|Saint Charles Borromeo statue|
Photo by Bernard Gagnon
Saint Charles Boremeo knew he was going to be a priest when he was still a boy. His uncle was Pope Pius IV, and Charles was able to serve him as a secretary and as a cardinal. During a very difficult time in Christianity, when people were trying to break the church apart into different groups, Charles helped plan and implement necessary changes, like making sure that all clergy and laypeople were properly educated about Jesus and the Christian faith, including children. He tried very hard to bring the church back together again.
ActivitySaint Charles Borromeo is patron of learning the arts, but he is also patron of apple orchards (I was not able to discover why, sorry!). Today, make apple hand pies to celebrate this wonderful saint.
Saint Charles Borromeo Apple Hand Pies
1. Mix ½ cup of brown sugar and a ½ cup of white sugar in a bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg and a dash of salt. Stir well.
2. Peel, core and cube several apples (a mix of granny smith and other firm apples like Jonathan works best). Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the apples and stir until coated.
3. Using your favorite pie crust (homemade or store bought), cut out 5” squares. Lay one square diagonally (corner at the top and bottom). Pile 1/3 cup of filling on the top half of the dough, leaving a wide edge. Dot with butter. Cut a “c” shape out of the center of the bottom half of the dough. Brush a little water on the edge of the dough and then lift it over the filling and press it down, corner to corner to make a triangular pie with a c-shaped hole in the middle (for Charles!). Use a fork to make sure the edge is sealed all the way.
4. When all the hand pies are made, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake in a 300° oven for 45-55 minutes, or until the crusts are nicely browned. Allow to cool until they can be eaten by hand.