My Goddaughter’s parents (aka Compadres) have now hosted two exchange students over the past two years and every time the subject comes up, they always have great things to say about the program.
About a month ago my husband, sons, and I decided we also wanted to host an overseas student for the upcoming school year, we thought it would be a great experience for us all. We contacted our local coordinator and began receiving applications from students all over the world. We must have received between 8-10 applications, but ultimately we let our son Josh decide which student we would host since they would both be going into the same grade.
Once the paperwork and background checks were squared away we were able to make contact with our student and his family. We knew Josh had made an excellent choice right after our very first Skype chat with William.
Before his arrival we made a few preparations, we wanted him to feel as much at home as possible. So, we made him a welcome banner and I decided to bake him a very american, apple pie.
- 1 9-inch double piecrust (top and bottom)
- 3 pounds whole apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (I used Envy apples, a new variety I found while grocery shopping)
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey bourbon
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1-2 tablespoons milk (for coating the piecrust)
- 1 tablespoon turbinado, or granulated sugar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a large enough bowl combine sliced apples, cider vinegar, bourbon, lemon juice, and vanilla extract.
- In a small bowl whisk together the remaining dry ingredients; cornstarch, salt, and spices. Pour over apples and toss to combine.
- Roll out ½ of the piecrust over a lightly floured surface, carefully roll it onto the rolling pin and place over a 9 inch pie dish or pie tin.
- With a pastry brush lightly coat the pie crust with a little milk. Transfer filling into the prepared piecrust.
- Roll out the remaining ½ of the piecrust and place over the filling, crimp the edges of the crust with your fingers or a fork. Brush the top crust with the remaining milk and sprinkle the turbinado sugar, if desired. With a knife make a few slashes over the top of the pie, this will allow the steam to escape.
- Bake the pie for 15 minutes at 425 degrees F, then decrease oven temperature to 375 and bake for 45-55 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
With the apple pie out of the oven, balloons, lights and banner all in place — we hopped in the car and drove to the airport to pick William up.
You can instantly see his great disposition! —I know for a fact I wouldn’t look nearly as cheery as he did after enduring three take-offs and landings, 28 hours of hardly any sleep, and no real food during the last few hours of his trek all the way from Umeå, Sweden to sunny Southern California.
No sooner did he mention he was hungry, when we decided we knew exactly the first place we would take him after being in this country for less than in hour. I’m sure you can agree we totally made the right call…
While we were all enjoying our In-N-Out burgers, William taught us our very first Swedish word —Fika.
Before and after…
Everyone incredibly managed to save room for a little midnight fika, so we took a quick family pic then we all sat down and enjoyed a slice of homemade apple pie a la mode, of course.