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Kojima Productions’ Death Stranding is the culmination of years of development, technological advancements, and friendships with famous actors. The player directs Sam Porter Bridges (Norman Reedus) through the once-beautiful landscapes of America to deliver packages. A mixture of stealth and action, the story counts on players working together to assist each other on deliveries across miles of treacherous terrain. Linking cities together through the Chiral Network (internet) enables long-lost memories to resurface, just like they might around the dinner table.
Death Stranding, then, is a game about bringing people together. And you know what else brings people together? Pie.
As the saying goes, there’s nothing more American than apple pie (or creating wholesome national symbols to paper over the brutal realities of your country’s origins). So, in the spirit of Death Stranding and my family telling me I am in charge of dessert for the holidays this year, let’s bake.
- Two cans apple pie filling
- Frozen pie crust
- Charcoal powder
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 6-8 tablespoons ice water
1. Depending on how homemade you’d like to do this, you could make the entire crust from scratch, or buy a premade pie crust. I made the top crust myself using this recipe cut in half to get enough dough for one disk, and I bought a frozen bottom crust to save some time.
2. Refrigerate your crust dough for an hour, then remove the frozen crust from the freezer and defrost for about 20 minutes. Make sure to poke holes in the bottom crust with a fork for venting.
3. Pour apple pie filling into the crust. I used two cans, straining to remove a majority of the jelly-like filling. This left me with around 1.5 cans of apples, and I slightly overfilled my pie — so maybe use around one and a quarter cans’ worth.
4. Roll out the top crust to about a centimeter thick. Place on top of the pie and trim the edges. I used a spoon to create a decorative edge, but whatever border you’d like is fine — just be sure to close the crusts together.
5. Now for the fun part: using the activated charcoal, create a thin paste by mixing it with water. I tried using vodka, but found it evaporated too quickly. Paint your hand with the mixture and make your handprint on the pie. I moved my hand around and pressed each finger down slightly to make sure I had a good impression.
6. Vent the top crust of the pie. I used terrain markers from the game to further accentuate the theme.
7. Bake for 25 minutes and remove it from the oven. Brush an egg wash over the crust to improve browning on the pie, being careful not to touch the handprint (it will smear). If your edges are browning too quickly, you can wrap them in foil. I also foil-lined a baking sheet and put the pie on top of it to prevent the spillover from ending up on the bottom of my oven. Bake for another 25 minutes.
8. Remove from the oven and let sit for at least a half hour before cutting (or set it under some Timefall to speed up the process). Enjoy your pie, BB!