I have plenty of talents and I'm really not a bad cook so I'm not sure why I've never mastered pie baking. Maybe I gave up too easily when my pies ended up with the lattice crust floating like flotsam on a soupy apple sea. For years, I did everyone a favor by ordering pies from a local bakery at Thanksgiving until my younger son fortuitously married The Crust Whisperer.
Leading up to Thanksgiving, we think it's completely reasonable to practice on as many pies as possible -- those apples aren't going to cook themselves into a warm, buttery crust, after all. Whether you stick with the classics or experiment with something new, grab a fork and dig in.
Kathy came from a home where my aunt made everything from scratch, even brioche French toast. My mother was most comfortable reaching for an easy fix in the freezer and had a whole comedy routine about it. She called herself "The Swanson family's best friend."
It's way easier than it looks.
So as much as I love making pies at home, I try not to have entire full-size pies lying around because, as much as I try to convince myself otherwise, they won't last more than two days. Pie for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, midnight snack... you get the idea.
They're worth a trip to Knoxville, TN.
It's apple-y and buttery, with alluring vanilla and brandy aromas if you've added those ingredients.