When I started my photography blog back in May it was initially just to serve the purpose of being a place to show film photography images that I take. I had no idea that through blogging I would meet and create relationships with other photographers I respect and admire such as with Megan Fizell and her creative blog FEASTING ON ART. What she does is marry some of my favorite subjects: Art, food, and photography. The concept is simple, she takes a painting or piece of art with food in it and recreates it through photography and then uses the ingredients as inspiration to create a recipe of her own. I never miss her always inspiring posts and neither does my appetite. It was much to my happiness when she emailed me about doing a collaboration. One painting, two recipes. She will create the main dish and I the dessert (can’t complain there). Two different perspectives on one piece of art.
Our inspiration: Paul Klee’s Still Life with Four Apples
I loved that Megan picked a painting that is in the MoMA’s collection here in New York and fits so wonderfully with the fall season emerging and to me, a very nostalgic piece which I draw inspiration from in my recipe.
My favorite thing Megan does is her photographic recreation of the art. It’s her soft, simple, clean, and quiet style but you see the essence of her inspiration and the creativity of old and new. When I look at her work and what she created based on these paintings I always wonder what would I have done and how would it be different from hers? So I asked if it would be ok for our collaboration if I could also do a photographic representation of the painting. I think it’s fascinating to see what two people will do with the same subject based on their style, taste and vision.
In my recreation I wanted to get as close to possible to the dark and warm feeling I get from the painting. His still life to me feels like something I would see every fall, as if my mom had always put out a bowl of green apples on the table when the leaves turn. I wanted to not only capture that nostalgia but push the limits of the camera into a world unlike it’s own—as close to a painting as I could get without touching a brush. I used a marriage of two separate exposures, one for the darkness the other for highlights, building the image in layers. Megan photographed her version of the still life you can see here.
My Baked “Fried” Apple Pies
Now we eat! It goes without saying, we’re using apples here. Megan created the main course of Apple & Red Onion Sauerkraut with Wiener Schnitzel in which she writes about her recipe and inspiration on Feasting on Art. I wanted to draw off the nostalgic vision and carry that into my dessert recipe to compliment her dish. When I was little growing up in Texas my grandma used to make fried pies for us and I can still remember watching her crimp the edges of the raw pies with a fork so with that in mind I created Baked “fried” Apple Pies.
For the pie crust:
2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 chilled lemon -juiced
10 tablespoons COLD butter cut in small cubes
1/4 cup ice water
For the filling:
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider
1 teaspoon lemon juice
zest of 1/2 a lemon
2 tablespoons honey
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the Tops of formed pies:
1 Egg beaten with a tablespoon of water
For the Dough:
Cut cold butter into small pieces and then return to the refrigerator while preparing the dry ingredients. Mix all of the dry ingredients and then add the butter. I use my hands but you can also use a food processor or pastry cutter to mix butter into the flour. When ready there should be pea size pieces of butter throughout the mixture. Add 1/4 cup of very cold water and the lemon juice to the flour and butter mixture mixing well. Do all of this quickly and don’t over mix, you want the butter to stay cold. When all of the ingredients are mixed in it should form a ball and does not crumble apart. If it crumbles easily add more water. Form dough into a ball and cover in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for about 1 hour while you make the filling.
For the filling:
Cook all filling ingredients in a large saucepan over medium heat 5 minutes; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes or until apples are tender. Stir in about a tablespoon of flour toward the end of cooking time to thicken the sauce. It needs to cool completely so in the mean time start rolling out your mini-pie crusts.
Making the pies:
Take the dough out of the fridge and pull apart about a palm size amount of dough and roll it in your hands to form a ball (should be about 2inches in diameter). On a floured surface and with a floured rolling pin begin to roll the dough into a circle dusting with more flour if it sticks to the rolling pin. You want the final size circle to be about 7 to 8 inches in diameter. Here I cut designs into one side of my pies, you may choose to omit this step. Take your cooled filling mixture and put about 1/4 a cup of filling into the center of the dough circle. Take your egg wash and brush around the entire edge, this will help seal the pie. Fold over 1/2 and press edges together. Then take a fork and press around the edge to give it a decorative feel (I can still remember watching my grandma doing this in her kitchen). Put on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and brush the tops with the egg wash and take a pinch of raw sugar and sprinkle on top. I like to cut designs into my pies when they are rolled out but if you choose not to here is where you would pierce the top of the pies with a fork to create vents. Place in a 375 degree oven for about 20mins or until golden brown.
Great to eat while hot with some vanilla ice cream or packed away as a snack at work!
Thank you so much Feasting on Art for the fun project and a prefect way to slip into the look, smell, and taste of Autumn in New York.