When I was younger, one of the first things my grandmother taught me how to bake was an apple crumble. Everyone loved it! Every holiday seasons, she would have me sit for what seemed like hours just peeling apple after apple to make the many crumbles she needed to feed the 20-30 cousins who would be attending holiday dinners. The smell of sugary cinnamon apples and buttery crumble would fill the air and all would be right in the world.
After my grandmother passed away, no one could quite get the crumble to taste just right so my mom found an alternative. Chudleigh’s Apple Pie! No, it was not the homemade masterpiece that my grandmother used to bake but it was a close second. It became a tradition, every Sunday before Thanksgiving, my family and I would go apple picking at Chudleigh’s farm. We had a routine. We would wake up and all climb into our van. Then we would drive the hour or so to the farm. Hunger would kick in and so when we arrived we would head straight to their little food counter where their options consisted of basically roast beef sandwiches, turkey sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, or some lettuce thrown into a bowl which they called a salad. Our order was always the same: Four hot roast beef sandwiches – one for each of us – hot apple ciders to drink and an apple blossom on the side. Getting the food was the easy part though. Finding a seat is where things got tricky. We would lurk around the few tables, stalking the many patrons and hoping that maybe that family who seems to be just sitting around while their children run rampant and screaming by the garbage cans will get up and go. Just as we are about to give up hope, the dad takes his last sip of cider and walks off with children in tow. My sister and I run in and snatch up the table and lunch can begin. We scarf down the sandwiches and warm up our hands with the hot cider, all while trying to avoid the many bees that buzz about our heads. Then comes the good part – the apple blossom! Warm flaky pastry, so buttery and sweet, filled with the ooey-gooey apple pie filling that we have come to know and love. No scarfing of this dessert. We would take our time and savor every single bite. That is until Mom got bored of waiting and told us to hurry up before we missed the tractor. In seconds flat the blossoms would be devoured and we would be on our way to the orchards.
Snatching handfuls of bags, we would excitedly rush to the back of the tractor and sit on the ground with our legs dangling off the sides. Waiting patiently for the very last stop, we would pass the time talking about all the awesome things we would make with our apples. Coming to a halt along the rows of yellow awesomeness, the driver would yell “GOLDEN DELICIOUS” and we knew it was time for us to hop off. Running through the rows of apples, we would find the best looking tree, and pluck an apple to taste. If the apple was bad we would toss it aside and move on. If the apple was good, we would pick the tree clean…and move on. Over and over again this process would go until our bags were so heavy we thought our arms would break.
With our loot in tow, we would walk back in to the farm and head to the Chudleigh’s store. My mom knew exactly what she wanted, leading us straight to the freezers where she would grab two frozen apple pies. Always one to have extras stashed away, these were pies meant for the freezer to have on cold winter nights later in the year. On our way to the cash, she would grab two more apple pies (non-frozen) and a pumpkin pie that were intended to end the Thanksgiving feast we were sure to have the next day.
As a grew older, our trip to Chudleigh’s also turned in to a trip to Andrew’s farm where we would go wine tasting and pick up some deliciously fruity ice wines. Then, after the apples had been picked, the pies had been bought, and the wine had been drunk, we would drive home to begin our night of Thanksgiving dinner prep. Prep would turn into a days worth of cooking that culminated in an artery-clogging meal fit for a king. Of course, no Thanksgiving meal was complete without the pie a la mode and though we would give it our best efforts, we never quite finished those two apple pies.
Tuesday morning would roll around and I would stumble into the kitchen sleepy-eyed and hungry. There it would be, last night’s dessert – sitting on the counter and just waiting to be enjoyed once again. Nothing else seemed like it would quite satiate my hunger like that delicious slice of heaven so pie for breakfast it would be. I mean, honestly, can anyone really resist such a tempting treat? With such breakfasts like that, it should be no question why I have a weight problem.
Hold on though, is there a way I can have that pie for breakfast without worrying about the effect it has on my waistline? DAVIDs certainly tried to accommodate that dream when they introduced Mom’s Apple Pie. Mom’s Apple Pie was a limited edition tea released in DAVIDs 2013 fall collection. It is described as a calorie-free treat meant to evoke childhood memories of the classic All-American dessert. Made with green tea, apple pieces, cinnamon, natural and artificial flavours, DAVIDs had made a tea that hopefully would give me the to have my pie and drink it too.
I have had a perfect teapot package of this tea for a couple of weeks now – perfectly measured to fit in a 4-cup teapot. So last night when my brand new glass teapot (bought here: http://www.theshoppingchannel.com/Grosche/Tea-Coffee-Service/Grosche-Vienna-Infuser-Teapot/pages/productdetails?nav=R:685892) arrived, I decided I would finally be having some pie for breakfast. When I woke up, I excitedly ran upstairs in anticipation of the awesome flavor experience to come. I plugged in the kettle and got ready to brew my tea.
When I opened up the package, (found here: http://www.davidstea.com/perfect-teapot-packs-moms-apple-pie?&TF=&DEID=) first thing I noticed was the sweet apple smell. The aroma was closer to a candied apple than apples you would find in pie. Not what I had anticipated but delicious smelling nonetheless.
When I took a closer look at the leaves, the big chunks of apple caught my eye. Mixed among a field of green, I was excited to see how the tea would turn out. I dumped the whole pack into my infuser and was ready to go.
The perfect teapot package is already measured to fit perfectly into a 4-cup teapot. I dumped in the whole package and poured boiling water over the leaves. Immediately, the apple pieces plumped up and the tea leaves expanded.
It did not take long for the tea to work its magic. Almost instantly, the water turned a shade of yellowish-green. It looked as though I were making apple juice.
After three minutes of brewing, the tea was ready and it was time to remove the leaves. The apples rehydrated, coming back to life. The leaves doubled in size. Now filling more than half the infuser as opposed to the mere quarter of space the dry leaves took up. I hoped this would translate into one flavorful cup of liquefied apple pie.
With my tea brewed and ready to drink, I delighted in the treat that was sure to come. Smells and looks are great when it comes to tea but what everything boils down to is the taste. I have tried teas that smelled amazing and tasted like s***. On the other hand, I have loved teas that I could barely stand the smell long enough to take a sip. So how did this tea compare to its namesake counterpart?
This tea did not quite deliver on the apple pie it promised. There was no buttery crust, no cinnamon spice, no sweet apple goodness. However, it did evoke memories of my childhood – the taste was reminiscent of the caramel apple lollipops my grandmother would give me as a child. The kind you get in the dollar store that tastes like a tart apple candy coated in chewy caramel deliciousness. Unfortunately, this tea didn’t have the sweet caramel that that lollipop always benefited from. Instead I was left, a little disappointed, with just tart apple flavor mixed with slight vegetal notes courtesy of the green tea. Not horrible but far from the pie I was hoping for. Sorry DAVIDs but this is one tea I won’t be buying again.