The deer crisis in my backyard has already been recorded on this blog. As it stands, the tomato plants are nibbled to almost nothing (two tiny green tomatoes cling yet to life and my hope is that they grow large enough for at least one batch of baked fried green tomatoes this summer). The apple tree, though it fruited, awoke one morning naked, all her apples born away in the night.
The tree was a gift from my mother-in-law, because transparent yellow apples just happen to be my husbands favorite. They also just so happen to be a fairly hard apple to come across. They also get snatched up rather quickly in locales in which they exist, not including being purloined by deer in the night.
He was so excited at the prospect of turning his very own apples into pie, but it was not meant to be this year. To buck himself up, while last in Michigan, he stopped at the orchard near his Mom's place and bought a peck of his very favorite apples.
Last week, we turned those whole apples into pie-sized slices with the help of an apple-coring kitchen gadget I bought with a Williams Sonoma gift card I got at my wedding shower. If you do not own said kitchen gadget, you should probably run out and grab one. It does in seconds what takes me minutes to accomplish.
The husband and I approached the apple slicing as an assembly line. He did the peeling and I did the slice/coring. Due to the one-side-fits-all nature of the corer, though, some flesh often got left behind on the core, so I started cutting it off for the husband and I to sample while we worked.
All I have to say is: wow. I may have a new favorite apple. Yellow Transparents are a hint sweet with an overlay of tart for a not-sour-in-a-Grannysmith way sour that just tastes delicious. It's supposed to be the ideal baking apple, and I'm here to tell you, it's a pretty darn good apple to eat raw too.
After all the apples were cored and sliced, we put them in freezer bags in 2-and-a-half cup increments. Then, in the freezer they went, and there they will stay until we decide to make pie. We then spent an hour deciding which pie recipe to use, his mom's or my mom's, both of us siding with our own maternal creator. This is not a debate that will ever end fruitfully, so to speak. He'll probably win out, though, mostly because he'll probably be the one who bakes the pie.
And as we all know: the one who bakes the pie, selects the recipe.