My ken to cook is weak these days. A full-time job and feisty 3-year-old will do that to a girl (honesty, I don't know how Smitten Kitchen does it).
Anything I do cook is geared to be easy, convenient, as nd forgiving. For example, the apple pies I've been baking.
It all started this fall. We were invited to an apple picking party at a friend's place, and left with several gallons of fresh-pressed cider, and about a bushel of apples.
Good fun all around.
My standard for apple season is to do apple sauce: roughly halve them, skins, seeds and all, and stick them in my biggest stock pot, cook low and slow until they are soft, stirring sometimes, then running it all through my food mill. I sweeten, salt, and season back on the stove, cooking it down a bit more if it's too watery.
This year, though, I was going to be out of town for a a week very soon after our excursion. And, as much as P 2.0 loves applesauce, we weren't going to eat it all in short order.
So I tried pre-cooked pie filling. The recipe I Googled seemed easy enough: sliced, peeled, cored apples, sugar, cornstarch, water, and spices. Cook it until the apples break down a bit and the cornstarch thickens up. Then spoon into bags snd freeze.
Two months later, I had the chance to make a pie for a Christmas party, and it came out pretty great. It didn't quite set up how I'd like, but it was pretty, and tasty. For shell, I went with store bought. For topping, I did an oat brown sugar crumble, using a base of Instant flavored oats (the one with the Pacifist on the box), adding butter, and extra brown sugar.
My success with this may have me try other make and freeze things. And, if they're really good, blog about them. Time will tell.