When I saw The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall recommended by Christianne on Little Page Turners a few weeks ago, I knew I needed to track it down at our library to read to the kids. When you have as many apples in the house as we do...apple books...and apple pie are in order. This book had cute illustrations...including birds and cats which makes it a winner in Sweet Pea's book. The text is simple enough that Firecracker can read it if we're there to help her with the harder words.
Now I have to confess, I am not personally a huge fan of cooking with kids. That's not to say that I don't let them help...I DO...but I certainly don't let them help as often as they would like...and probably not as often as I should. So planning an activity like making apple pie from scratch with a 3 year-old and an 18 month-old is an exercise in patience for me, and a bit of a major undertaking. (I think it took us around 3-3 1/2 hours start to finish.) I thought about making the crust myself ahead of time...but I knew rolling it out would be Little Brother's favorite part, so I just bit the bullet and we did the whole thing.
We made a double batch. I figured if I was going to pull all the stuff out and make the mess, we may as well make one for us, a little one for each of the kids, and a small one for Little Brother and Sweet Pea's super awesome nursery teachers at church. (They help Little Brother make "cherry pie" from playdo nearly every week.)
Now if you're not up to backing the whole pie from scratch, you could make the pies and then have your kids help you make little decorations from the scraps to go on top. This is actually what turned out to be Little Brother's favorite part.
You roll the dough out like you normally would, cut out shapes with cookie cutters. I used a pumpkin shape to serve as an apple...it kinda worked. Little Brother saw the bat shape and insisted on using that one. Then we added color by brushing them with egg white before baking them. Then the directions said to "glue" them onto the pie with some caramel ice cream topping, but we just left them loose since we didn't have it. (Recipe at the bottom.)
Firecracker was happy to be greated with her own little pie when she got home from school.
And it almost made Little Brother happy when he woke up from his nap get his little pie. (Don't let the smile fool you, he still had a full blown tantrum before actually consuming the batty little pie in front of him...I guess that's what happens when you take a late nap because you were busy helping your mom bake pie.)
And Sweet Pea's favorite part was definitely the crispy apple "cookie" on top...oh, and helping add ingredients along the way.
Egg White Glaze Recipe
1 egg white
1 tablespoon cold water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Mix everything together except the food coloring. Divide into seperate bowls depending on how many colors you need and add food coloring. Brush the tops with the glaze. Then the directions say to let them dry and brush them with glaze again. We just did it once.