My trusty copy of The Settlement Cookbook has a chapter called “ Grandmother’s Puddings”. That chapter includes homey favorites like kugels, pies, puddings and compotes.
All this week I have been reading a terrific book, Inside the Victorian Home, by Judith Flanders. If you, like me love reading about the history of domesticity then read this book. Aside from making it clear how lucky we are to be living in modern times ( it’s so clean, modern medicine is so great!!! )
That book and the weather made me feel ready for an autumnal dessert. If I were making this dessert in a purely Eastern European fashion it would be a compote of apples and pears. If I were doing this in a purely American way it would be a straight pie.
Instead, this is a bit of a hybrid. I made a dough in my food processor. I started out thinking I would make an oil crust…but decided at the last minute to throw in an egg and a bit of baking soda, so I think it will be a cakey- base. Ok, if you want actual ingredients…about a cup of flour, 3/4 C oil , 1/2 tsp salt and a T of sugar, some cinnamon and some vanilla all pulsed a few times in the food processor. it made for a gloppy batter which I put in the bottom of my pie plate. I then sliced up two big apples and a tired pear in the food processor, piled the fruit on top of the dough sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon and baked until done.
I will throw this pie into back into the oven to heat while we are eating dinner.
And this is the only specialized piece of bread making equipment that I own. I use it to get the kneading started, to scrape the dough off of my counter and to lift the baked loaves off of the baking pan. You can bake bread without it, but it makes things so much easier. You can buy a plastic one if funds are tight. This wood handled metal one feels nice in the hand and looks pretty. I think it will set you back around $10.