.
This was the first of three pies I made with Aunt Betty last weekend on our most recent baking extravaganza. The original plan was to only do two, but hey, why not three? This is a cheddar-crusted apple pie courtesy of Martha, which I've always wanted to make. I'd never eaten cheddar with apple pie till Cathie, who always paired the two. They're actually a really great combo — the salty of the cheddar offsets the sweet of the apples. So in the crust, it's a perfect match. The cutout top was made with this awesome crust cutter I just got.
The second pie of the day, and third overall, was an apple crumb pie, another Martha recipe I've always wanted to make from her Baking Handbook I got for graduation. It's got an almond crumb crust and a whole bunch of apples underneath. You slice the apples so they look pretty, like you can see in the photo at the top. Interestingly enough, this sliced the nicest of all the pies. Definitely a different take on a classic.
The last pie we decided to make on a whim: apple cider pie. We used Louisburg Apple Cider, the local favorite from the mill I visited a couple weeks ago. This filling was actually my favorite, I think because the cider gave it a really tart, pronounced apple flavor. Pair this filling with the cheddar crust, and I think I'd have the perfect apple pie. I'm definitely trying it soon.