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Birthday Pie!

(post, Neil Nathanson)

My wife requested birthday pie instead of cake last week.  I don't know what possessed me, but I decided to try to bake my own.  There actually was an Apple Pie recipe on culinate right at the same time.  I considered it, but decided making my own crust was too ambitious for a first effort.  I ended up going with the premade crusts that you buy at the grocery.  I searched the internet for a recipe that uses orange juice for the liquid because I remembered that being the "secret ingredient" both when I made pie in 7th grade chef shop and for my grandmother.  The recipe I found called for cooking the filling in a sauce pot before filling the pie and baking.  My biggest challenge was deciding how long to bake especially because I started rather late at night.  The pie crust box had one suggestion and the recipe another.  I tried to follow the recipe which called for a lower baking temperature, but it had no time, just bake until the crust is golden brown.  Unfortunately, I was falling asleep and the crust still didn't look quite right.  I knew that if I didn't pull it out, however, it would end up burnt as my eyes were closing.  This turned out to be the right decision.  The crust may have been a little al dente - but it was fine, and certainly better than burnt!