Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 8:11AM
It is without reservation in stating that my favorite fictional character of all time is John Locke from LOST. Expertly acted by Terry O'Quinn, Locke offered endless depth, surprise and intrigue while other characters within the show grew stale. In Locke's coming out episode in Season 1, Walkabout (portions of which I have memorized), we learn that the Island, much like Locke himself, is not what we may have initially believed it to be. As an obsessed fan, I'd always look forward to the Locke-centered episodes: his flashbacks were always the richest; his hikes throughout the island would always yield some fascinating surprises; his creepy ways would keep the entire crew of castaways (and viewers) on edge.
Locke was always looking for the answers on the island, and in life. A restless soul, John Locke (until his death at the hands of Benjamin Linus) was always getting under others skin with his sinister smirks and talks of "destiny" in being the sole culprit as to why the castaways were brought the island. But, hey, wouldn't you be a bit spiritual if many of your real life constraints had been cured by a plane crash on a deserted island?
Locke's storyline, as people who have viewed the show know, was full of heartbreak. For some reason, I always felt for the guy (his inability to accompany the rest of the gang on the Walkabout, always gets me). And in those trying times, maybe Mr. Locke would appreciate some of Mom's Apple Pie.
For me, this is my absolute favorite thing my Mom makes. My Dad and I often hide portions of it in dark corners of the refrigerator for later. When a slice of it is on my plate, there is truly nothing else that enters my mind. Crispy golden apples, cradled by a crackling, yet slightly soft crust; it is the highlight of my Thanksgiving meal.
So if there is one fictional character that deserves a slice of Mom's Apple Pie, it is John Locke. No need to worry about hunting razorbacks, Johnny, I got you covered.
Here's the recipe:
CRUST – What You Need:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2/3 cup butter (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons)
1 egg yolk
CRUST - What To Do:
Mix the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until the texture is grainy. Mix egg yolk with 2 tablespoons cold water. Gradually add to the dough. Chill for at least 1 hour. This can be made 1 day ahead and kept in the fridge.
FILLING - What You Need
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
7-9 Golden Delicious apples
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
FILLING - What To Do:
Peel and slice apples. Place butter and sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until caramelized. Add apples and cook for about 7 - 10 minutes stirring to keep the sugar liquid. Dilute cornstarch in 3 tablespoons water and add to apple mixture. Cook until thick. Remove from heat and add cinnamon. Let cool.
TOPPING - What You Need:
3 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
6 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
TOPPING - What To Do:
Put the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in the butter with a fork until dry and crumbly. Store in the fridge until ready to use.
Put it All Together:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll out your dough and line a 8" springform deep dish pan with the dough. Add apple filling and sprinkle on the topping. Bake until pastry is golden and top is golden - about 45 minutes - 1 hour.
* Note #1: For the filling, you must caramelize the sugar (it will turn brown). When you add the apples, the sugar will harden, but it will become liquid again as the apples heat up.
** Note #2: For the crust, the less you handle it with your fingers the flakier the crust will be. You can roll out the dough between 2 pieces of wax paper if you like. If you dampen the counter top underneath the wax paper, the paper will not slip as you roll the dough.