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Springtime apple pie

I could blog that springtime inspired me to decorate a pie with flowers on it. But, really, I'll use anything as an excuse to decorate a pie. Of course it doesn't hurt that our garden is bursting with vibrant red and yellow tulips, sunny daffodils and other little blooms I don't know the name of but adore nonetheless. So, with the scent of fresh cut grass breezing in through the open kitchen window this long weekend, I got to work on some pie making and decorating.

I used Granny Smith apples in this pie. I love their tart flavour and they hold up well during baking. Some people like a mushy apple in their pie, but I'm not some people. A little lemon juice ended up in the filling too because I had to keep starting and stopping and I didn't want the apples to brown while my kids needed to be fed, changed, held, and told to "stop sneezing on your brother." 

Because pie decorating involves some additional handling of the pastry, I made a vegetable shortening dough that would be able to handle the extra hands-on time. After rolling the top crust, I cut some flower stem shapes into the centre to act as steam vents before draping it over the apples.

Making the pastry and the filling is mega fun. But the real party begins when the food colouring comes out of the baking cupboard! I've decorated many pies over the years, but I don't think I've ever done flowers before. I settled on pink, yellow, and blue petals with green leaves.

Once the dough was coloured and shaped using my thumbs and index fingers, I set them in place on the pie and used a knife to create detail in the petals and leaves.

I absolutely love how simple presses with my knife bring those little green diamonds to life! Before the pie went in the oven, I brushed it gently with milk and sprinkled it with shimmery white sugar.

It came out of the oven flaky and golden with apple and cinnamon filling bubbling up through the flower stem vents. I wish the flowers in the garden were this tasty!

A pie with flowers on it sure is pretty. But no pie is too pretty to eat! 

What did you bake over the long weekend? Got any pie making tips you want to share? Leave a comment and let's chat pies!