(這篇文章特別獻給我敬愛的Bill Knight。中文版載於英文版之後。)
(This article is dedicated to my beloved Bill Knight of Melbourne.
 Chinese version follows the English version.)

For me, apple pie has a very special and profound meaning.

I always remember Bill ----
the old man who is so lovely, so sweet, so happy, and so optimistic, and apparently does not look old at all.

I never knew Bill before, but he walked with me through my hardest time when I lost my first love.

His life is full of sunshine and has encouraged me to move on and embrace the brightness.


It was the year when I graduated from the University.

It was the day I submitted my last academic paper, that I put an end to my irredeemable relationship.

Leaving was too difficult, so I chose to take a large step.

I exiled myself to the Southern Hemisphere, longing to live a while in another world.

I prayed that the strangeness of another country and the unfamiliarity of another language can pause the grief in my world.


There was a host mother in her 60s living in Melbourne receiving overseas students.

Betty's house was full of guests so I was introduced to her boyfriend, Bill.


Bill drank coffee like water, reheated bacons in the microwave oven as usual snacks, ate loads of butter, and smoke cigarettes.

Watching me eating and drinking in such a careful and disciplined manner,
and hearing my Chinese way of chattering of a healthier life,
Bill broke into laughter and said brightly,

"What's the point? Fat or thin is not decided by how you eat! It's in your genes!
 My children's mom is big and fat.
 My children give up butter, give up fatty meat, eat lots of veggies, and they are big and fat!
 Me? I eat fatty meat, drink full cream milk, and spread butter on my toasts for decades! See I am still thin!
 And, I am in my 70s now, it's not too far from death, what is the point of giving up delicious things?
 If I can't have them from now on, I would rather die now! Hahahaha!"

Well it was making sense.

The generousity and openness was like a ray of sun. It gleamed in my heart.


In the second evening of my arrival, Bill drove me to Betty's house and we had dinner together.

They were confused to find that I travelled such a distance to their country and did not have any plans.

I told them the reason of my journey. The tears I had been holding back all the way overflew.

Betty held me in her arms. "Will I survive?" I cried in despair.

"Of course you will. Of course you will." said Betty, patting me gently.

I continued to fight back loneliness and endure the pain with all my might in the days followed.

Bill did not say much. But when we were driving through wide fields one day and I was gazing out of the window, he suddenly spoke,

"At least you are trouble-free now."

He would never know the power of that little sentence.

I walked on my life remembering these words of wisdom.
When I was attacked by bitter yearnings and traumatic memories later, I was strong again very quickly with this line.


We had been living together for nearly 2 weeks.

We ate our meals together, went to the supermarket, watched the TV, and danced together.

There are so many pieces of memory in my mind, all precious and unforgettable----

I remember the photos he took, the coins he collected.

I remember him showing me a large map of Melbourne in the first night of my arrival, pointing at different places.

I remember the spacious room he prepared for me, and the guitar, mirror, and electrical heater inside.

I remember he managed to get me a thick coat, as I forgot it was winter in the Southern Hemisphere.

I remember he brought me to many places in his red old car.

I remember him driving me to Betty's home, so I could eat and chat and play cards with international students.

I remember him taking me to a wood with numerous birds, and how he looked when he fed them.

I remember he and Betty prepared a picnic lunch then drove me to find a horse-riding course, as I loved riding so much.

I remember the zoos, the city centre, the supermarkets he brought me to visit.

I remember him taking many photos of me playing. The photos are proofs of happy moments in times of life's darkness.

I remember he said to me "You must have stuffed animals all over your bed at your home."
When I felt so surprised and asked "How do you know that?" wide-eyedly, he laughed,"Ha! Ha!" and replied,"Everyone can imagine."


And I remember him teaching me to make apple pie.

One day Bill came back with a batch of green apples.
He poured them into the kitchen sink, threw me a peeler, and let me peel the dozen of fruits.

At that time, I was a pathetic fellow who did not even know how to peel an apple.

I used to use a knife at home to cut away the skin of apples, along with some part of the flesh, stupidly and slowly.

And I never knew how to use a peeler.

Looking at the hard green fruits lying in the freezing cold water, I was a bit blank.

But the numbness from breakup helped.

I took a deep breath and started intently.

One by one, one by one, and one by one......

The peeler slided and hit my finger. I checked ---- no cuts ---- then continued.

Then one by one, one by one, and one by one, I finished all.

No complaining about coldness, or pain, or boredom, or difficulty,
I quietly and tranquilly lived with my grief and complete my task.

I always think back on the apple-peeling scene in the following days and years.

The little experiences pushed me to grow and mature gradually.

I hope Bill is happy for me, and proud of me.

I hope he knows he has inspired me so much.


On the day I left, Betty and Bill hugged me goodbye.

Bill lifted me up and said, "Why, you haven't gained any weight!"

As Betty said, how many times in one's life can she visit the same place? Very probably once.

I turned back from the car carrying me away and waved at them.

What a beautiful encounter.

Bill has been a very important person in my course of growing up.

The numerous happy scenes healed my heart soundlessly.


Many years have passed by and I miss him like always.

I have become a diligent cook now and everytime I make pies I think of Bill deeply. I think of the day he taught me to make apple pie.

When I share my pies with my friends I tell them this heart-touching story of mine.

Thank you Bill, for being an angel in my life. I can never forget.

I dedicate this piece of story, this pie, and this recipe to my dear Bill.

Bill knows how to make delicious things in the simplest way.

In his eyes, pies are good because they are easy and quick and convenient and tasty and one is enough for several meals.

Bill make Apple Pies very efficiently----

1. Peel, core, and dice the apples. Cook them in a pot of water with whatever amount of suger until sweet and softened.
2. Thaw 2 pieces of frozen puff pastries.
3. Spray some oil in the tin, lay 1 piece of pastry into it. Add apples. Cover with another piece of pastry. press on the edges.
4. Bake.

Done.

Unbelievable!

Bacon and Egg and Cheese pies are even easier!

1. Cook bacons in the microwave oven.
2. Thaw 2 pieces of frozen puff pastries.
3. Spray some oil in the tin, lay 1 piece of pastry into it. Add bacons, eggs, and cheese.
4. Cover with another piece of pastry. press on the edges. Bake.

Done again.

Using this method we can make unlimited kinds of pies.

I have loved using frozen puff pastry since then. Another thing Bill inspired me.


As I have been posting a lot of recipes using frozen puff pastry already,
this time I am making hand-made shortcrust pastry.


Apple Pie

Reference: Bill's inspiration + My experience


Ingredients:

For the Crust
Whole Wheat Flour......100g  <---White Plain Flour is good too~
Butter......50g
Salt......a little
Cold Water......20~30ml

For the Filling
Green Apples......3~4 pcs   <---Granny Smith is a good type for pies~
Sugar......whatever amount   <---Bill's spirit! (This time I use 6 Tbsp.)
Butter......1 Tbsp. (optional)
Cinnamon powder......little (optional)
Raisins......some (optional)


Method:

Making of Crust
1. Cut butter into small pieces.
2. Put Flour, Salt, and Butter into a food processor. Beat for 15 seconds until breadcrumb-like.
3. Add Cold Water bit by bit and mix until moistened. Make 2 dough and fridge them for 30 mins.
4. Roll each dough into 0.3cm thick.

* Keep the butter as cold and hard as it can be before starting, so it doesn't melt.
* If you don't have a food processor, you can still do it with your finger tips.
  It's the traditional rub-in method.
* Bill's straightforward way for the Crust:
  Buy frozen ones in supermarket. And thaw them.



Making of Filling
1. Peel, core, and dice the Apples.
2. Cook Apples, Sugar, Butter in a small saucepan on medium-low heat until apples softened.
3. Add cinnamon powder and mix well.
* Bill's straightforward way for the Filling:
  Cook the apple dices in boiling water with sugar, then drain them.

Making of Pie
1. Brush some butter on the baking plate. Lay one piece of dough on it.
2. Press down and cut away extra bits. Add apples and raisins.
3. Cover with another piece of pastry. press on the edge and cut away extra bits.
4. Make decorations with cut bits. Use a fork to pierce some holes on the crust.
5. Bake the pie in preheated oven (200 degrees Celsius) for 20 mins until the crust turns golden.

* You may beat an egg and brush some on the crust surface to make it look more gorgeous.



Serve warm. It is just too delicious.




What's warmer is the memory in my heart
.



----------------------------------中文版 Chinese Version---------------------------------------


蘋果批於我,意義特殊而深刻。

我總是記得Bill——那個樂天快活、可愛可親、看上去明明不老的老先生。

Bill與我素昧平生,卻陪我度過了初戀終結之後最傷痛的時光。

他也以他充滿陽光的生命,勉勵了我,重新上路,擁抱美好。



那一年我大學畢業,
呈交最後一篇論文的那天,我把我那已然無法挽救的戀愛停止。

離開是那樣的困難,我只好身體力行,
把自己放逐南半球,在另一個世界裡生活一陣子。

我寄望在陌生的國度裡、全新的街道上、另一種語言中,
暫時停止慣常世界中的哀傷。



轉折之下,聯絡到墨爾本一位六十多歲的寄住家庭阿姨,
阿姨的房間全滿了學生,於是把我介紹給她七十多歲的男朋友,Bill。

就是這樣,我住進Bill的家。

Bill拿咖啡當水喝,把煙肉放微波爐叮熱當小吃,牛油吃很多,香煙吸不少。

我用中國式的苦口婆心規勸伯伯,伯伯看著飲食小心謹慎的我,開懷笑說:

「肥和瘦,才不是靠飲食決定的呢,它在你的基因裡!!
我孩子們的媽媽是大胖子,我的子女戒吃牛油、戒吃肥肉、猛吃蔬菜,結果還是大胖子。
全脂奶照喝、肥肉照吃、牛油照塗,幾十年了,還不是這個樣子嗎?
再說呀,我都這把年紀了,死了也都差不多是時候了,還戒什麼?
你要我戒口不吃,我還不如現在死了,哈哈哈哈!!!」

想一想,倒又是很對的。而這份豁達舒懷,如陽光一縷,照進我心。



到埗的第二個晚上,Bill載我到Betty家一起吃晚飯。

我這個旅人,來了澳洲卻居然完全沒有想過要看什麼做什麼,兩老大表困惑。

我告訴了他們我飛來澳洲的原委。一路克制的眼淚,不可收拾。

Betty將痛哭的我環抱著,我在她懷內絕望哭叫:「Will I survive?」

那份痛楚和孤獨無法忘記,直到現在寫起,眼睛仍然潮熱。

那一夜過後,我繼續用盡九牛二虎之力抵抗寂寞,忍耐痛楚。

Bill沒有太多安慰的話。只是有一次,他在開車我在看窗,他忽然一句:

「At least you are trouble-free now.」

那一句話的力量,絕對是他自己不知道的。

往後的日子,每次傷痛來襲,思念苦苦的折磨人,
我一想起這句話,立刻就強壯起來;腦海中忽然就想得起,分手前的時光是那樣的為難。



那接近兩個星期的相處中,我們一起吃飯、逛超市、看電視、跳舞。

腦海中的片段,實在很多很多,而每段都又珍貴又難忘。

我記得他拍攝的照片、收藏的硬幣。

我到達的第一晚,他展示一張大型的墨爾本地圖,指給我看各個地方。

我記得他給我預備的大房間。

他為我張羅了一件冬天的大衣,因為我忘了南半球正值嚴冬。

我記得他把我載到他紅色的老舊車子中,帶我四處去。

也把我載去Betty家中,與一眾留學生一起吃晚餐打橋牌談天說地。

我記得他帶我去一個充滿雀鳥的樹林,我記得他喂鳥的樣子。

我喜歡騎馬,於是Bill和Betty準備好野餐食物,與我一起找馬場去。

我記得他帶我去動物園、市中心、超級市場。

他說,我家中一定滿床都是毛毛動物。我驚喜的問他怎麼知道,他哈一聲,說誰都想像得到。



我還記得,他教我做蘋果批。

那一天,他把買回來的一公斤青蘋果倒在廚房水槽中,
又拋來一隻刨刀,叫我把那十來個蘋果削了。

天知道,大學時代的我,是一個連蘋果皮都不會削的傢伙。

在家裡,我只會用小把的尖頭水果刀笨拙地連皮帶肉切下來,而且還慢得沒命。

用刨來削果皮,沒試過。

看著那十多個硬邦邦的青蘋果,在寒冷無比的水槽中躺著,有點啞口無言。

可是,分手的麻木讓我把心一橫——再也沒有人會呵呵疼疼的了。

何況,沒有旅遊計劃的我,天長日久的也沒事幹——

於是執起刨刀,專心致志地認真削蘋果。

一個、一個、一個又一個……

有一下——刀刃刺到指頭上——看看沒事,又繼續削。

然後一個、一個、一個又一個,把蘋果全部削完。

沒有喊冷,沒有喊痛,沒有喊悶,沒有喊太難;
安安靜靜的,與哀傷共處,做好手上的事。

我經常的回想起削蘋果的一幕,沒由來的深刻異常。

小小的、小小的經驗,推著我,慢慢的、慢慢的長大了,成熟了。

我但願Bill為我高興,為我驕傲。

但願他知道他啟發了我。



離開的那一天,我
分別和 Bill 和 Betty 相擁道別。

Bill 把我一把抱起來,嘆道:

「唉! 怎麼都沒增重嘛!」

誠如Betty所言,我們一生中,能去同一個地方多少次呢? 也許就是那麼一次而已。

我坐車遠去,一路上奮力的揮手。

生命中這個巧遇很美麗,Bill在我成長的過程中,成了重要的一個人。

那一幕幕愉快的相處,無聲的醫治了我。



年復一年,我都很想念他。

每次做蘋果批,我都會想起他教我做的那一天。

每逢做各樣的批與朋友分享,我都會說一遍這個觸動我心的偶遇。

謝謝Bill,謝謝你當過我生命中的天使。我無法忘記。

謹將這篇文章、這份食譜,和這個蘋果批,獻給親愛的 Bill。






Bill懂得用最最簡單的方法,做出美味又豐富的料理。

而在他眼中,批就是又方便又快捷又好吃又吃夠幾頓的好東西。

他做蘋果批真的十分俐落——

1. 蘋果削皮去芯切粒,隨意加糖,加水蓋過蘋果,開火煮至蘋果變軟,然後倒掉糖水。
2. 解凍兩片急凍酥皮(frozen puff pastry)。
3. 烤盤上噴一層油,先鋪一片酥皮,倒入蘋果粒後覆蓋另一片,捏緊接口,送入烤箱就成了~

我簡直覺得不可思議。

更快捷的批是芝士煙肉蛋批——

1. 煙肉墊張廚房紙巾,放微波爐叮熟。
2. 烤盤上噴一層油,先鋪一片酥皮,放入煙肉,打兩隻雞蛋進去,隨意挑散,又鋪兩片芝士。
3. 覆蓋另一片酥皮,捏緊接口,送入烤箱,又完成了~

同樣的方法還可以做N種批。

我直到現在仍很愛用急凍酥皮(frozen puff pastry),也是Bill啟發的。



因為急凍酥皮的食譜寫了不少,這一次貼上自家做的批皮。
這次做的是普通酥皮 (Shortcrust Pastry),不是層層疊疊的法式酥皮 (Puff Pastry)。





蘋果批 (蘋果派) Apple Pie


食譜來源:Bill的啟蒙 + 自己的經驗


材料:

酥皮部份——
全麥麵粉......100克 <---也可以用一般白麵粉
牛油......50克 (冷凍)
鹽......少許
冷水......20~30毫升

內餡部份——
青蘋果......3~4個
糖......隨口味 <---我用4湯匙,做的是非常不甜的版本,大家酌量加減~
牛油......1湯匙 (可省略)
肉桂粉......隨意
(可省略)
葡萄乾......1小撮 (可省略)




做法:


酥皮的做法,請參考「櫻桃批」(<--點擊進入)。
這次將麵團分成兩份,分別壓成圓形薄片。



Bill 的 Straightforward 做法 (有關酥皮):直接買急凍酥皮,解凍兩片 (約10分鐘)。



蘋果內餡的做法,請參考「糖煮蘋果」(<--點擊進入)。



烤盤上刷上一層油,鋪上一塊酥皮,切去多餘邊緣,用叉子在上面叉出小洞 (圖一)。
將蘋果內餡填入其中,撒上葡萄乾 (圖二)。
蓋上另一塊酥皮,切去多餘邊緣,接口按壓封好,用叉子在表面叉出小洞 (圖三)。
送入已預熱200度C的焗爐,烤20分鐘,或至表面金黃 (圖四)。


小黑貓嘮嘮叨叨:
切下來的酥皮邊緣,可以做出葉子或其他形狀,鋪在蘋果批上做裝飾啊~~^^
用一點蛋液塗在撻皮表面,烤出來的顏色會更金黃。

Bill 的 Straightforward 做法 (有關內餡)
煮沸一鍋水,倒入蘋果粒,加入糖,煮至蘋果變軟,倒掉糖水。
酥皮不用刺洞,直接送烤箱。



金黃的色澤。撲鼻的香氣。甜軟的水果。





還有我最窩心的記憶

創作者介紹

小貓伊藍

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  • pesto
  • 真替妳開心,而且蘋果派看起來好好吃喔。

    方便問妳的烤箱是用哪一種的嗎?
    版主回覆:(03/28/2013 00:01:00)
    謝謝你呀pesto~
    我的烤箱是很廉價的東東~
    25升、有對流風扇、沒有燈;
    有上下發熱管,也可以分開用,但不能各自調校不同溫度~
    雖然是一般的貨色,但所有我要做的東西都給我做出來沒問題~
    所以它是我的好朋友^^~

    伊藍
  • sara
  • 是的,再難過也會過去的....
    這就是日子的功勞吧....
    版主回覆:(03/04/2012 23:02:00)
    親愛的,是的,會過去的。
    時間時神施行醫治的良方~ 加油。
  • JJ
  • 伊藍, 妳的文章都好感性喔, 除了食譜分享外, 又讀到一個個感人的人生
    經歷...所以忍不住冒昧留言跟妳說聲讚!!~from一個也熱愛烹飪的台灣
    路人~
    版主回覆:(03/17/2012 10:28:00)
    親愛的JJ,
    十分感謝你真摰的分享和回應!!
    讀你的留言我也很感動。
    我會繼續努力將生活的體會和食物的故事記錄下來,好好分享~
    伊藍
  • ttqlnnwjj
  • 新年快樂
    版主回覆:(03/17/2012 10:30:00)
    呃...這是三月中耶...是斯里蘭卡的新年?
    伊藍
  • amy
  • 我超愛蘋果派的~~
    每次去麥當勞總要點一個來吃:))
    看到澳洲
    突然想去打工度假哈哈!
    但以我的破英文....唉~
    版主回覆:(03/04/2012 23:04:00)
    唉唉... 去澳洲打工度假曾是我的夢想啊,就差一步就實現了呢,
    不過就在那時決定結婚啦~ 原本在想,結了婚也可以照去嘛,大不了一起去流浪囉~
    不過人長大了,去到另一個階段,要現實一點~ 呵呵~
    amy趁年輕要實現夢想!!
    英文破沒關係,去度假又不是去考試~!
    伊藍
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