My husband’s April birthday guarantees that every spring, I’ll be making some kind of fruit pie for him. Last year it was cherry chocolate, the year before lemon supreme, the year before that…I have no idea but I’m sure it was delicious. Our shared love of food is one of the many things that brought my husband and me together over twelve years ago. We both love to cook and we both love to eat but we can never seem to agree on the best desserts. I prefer cake, cookies, and ice cream and every day of the week he prefers fruit pie. Several months into dating he announced that he loves any kind of fruit pie, and while pie isn’t my favorite dessert, I make a mean apple pie. Homemade crust and everything.
Anyway, the first year we were dating, like my main character Simone in my debut rom-com You’ve Been Served, I wanted to impress my new boyfriend with my cooking skills. So for his birthday, I bought a tree’s worth of Granny Smith apples, a bag of frozen mixed berries, and enough sugar, flour, and butter to stock a small bakery for a week. I was going to make him the best apple-berry pie I’d ever made. It was going to be juicy and cinnamony and tangy and all things that make a perfect apple pie. Plus, it had berries so it was going to be extra special.
My whole house smelled like cinnamon, apples, and butter, and when I took the pie out of the oven, it was flawless. I set it down to cool and went about making the rest of the meal I had planned for him. Now, all these years later, I can’t even remember the meal I made. I only remember the pie and how much my husband raved about it. He ate at least two slices and devoured the rest over the next couple of days. I was immensely impressed with my baking skills.
Fast forward several years and several pies later. We were having dinner with my dad and his wife and they brought out apple pie for dessert. My dad’s wife also makes an amazing apple pie. We’d had a large meal so when my husband refused dessert, I assumed it was a result of an over-full stomach. We planned to be there for a few more hours so I thought my husband would have a slice of pie later in the evening. He didn’t. Everyone had been raving about it and I was shocked he was willing to miss out so when we were back in the car on our way home, I couldn’t help but ask why he didn’t have any pie, especially since he’d mentioned he wanted a snack when we got home.
Imagine my surprise when he announced that he didn’t really like apple pie. In fact, he said it was his least favorite pie and he’d rather have no dessert than eat most apple pies. Mind. Blown. Of course, I thought back to that first apple pie I made him. Either it was the best apple pie he’d ever had or he didn’t want to tell the woman who’d spent hours preparing and baking a pie that he really, really disliked it. To this day, I choose to believe it was a pie so mouth-wateringly delicious that it turned my apple pie-hating boyfriend into, well, my still apple pie-hating husband.
Try the recipe below!
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
8 tbsp salted butter
½ cup ice water
Put all ingredients except ice water into a food processor and pulse until crumbly. Slowly add the cold water until the dough combines. Split the dough in half, wrap each half in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour. Roll out when ready to use.
8 cups Granny Smith apples cored and cut into squares (peeled or unpeeled is chef’s choice)
2 cups of frozen mixed berries, thawed OR fresh blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries
¾ cup sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp lemon juice
¼ cup flour
2-3 tbsp of butter
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out dough and add to pie pan. Combine all pie-filling ingredients except butter in a bowl until the apples are fully coated. Add filling to the bottom pie crust. Add butter on top of apples and berries. Roll out the top crust and place it on top. Pinch the edges to seal and use a sharp knife to make 3-4 small slits in the top of the pie. Bake for 60-70 minutes. Remove the pie and cool it on a cooling rack for at least an hour. Slice and enjoy!
Legally Blonde meets Jasmine Guillory’s The Proposal when a young Black woman leaves her career as a chef and starts law school on the whim of a Magic 8 Ball.
Releasing June 27, 2023
Kristen Alicia has been an attorney, a lifeguard, a real estate agent, and very briefly, a valet, but most importantly, she has always been a storyteller and lover of words. When she’s not helping her two rescue dogs fend off her rambunctious toddler or binge watching Great British Bake Off with her husband, Kristen loves to read all the books, especially kissing ones. She also enjoys falling for the characters she’s created, traveling with her family, and trying as many new restaurants and recipes as she can.
You can follow Kristen on Instagram, Twitter, and check out her website to stay up to date on the latest news!
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