Steak, Stir fry, Soups, and Pie

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Olivia approached me the other day and said, “Dad, will you teach me how to cook more stuff?”

We’d done some simple work with scrambled eggs and things in the past.  I really enjoy teaching my kids how to cook.  It’s a great life skill, and isn’t my job as a parent to teach my children how to be independent?  I told her to spend some time thinking of some things she’d really like to learn.  Make me a list, I told her.  She came back with:

  • Steak
  • Stirfry
  • Soup
  • Pie

This was going to be more interesting than I thought.  I’m not sure exactly what I had in mind, but this wasn’t it.  For starters, she had seen a picture of a lattice-top pie on the cover of a magazine, and had become intrigued. 

I went to the internet and found such a recipe.  It involved making a homemade pie crust.  I’ve never done that before, but hey, how hard can it be? 

We tweaked the recipe a little bit.  Mostly because the crust was waaay too dry with the little bit of water suggested, and also because I couldn’t imagine putting lemon peel in a pie.  Maybe I’m foolish.  I may never know for sure. 

lattice-top apple pie,

Beth and Gabe working on the lattice.

lattice-top apple pie,

Liv, brushing on some milk and adding a pinch of sugar.

It turned into a lovely family affair.  Turns out Gabe loves the math and science of adding fractions and blending ingredients.  Liv is a whiz with a rolling pin.  Beth was the genius behind weaving the crust together to look so pretty.  I was reduced to supervisor, and guy-who-cuts-up-apples.  There’s something pretty awesome about the family working together towards a common goal in a warm kitchen covered with flour and smelling of memories past.  We’d gotten some fresh Cortland and Macintosh apples from  a local orchard, so our ingredients were about as fresh as they could be.  We made the dough for the crust ahead of time, mostly because we’re too busy and the kids go to be too early to make a crust, wait two hours, then build a pie that takes nearly an hour and half to cook – all in one evening.

lattice-top apple pie,

The BEFORE apple pie


Here’s the recipe, brazenly stolen from the internet, but changed just enough to make it mine, and feel less like plagiarism.  It’s pretty basic, and I bet you could experiment with different apple types/textures until you found your favorite mix.  Ours came out great! 

Lattice-Top Apple Pie

Serves 6
Prep time 2 hours
Cook time 1 hour, 20 minutes
Total time 3 hours, 20 minutes
Allergy Milk, Wheat
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Gourmet, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
This recipe should remind you of when you were a little kid in Grandma's kitchen.



  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 stick unsalted butter (cut into pats)
  • 1/3 cup Crisco (chilled and cubed)
  • 8 tablespoons water (ice cold)
  • 1/4 cup milk (for brushing crust)
  • 1 pinch white sugar (to sprinkle on crust)


  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or, the juice of one half lemon)
  • 3lb apples (sliced thin. we mixed Cortlands and Macs)


This is a pretty straight forward apple pie recipe, but the lattice-top gives it that little something extra.  Experiment with different textures of apples for a different experience.


Step 1
Blend flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. We used a Cuisinart with a dough blade
Step 2
Add butter and shortening, blending until it looks like meal. We pulsed.
Step 3
Add ice water, and let 'er rip. It should form up into a nice ball of dough in 30 seconds or less.
Step 4
Divide dough into two balls, flatten into patties, wrap in plastic, and chill in fridge for at least 2 hours - will stay good for 2 days.
Step 5
In a large bowl, mix all other ingredients (except the apples), then toss in the apples to make sure they're good and covered.
Step 6
Roll out the first dough into a thin crust, making sure to leave a little room over the edges of the pie plate (9 inch plate)
Step 7
Fill the pie with the apple mixture
Step 8
Roll out the second dough. Cut into 1" strips, and weave them over the top of your filling, crimping the ends with the bottom crust.
Step 9
Brush the crust with a little bit of milk and sprinkle with pinch of sugar
Step 10
Bake for 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce heat to 375 until juices are thick and bubbly, and/or crust is golden brown. Approx 1 hr, 20 min total.
Step 11
Let cool on a wire rack for an hour or so before cutting and serving


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