MATSUNOSUKE - Akiko Hirano's Pie & Cake

Cake Diaries


January - Apple Pie Healing
The Bitter Cold of New England

February - Chocolate Brownies
Valentine’s Day

March - Maple Syrup Cheese Cake
Massachusetts Maple Syrup Factory

April - Boston Cream Pie
Boston and Boston Bags

May - Giant Decoration Cake
The Star of the Graduation Party

June- Bake Sale
Labor, Reward and Fun!

July - Strawberry Shortcake
Independence Day

August - Cranberry Bread
Farmer's Market

September - Muffins
Memories of a College Student

October - Punpkin Pie

November - Indian Pudding

December - Fruit Cake

January: Apple Pie Healing - The Bitter Cold of New England

January in New England is cold. Where I was in northeast Connecticut, it was different each year but it was anywhere from minus 10 to minus 20 degrees in the mornings. It was zero degrees around the middle of the day and somehow felt warm. It’s times like these that the warmth of the indoors is appreciated.

Practically every house has central heating offering a warmth so bright that just taking one step inside is enough to make any flower bloom. If the house isn’t kept heated 24 hours a day the water pipes freeze and burst causing major problems

Due to the high latitude it starts to get dark around 4:00 p.m. I pull open the frozen door of the car and get in and drive while taking care of the snow drifts and icy roads as I head home. Upon arriving back at home I always say to myself I’ll never go outside again!

What I look forward to on a night like this is baking a hot apple pie. As long as you have the ingredients and utensils it isn’t in the least bit difficult or troublesome.These kinds of American sweets were made by the pioneering housewive labourers with their limited time and resources.

Cut the apples into large pieces. Brown sugar, not white sugar, is best by far. Use a bit more cinnamon and other spices that Japanese would normally use. Place it all in the oven and take your place on the sofa to relax.

All the while my small apartment begins to fill with the sweet warm fragrance of the apples and sugar melting into each other. When I open the oven and am greeted by the golden baked pie I can’t help but grin like a mother welcoming home her long-lost child.

By this time I am not wearing my thick sweater as I reach for the vanilla ice-cream from the freezer and spoon it on to a generous slice of hot pie.

The cold and the hot mix together, the vinegar taste of the apples together with the strong brown sugar melt into the softness of the cream. With every spoonful I think to myself … I am leaving myself to be healed by the apple pie after a cold hard day.

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