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   I recently had an experience that shook my culinary foundations. More specifically my love of pies. It came in the form of a cinnamon influenced trance.


   Last week my wife Amber decided that she would embark upon the task of baking a couple of apple pies. Ever since I can remember Pecan pie has been the ultimate pastry confection for me. I do realize that tastes are very subjective and it is this phenomenon that I wish to elaborate on here.


   After the pies had had a chance to cool down to a temperature that would not melt the taste buds off of ones tongue my lovely wife served me a slice of her Dutch Apple Pie. The first thing that struck me was the wonderful aroma that hit my nose.  It was this initial waft of spice that began to intrigue me. I decided to investigate further. I took the fork that was provided me and began to separate a bite sized piece from the main slice. I placed the warm morsel of goodness in my mouth and began to chew it slightly. Something primal began to take over my body. I realized I was no longer in control. My eyes immediately shut. Shutting off my sense of sight so that more attention could be payed to what was happening with my senses of smell and taste. It was if my internal CPU was diverting resources to process the massive amount of data streaming in from other sources. Once my brain finally caught up to what was happening I began to sort out the flavors and textures. The perfect pungency of Vietnamese cinnamon balanced by clove and nutmeg. Textural nuances like how the sugar melded with the apples creating a sauce like liquid that bound all of the flavors together.  I was astounded by the slight crisp of the apples, not too firm but not too soft, just right. I was amazed by how splendid the crust was. Just the right amount of flakiness. It was if all of the components of this pie transformed into something larger than just the sum of its parts. It was truly magical.   


   After I recovered from my pastry nirvana I realized that there was no going back. No going back to the beautiful pecan pie I had known before. Pecan pie would simply not do anymore. I had been to the mountain top, my eyes had been opened to the pleasure of the perfect Dutch Apple Pie.


   Amber and I had a discussion regarding what makes the perfect pie and we drilled it down to this. Anatomy and subjectivity. There are three parts to a pie, Crust, Filling, and Topping.  You see we are all different, we all like different things. For me what makes or breaks a pie is the filling, for you it could be the crust or the topping. Whatever it is, I hope you find your perfect pie.