~ Isaac Asimov
Is there anything more quintessentially autumn in New England than pulling the first layer of wool over your head on a bright, brisk day; stomping through the crunchy, golden leaves on a well-worn path in the woods; smelling the faint but memorable scent of chimney smoke from an old colonial farm house, and sitting down to a mug of hot apple cider and a slice of cinnamon apple pie?
I love autumn in New England. And I know those of you from far away love it too. We love the colors and the cozy feeling of warmth that stirs within when we see it in pictures or remember it from our childhood.
Can you imagine New England without autumn? Thanksgiving without apple pie?
Did you know that over the last century, average temperatures in New England have risen between 2 and 4 degrees? If this trend continues, scientists predict that autumn will disappear completely by the end of the century and New England’s climate will change to be on par with Atlanta, Georgia.
Did you know Gala, Fuji, Red Delicious, Macintosh and our bright red, bouncy cranberries require nearly 1000 hours of temperatures below 45 degrees each winter to produce good fruit in the summer and fall? By late this century, the expected temperatures will be too warm to grow apples. Worse yet, cranberries are headed for extinction within 50 years.
Did you know warmer temperatures slow down tree sap flow making it difficult to extract maple syrup for our pancakes? In fact, if temperatures continue to increase, our beloved maple trees will disappear forever.
Are you ready to say good-bye to pancakes drenched in rich, amber maple syrup, sweet and crumbly cranberry muffins or a big helping of Thanksgiving apple pie? Do you want your grandchildren to experience these tastes?
We are at a unique moment in history. We can save the apple pie.
This December, world leaders will gather together in Copenhagen to negotiate a global response to climate change. We need the United States to take the lead on this important issue. Please join me and tell President Obama to step up and take action in Copenhagen. Contact your Senators and tell them to do the right thing. Add your name to the Blog Action Day petition. Afterall, this post is for Blog Action Day.
And of course, bake an apple pie.
Maybe…just maybe when we’re old and gray… we’ll be able to sit down by the fire and share a warm, hearty slice of homemade apple pie with those we love most…and savor autumn in New England.
Harvest Apple Pie
Brown Sugar Crust (crust by Chef Bo Friberg)
285 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
225 grams light brown sugar
370 grams bread flour
Preheat oven to 350
Place the butter, brown sugar and egg in a mixing bowl. Mix at low speed using the dough hook attachment until just combined.
Add the flour and continue to mix until dough comes together. Do not over mix.
Refrigerate until dough is workable.
Roll out dough into pie plate. Dock with fork and place in refrigerator for about 20 minutes. Line with pie weights and pre-bake for about 10 minutes.
1 handful dried cranberries
1 handful raisins
1 tbs. Grand Marnier
62 grams white sugar
23 grams brown sugar
1 tbs. flour
1 tsp. lemon peel, chopped
1 tsp. cinammon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
5 or 6 medium apples, peeled and sliced
2 tbs. butter
Soak cranberries and raisins in Grand Marnier for about 20 minutes.
In separate bowl mix sugars, flour, lemon, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour over apples. Add soaked fruit and stir.
Add filling to pie crust, dot with butter and bake about 40-50 minutes depending upon oven. (Cover the crust with foil to prevent burning).
Let cool and cherish each bite.
Jess, you truly are an inspiration to us all. Way to go!