Meet Sheila Rogers, another Cumberland Creek Cropper

As promised, another installment of “meet my characters” from SCRAPBOOK OF SECRETS. Sheila is one of the most interesting characters in the book—she is the scrapbook consultant who refuses to allow her children into basement, where she holds her weekly scrapbooking crops. She is also an avid runnier, rarely missing a day.

Sheila and Vera grew up together—their mothers were best friends. Sheila mom passed away years ago from breast cancer—and so this is an issue that is near and dear to Sheila’s heart. She runs in a lot of breast cancer awareness marathons and so on.

Sheila’s scrapbook room, house, and scrapbooks are immaculate—but Sheila herself rarely is. She wears wrinkled mismatched clothes at times and hardly bothers brushing her hair—or wearing lipstick.

She and Beatrice pick on each other incessantly—but underneath, Beatrice and Sheila care for one another. One of the ways Sheila endears herself to Bea is by making sure she’s well-stocked in pie.

Sheila’s Apple Pie with Bourbon

Nuff said.

Pastry:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening
3 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter
4 to 6 tablespoons ice water

Filling:

3 pounds mixed sweet and tart apples such as eastern Golden Delicious, or Fuji and Jonathan, Stayman Winesap, or Braeburn, unpeeled, halved, cored, and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
10 to 15 gratings nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
4 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup bourbon
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon sugar

To make the filling, place the apple slices in a large bowl. Sprinkle evenly with the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, and stir and toss with 1 or 2 large spoons to coat the slices evenly.

In a large frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the apple slices and cook, turning as needed, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until beginning to turn golden. Add the bourbon and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until the apples are soft and the liquid is reduced to a light syrup. Stir in the orange zest. Let cool.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

This pie requires a top crust. So you need two pie crusts—what ever recipe works for you.

Spoon the filling evenly into the pie shell. Drape the second pastry round around the rolling pin and let it fall gently over the filling. Trim the overhang so it extends about 1/2 inch beyond the rim of the pie pan, fold the edge under, and flute. Cut a few small vents in the top, then sprinkle the surface  with the sugar.

Bake for 10 minutes. Decrease the heat to 350°F and continue to bake for about 50 minutes longer, or until the pastry is golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm.

Serves 8

If you’re interested in more recipes from Cumberland Creek, email me and I’ll send you some. Also, there are recipes in every one of my monthly newsletters–Paper. Story. Recipe. You can subscribe on the sidebar form. You can pre-order Scrapbook of Secrets on Amazon.

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