After 636 episodes, “The Simpsons” fans are still learning more about the origins story of Homer J. Simpson. On Sunday night’s episode — historic for beating “Gunsmoke’s” record as the most episodes ever for a primetime scripted series — Homer recalls the happy memory of baking pies with his mother.
Glenn Close returned to once again voice Mona Simpson, who had her first major appearance in 1995’s Season 7 episode “Mother Simpson.” At the time, it was revealed that Mona went into hiding when Homer was young. Mona has appeared several times since then, including a flashback on this Sunday night’s episode, “Forgive and Regret.” In the episode, it was revealed that before Mona disappeared, she and Homer bonded over baking — and she wrote loving notes to her son on the back of every recipe card. When Mona left, Homer’s angry father Abe tossed out those cards — but lied to Homer about what happened.
The disappearance of Mona — and the loss of those treasured recipe cards — set Homer on a path to be, well, the Homer Simpson we all know today. Homer still remembers those pies as the best thing he ever tasted — and eagle-eyed “The Simpsons” viewers (or, quite simply, the ones who hit “pause” at the right time), were given a glimpse of Mona Simpson’s apple pie recipe:
In the credits, it’s revealed that the recipe is actually from pie aficionado Evan Kleiman, an author, chef, restauranteur and the host of KCRW’s “Good Food.” Kleiman organizes a major pie contest annually, which this year takes place on May 6.
Here’s Kleiman’s recipe:
Mix together in bowl:
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 Golden Delicious apples
3 Granny Smith or Pippin apples
3 Whatevers except Macintosh
Cut 1 lb of cold butter into 16 pieces. Toss w/flour to coat. Rub butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips or with a pastry cutter. When mixture looks like crumble of different sizes from peas to almonds it is ready for water.
Add 1 tbsp vinegar to 1 cup ice cold water and drizzle over the butter/flour mixture. Toss like a salad. Bring the wet mess together, kneading it twice, into a puck (flat ball) and cut in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
Now prepare the apples. Peel the apples and cut the flesh off the cores. Cut the apple into 3/8″ slices. Put in bowl. Add brown sugar to taste, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Toss to mix. Add 3 tbsp flour to thicken the filling and toss to coat the apple slices.
Roll 1 piece of dough out and line 9″ glass pie pan. Fill it with the apples. Roll out the other piece of dough and top the apples with it. Trim the top and bottom crusts together so you can have 1″ overhang. Roll the overhang under so it sits on the lip of the pie pan. Crimp the edge into a pretty design by pinching the dough. Cut 4 symmetrical slits into the top crust. Brush it with beaten egg with a splash of cream.
Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 20 minutes. Turn down heat to 375 degrees and bake another 40 minutes or until the apples are tender when poked with a fork.