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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Stewart

Big Bright and Golden

It’s impossible to describe the last several weeks to you in only one short blog… so many special moments in this family. Feelings of joy and laughter. Fear and excitement. Closeness and pure love. Not only did my son start kindergarten, which is craziness all in itself, but my sister got married as well. My big sister. And over the last several months we’ve been talking about it, preparing for it all and here it is… these both monumental moments have gone and passed. And now we are just reliving it all. My son is dominating his class… making friends (girlfriends too) like a boss. And my sister and I just keep talking about the day. The rain. The people. The flowers. Her dress. Oh my gosh her dress!!!

The full moon has to be blamed for the unbalanced emotions of the late… Im grateful for that big bright circle in the sky. Regardless of it’s fluctuation of our hearts. And the weird things it does to our Earth. I stare at her quite often when she stands big and bright. Her presence reminds me to live in the moment. And THAT, I have been trying to do more often.

Which brings me to my next Play On Project pairing. First, my recipe, a 35 year in the making recipe. Apple Pie. If you know anything about me, you’d know that I love pie!!! I love making pie. I love talking about pie. I love smelling and looking at pie. And best yet, I love eating pie. Each step for me, in making a pie is a labor of love!! And I cannot wait to share with you this labor of love recipe! And this incredible song!!!


By: Me

Pie Crust:

· 2 ½ Cups Unbleached Flour (Plus more for rolling)

· 1 Tsp Salt

· 6 Tbsp Salted Butter

· 2/3 Cup Vegetable Shortening

· 6-8 TBSP Chilled Vodka

Pie Filling Ingredients

· ⅓ cup packed brown sugar

· ⅓ cup cane sugar

· 1 tablespoon Cinnamon and Cardamom

· ¼ teaspoon sea salt

· 4 pounds good baking apples, such as Granny Smith or Honeycrisp, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

· 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

· 2 tablespoons cornstarch

· ½ teaspoon lemon zest

· ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

· 1 large egg

· Coarse sugar, optional


1. In a large pot, whisk together the brown sugar, cane sugar, Cinnamon and salt. Add the apple slices and lemon juice and toss until the apples are evenly coated in the sugar and spices. Set aside for 30 minutes to draw some of the juices out of the apples.

2. In a small bowl, stir together 2 tablespoons of the water and the cornstarch until smooth.

3. Instructions in the pie crust recipe to roll out the bottom crust, leaving at least a ½-inch overhang on all sides of the pie plate. Place a baking sheet on the rack and preheat the oven to 425°F with the baking sheet inside it.

4. Meanwhile, make the top crust. Use the same method to roll out the remaining pie dough into a large, ⅛-inch-thick circle.

5. Assemble the pie. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and the remaining 1 tablespoon water. Set aside.

6. Gently roll the top crust over your rolling pin, then unroll it over the filled pie. Press the excess dough of the top and bottom crusts together to seal, then trim the dough so that there is a ½-inch overhang on all sides of the pie plate. Tuck the dough under itself so that the edge of the dough is in line with the edge of the pie plate. Crimp the dough with your fingers or a fork. You can also do a lattice pie crust top which I did!!

7. Brush the top crust with the egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar

8. Place the pie on the hot baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375°F and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and any visible juices are bubbling. If the crust is getting too brown before 45 minutes, tent it with foil and continue to bake.

9. Allow to cool completely before slicing and serving, at least 3 hours.

When I started to bake my apple pie this time, I contemplated what song I should listen to while In the kitchen. And the very first band that popped in my head was one of my favorites, My Morning Jacket. A band I thank my friend, Paul, for introducing me to. He played me their song, The Bear, from the Album It Still Moves and to this day it is my absolute FAVORITE song of theirs. Oof…. So Good. But this weeks Play on Project pairing is their song GOLDEN. But the same album, this song just makes me so happy. His voice. The instruments. My heart fills up with joy just thinking about this song, my sister, my son, and the full October moon.

I think baking pie in the kitchen always makes me think of Family. That feeling of closeness whether it’s a holiday, a family dinner, or just baking together in the kitchen. A past-time I loved and still love to do with my mom and sister. This season of really big and yet wonderful changes... whether it’s my son growing up and going to Kindergarten or my sister meeting the man of her dreams and getting married… or even the bright beautiful Harvest Moon in the sky. Life keeps going. And we just keep going with it. And in my life, these incredible special moments are just “Golden.” Thank you Jim James for your music inspiration this week. And thank you Moon. May you continue to shine so bright so that we all may follow…

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