Learning To Cook Reluctantly: Let’s Talk About Pies And How Great The Devil Is

I mean, right?

I also listen to The Devil Goes Down To Georgia a lot, but it always makes me sad, because can you imagine how humiliating that would be? To be the Devil and lose to some random guy named Johnny? I mean, losing a fiddling contest as Johnny would be fine. It would be fine, because, whatever. It would be like showing up some place with two black eyes and someone chuckling and saying “I guess you lost to the other guy!” and you would stare at them for a second and say “Yes, the other guy was, literally, the Devil.” It would be fine. But the Devil getting into a contest against Johnny. Jesus. As the Marquise de Merteuil would say, “Humiliating if you fail, and commonplace if you succeed.”

Why did the Devil make such bad choices? Hubris, probably. Why can’t he just be happy? Why can’t he just ride his cool bicycle and be happy?

Poor Devil.

Also, real talk: I think the Devil is better. A lot better. I think the contest is fixed. Listen to the Devil’s cool little solo here, and then listen to Johnny.

Every time I listen to this, I think, “Maybe this is the time the Devil is going to win.”

He didn’t win the last time, while I was baking this pie. But maybe next time.

So, that is what I do while making pies. I listen to country music and root for the Devil.

I also cook things. Here’s a recipe I found for sour cream and apple walnut pie:

3/4 c. sour cream
1 lg. egg
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. all purpose flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
3 lbs. tart apples (Pippins, Granny Smiths or Greenings) peeled, quartered,
cored and cut in 1/4 inch thick slices (10 cups)

1/3 c. all purpose flour
1/3 c. packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 c. cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 c. (2 oz.) walnut pieces, chopped coarse

To make filling: Whisk sour cream and egg in a large bowl until blended, whisk in sugar, flour, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg; stir in apples. Spread in pie plate, mounding mixture in center.

To make topping: Mix flour, sugar and cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in walnuts. Sprinkle evenly over filling, then press down lightly. To bake, place oven rack in center of oven; heat to 400 degrees. Bake pie 50 to 60 minutes until topping is dark brown and apples are tender when pierced. (If topping browns too quickly during baking, drape a piece of foil over pie). Cool on wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 8 servings.

There’s also a lot on how to make the crust, but I’m not going to tell you that. You want to know how to make the crust? Go to the grocery store and buy a pre-made pie crust. A lot of people will be snobby about how you should make your own, but you know what? People who make pre-made pie crusts know what they are doing. Those crusts are delicious. You are not Keri Russell in Waitress. Get the pre-made crust. They work perfectly well for your purposes.

I will say, the 3 lbs of apples? That’s 7 apples. They will take 7 years to peel and chop. Not really. But it will take about an hour and a half, if you use an apple peeler. Apple peelers are great. I tried doing this recipe once with a regular knife, and I almost chopped off my finger and it took longer.

Buy an apple peeler. Worth it. Here.

I mean, honestly. I am saying that and I still don’t have a pan. So! An apple peeler! You have one, now, for peeling 7 apples. Here’s what that will look like:

sliced apples

Everything else is pretty straightforward.


Double the crust topping recipe. I don’t know. I’m loath to contradict recipes, but I had to double it to get enough to cover the pie. When I did double it, it worked really well.

And go for 50 minutes, not an hour. I did an hour and it came out just a tiny bit too well done. Like this:

But still. It is a pie. It was good! I am off to go get impregnated so I can name a child Lulu, now. Don’t worry. If he’s a boy, I will name him FiddlePlayingWinnerDevil. Or Johnny. Whichever.

Share This Post:
    • BeccaTheCyborg

      I love baking pies and making pie crust, but because I am a soulless citybeast, any glow I have comes from moisturizer. Also, you’re totally right about the Devil. His solo was unarguably better.

    • kjon

      Maybe I’m alone here but I like a slightly overdone crust – looks delicious! “Seed of Memory” by Terry Reid is first on my cookin’ playlist.

      I have a quick question that I hope someone can help me out with. I really want one of those Kitchenaid stand mixers but it’s a little pricier ($300-$500 for the nicer ones) than I’m willing to spend. Is there a suitable alternative? Or are those Kitchenaid ones undisputedly the shit? I’m willing to go there if it’s worth it!

      • Tania

        I use just an electric hand mixer for most things, except pastry. I still do that by hand, because otherwise the dough would get tough.

        I’ve been baking for years, and I’ve never had a stand mixer, and everything’s turned out great. It probably makes things easier, but not by enough for me to be willing to spend a few hundred dollars!

        Hand mixers, on the other hand, are like $15 at Walmart. Easy choice!

    • Emily

      there is actually an AMAZING new book out called “United States of Pie” that looks into the sociology of pie. Plus recipes. I highly recommend it.

    • Ashley Cardiff


      • Jennifer Wright


    • Lindsey

      “Handsome doctor” instead of “handsome daughter?” Nathan Fillion… Mmm. I would eat a Nathan Fillion themed pie.

    • Melanie the Constant Reader

      Using a store-bought crust is the difference between happy-humming-I’m-bakin’-pie and KILL-ME-NOW-THIS-IS-NOT-WORTH-IT. For me. I’m sure the vast 2 inches of counter space in my city apartment kitchen has nothing to do with the frustration.


    • MR

      I like pie, but hate Country. What does this mean you have in store for me? I like the way the picture flashes off and on on this below. Long Live Rock. :)