Gateway Gazette

Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: The Apple Edition

By Reena Nerbas

Soggy Apple Pie Crust

Dear Reena,

Whenever I bake apple pie, the crust ends up with a soggy texture. What can I do to prevent a soggy crust? Mavis

Dear Mavis,

Before you bake your next hot, apple pie, cook the apples slowly first over low heat for 15 minutes. Add sugar to the apple slices; doing this will extract some of the juices, and make the crust less soggy. Choose Granny Smith apples, they are perfect for apple pie. Another trick is to peel and cut the apples, and then place them in a bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice, brown sugar, white sugar, salt, nutmeg (optional) and cinnamon (according to the recipe). Leave at room temperature for one-two hours. This allows the apples time to release their juices. Strain the liquid before adding the apple mixture to the crust, let apples drain for 15 additional mins. Continue to follow the recipe as directed.

Storing Apples

Dear Reena,

What is the best way to store apples? I store mine in a fruit basket on the counter, and if one gets a bruise, the rest are rotten within a few days. Linda

Dear Linda,

You are right; contact with one rotten apple will spoil the entire bunch. If you are planning to store apples for an extended, period of time, wrap each unwashed apple individually with a piece of newspaper and store inside a box, in a cool dark place such as the basement, refrigerator or your pantry. The newspaper is intended to prevent apples from contacting one another, thereby protecting each apple. Bruised apples should not be stored for longer than a few days, either use them right away or make them into apple cider, apple pie filling or applesauce. If the apples are to be eaten within a few days, store them in the fridge, away from carrots and potatoes.

Apple Tea?

Dear Reena,

My absolute favorite drink is tea. I have several apples in my cold, storage room, and I am wondering whether you have a great tip for making tea from apples? Thanks, Bernie

Dear Bernie,

Absolutely, here is a simple recipe for making Homemade Apple Tea: Into a pot combine 3 cups of water along with one apple, cut into cubes. Some people like to add a tea bag to the mixture, but this is optional. Boil for 10 mins. Strain the liquid into a mug, and add one or two cinnamon sticks and one tbsp. honey. Another option is to use orange peels instead of apple cubes, or combine both apple and orange peels with water; boil and strain.

Appleicious Tips of the Week

  • Revive old apples by peeling and cutting them into chunks. Soak them in cold apple cider or juice for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Submitted by: Alex

  • I used to pack my child’s lunch with one apple each day, but day after day I noticed that he ate everything except the apple. I asked him why he never ate the apple, and he replied that it took too long, and it was difficult to eat with braces. Here is a trick that I used to make apple eating simple, and faster. Use an apple corer to pull out the core, the apple will now have a hole in the center. Slice the apple horizontally several times, into quarter inch pieces. Place the core back into the hole. This prevents the apple from browning, and holds the apple pieces together. At lunch time, my son would remove the core, and eat each circular piece of apple with ease. Submitted by: Anna

Note: Every user assumes all risks of injury or damage resulting from the implementation of any suggestions in this column. Test all products on an inconspicuous area first.

Reena Nerbas is a popular motivational presenter for large and small groups; check out her website: reena.ca. Ask a question or share a tip at reena.ca

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