Pi Day!

Today may be my favorite of all the made up holidays! For me, when I think of pie, I think of all the places I've traveled so far and the uniqueness of each of those respective regions... when it comes to pie.

There is no shortage of types of pie, I could go on like Bubba Gump did about shrimp. Making a pie is a labor of love and you'll almost always find that the baker has great pride in his or her pie recipe, especially the crust. The crust. For some, this is the most important component of a slice of pie. If you do a little research on the history of pies in America, you'll quickly see that there was a time where home bakers were judged within their community based on the lightness of their pie crust! This seems absolutely absurd now but it's true, you had heavy crust and apparently you were shunned from the church potluck dessert tables.

Fredericksburg has several locations that offer delicious pies, but my very favorite pies are those that come out of a home kitchen, they are perfectly imperfect and reflect the time and care of the baker.

Our family has three favorite pies: Apple, Pecan & Blueberry. I'll be sharing them all with you this week, starting with the Apple. Making this pie in a cast iron skillet causes something magical to happen to the bottom crust, it turns into a near fried toffee. Trust me, it's crazy good. Enjoy.

Skillet Apple Pie, Adapted from a Southern Living recipe

2 lbs. granny smith apples
2 lbs. braeburn apples
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. flour
1/2 c. unsalted butter
1 c. firmly packed brown sugar, light or dark
1 package of pie crust or homemade crust (top & bottom)
1 egg white
2 tbs. sugar (granulated is fine but I prefer raw)
Ice Cream (absolutely necessary, not optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Peel apples and cut into 1/2" wedges. Toss apples with 3/4 c. sugar and cinnamon and flour.

Melt butter in a 10" cast iron skillet oven medium heat, add brown sugar and stir for 1-2 minutes until combined. Remove from heat and place one pie crust over the sugar mixture. Spoon apple mixture into the crust and top with remaining crust. Press down around the edges to attempt to push the top and bottom crust to meet. Whisk the egg white until foamy and brush the top crust. Sprinkle with 2 tbs. sugar and cut several slits in the top to release steam.

Bake for an hour or so until the pie is golden and bubbly. Shield if needed to prevent burning. Cool pie for about 30 - 45 minutes before slicing. Serve with ice cream.