The topic is food—again. This time it’s my mom’s applesauce pie, something I haven’t thought about for many years.
It was Dad’s favorite, a simple concoction that made the house smell wonderful and passed that warm, homey feeling into our hungry bellies once it came out of the oven. Once in a while, Mom would even let us have a piece before dinner. My Sisty Ugler and I were convinced that we had pulled the wool over Mom’s normally all-seeing eyes and made her think we were simply eager to get our daily ration of fruit. Oh, the ignorant bliss of childhood!
The pie is as easy as you can get, really. Just mash up graham crackers between sheets of waxed paper (one of the more pleasant kid jobs), mix the crumbs up with some sugar and melted butter, and push it into a pie plate. Fill the shell with homemade applesauce—Pippins, sugar and cinnamon—and sprinkle some more of the crust fixin’s over the top. Pop it in the oven until your taste buds are crying out and the topping is just trying to get brown on the top.
Mom would always let the pie sit on top of the stove for a few minutes to “set” so she could make neat slices. “Neat” was never high on our list of priorities when it came to Mom’s cooking, and especially when it came to applesauce pie. As far as we were concerned, the proper way to serve it would be to dig out a good portion, put it in a cereal bowl, and pour some cold milk over the hot pie. Heaven!
Let me say here that ice cream, as you may have guessed, is a perfectly acceptable substitute for the milk; however, when one is trying to present a case for pie-before-dinner, ice cream has less chance of success than good, healthy milk.
I can’t quite remember when Mom stopped making the pie. She may have served it to us long after we were grown and gone, but it’s not a thing I can specifically recall among the hundreds of meals she fixed for us over the last fifty years. There was too much good food, too many memories to latch on to any one thing.
I’m going to make the pie. I hardly ever see Pippins in the store these days, but I suppose Granny Smith would do just fine. I could even buy the graham cracker crumbs in a nice sanitary package, but where’s the fun in that? No, I’ll pull out the waxed paper and the rolling pin, and if the texture is not quite uniform when I’m done, it’s okay. It will be perfect. Maybe I’ll call my sis and we’ll share pie and recollections of the mom who put sweetness in our growing up.
I’ll see you again, after the commercial.
If you want the actual recipe, leave a comment. I’ll try to measure for a change and post it for you.