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Cooking Through Fiction: The Giver's Red Apple Pie

Can you imagine living in a seemingly ideal, although colorless, world of contentment and conformity? Your freedom of choice and your independence are non-existent. Instead, you are surrounded by sameness, but you don’t even know everyone is all the same.

Imagine not knowing the vibrancy of colors, not knowing what sunshine feels like as it warms your face, or the pelt of rain against your cheeks. Imagine never feeling pain or sadness, but in giving up the difficult emotions and experiences, you are also forfeiting true happiness and real love. Is it worth it?

In Lois Lowry’s The Giver, Jonas is given his life assignment. He is to train to become the Receiver of Memory. Jonas will receive all of the memories of humanity that have been locked away, kept by one man only—the Giver.

He could never have imagined how his world would change. In his haunting story, twelve-year-old Jonas is forced to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. What will happen when he receives the memories of humanity’s past?

The Giver’s Red Apple Pie

Serves: 8

Difficulty Level: Average


½ c sugar

½ c brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

4-5 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into ¼-inch slices

2 red apples (Honeycrisp or McIntosh), thinly sliced using a mandolin

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp cornstarch

1 9-inch pastry crust

4 tbsp cold butter, cut into pats

strawberry jam, grenadine, or red food coloring

How to Make

  1. In a small bowl, combine the sugars, flour, cornstarch, and spices; set aside. In a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice. Add sugar mixture; toss to coat. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. Toss again.

  2. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the crust; trim pastry even with the edge of the plate. Fill with apple mixture and dot with butter.

  3. Carefully slice 2 apples using the mandolin on its thinnest setting. Arrange these slices on top of apple and sugar mixture.

  4. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.

  5. Remove from oven and brush with strawberry jam, grenadine, or red food coloring.

  6. Cool on a wire rack.

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