To CELEBRATE the Release of My Valentine’s Day Novella, Two Hearts One Stone, I thought I’d take a second to bring you right into the story. This way, even if you can’t live it, you can at least taste it. 😉
When I wrote this piece, I pictured something so delectable, it was absolutely impossible for poor Henry to resist. Immediately after finishing the story, I had the strongest apple pie craving I have ever had. I have since been on the hunt for the perfect apple pie recipe. These are my findings, and I thought I would share.
First: You need the perfect crust
To every pound of flour allow the yolk of one egg, the juice of one lemon, half a saltspoonful of salt, cold water, one pound of fresh butter.
Put the flour onto the paste-board; make a hole in the centre, into which put the yolk of the egg, the lemon juice and salt; mix the whole with cold water (this should be iced in summer if convenient) into a soft, flexible paste with the right hand, and handle it as little as possible; then squeeze all the buttermilk from the butter, wring it in a cloth and roll out the paste; place the butter on this and fold the edges of the paste over, so as to hide it; roll it out again to the thickness of a quarter of an inch; fold over one-third, over which again pass the rolling-pin; then fold over the other third, thus forming a square; place it with the ends, top and bottom before you, shaking a little flour both under and over, and repeat the rolls and turns twice again as before. Flour a baking-sheet, put the paste on this and let it remain on ice or in some cool place for half an hour; then roll twice more, turning it as before; place it again upon the ice for a quarter of an hour, give it two more rolls, making seven in all, and it is ready for use when required.
Then you need the perfect filling:
3 pounds apples
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup light molasses
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter (dot filling top)
- Prepare the pastry: Roll the pastry and line a 9-inch pie plate with the bottom crust. Roll out the remaining dough for the top crust. Chill the pastry.
- Preheat the oven to 400° F.
- Prepare the filling: Pour the fresh-squeezed lemon juice in the bottom of a large bowl. Add your lemon zest to the bowl. Peel, halve and core the apples. Be sure to remove seeds. Slice them evenly and slim into the bowl, coating them with the lemon juice as you go.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the sugars, molasses and spices. Add them to the apples just before you want to bake the pie, mix gently. Adjust sugar to taste as needed.
- Scrape the filling into the bottom crust, dot with butter and cover it with the second crust. Trim and crimp the crust; chill the pie for about 10 minutes in the refrigerator. Cut vent slits in the top crust. It is your option to sprinkle it with sugar or brush the top with egg wash.
- Bake the pie on a baking sheet for 10 minutes at 400° F or until the crust looks dry, blistered, and blonde. Turner the oven down to 375°F, and bake for at least 45 minutes more or until the crust is golden brown, and visible juices are thickened and bubble slowly through the slits in the top crust. Check if the bottom crust has darkened. If not bake a little more and cover the top crust, so it does not burn.
- Cool the pie completely before cutting at least a few hours or warm in an hour. Store the pie uncovered in a cool place up to three days.
Henry Moscow doesn’t believe in love. At least, not anymore. Not in the crude sense of hearts, flowers, ribbons and bows. But in the small town of Churchgrove, love is one of the things they LOVE to celebrate the most.
Caught up amidst the chaos of Churchgrove’s annual Valentine’s Celebration, Henry bids on the company of a woman at the Annual Courtship Auction to save her from embarrassment, and wins.
Now he’s saddled with a boisterous companion that he does not want, Churchgrove’s notorious Miss Hadisham.
Miss Emily Hadisham owns Churchgrove’s only dress shop. She works her fingers to the bone to design beautiful gowns for young women who think, like their parents before them, that she is a witch. Emily makes use of herself in the only way she can and tries to stay out of the public eye. That is, until February the 14th. Sick of her life of utter and complete loneliness, Emily throws caution to the winds and takes a chance to find her happiness.
Henry Moscow isn’t what you would call the ideal partner, but Emily is determined to make him into one, whether he likes it or not.
Two Hearts One Stone
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