Apple Pie. Mmmmm. I don't think I need to write another word to sell you on the deliciousness of this dessert. I start making this pie when the apples ripen in the fall and continue until I run out, usually around Thanksgiving but I have in the past, found the right apples up until Christmas.
I'm going to explain exactly how I make my pie. It gets rave reviews and so I apologize if some of the methods do not follow the "accepted pie practices" in the apple pie making
cult industry out there. I assure you that my methods create a tasty pie.
Here's what you will need.
- 1 c. Crisco (solid vegetable shortening)
- 2 2/3 c. Flour
- 1 tsp salt
- a small glass of cold water
- 6-10 apples, depending on size
- 1/2 - 1 c. white sugar
- brown sugar
- Okay, first start with the pie crust. If you can, use a metal measuring cup. Run the cup under very hot water before filling it with Crisco. This will help the shortening slide out with a little help from your spoon. Measure out your flour and salt and then put the whole bowl of ingredients (unmixed) into the refridgerator.
- Now the apples. Wash them and prepare to peel. Normally I use the automatic peeler/corer that my in-laws got me (BLESS YOU!) but it is currently in I-put-it-somewhere-safe-and-now-I-can't-find-it land. Lots of people have asked me, does it matter what kind of apples you get? YES! It absolutely matters. When it comes to pies there is one apple that shines above all the rest, the Jonathan apple. It's common enough to appear at the grocery store but also usually pops up at pick-your-own orchards and farmer's markets. Yes the apples are smaller and that means more work but they have the three crucial qualities for pie apples, a dessert trifecta so-to-speak. They cook up well, not too mushy, not too rubbery. They are tart and they are not too moist. An apple that holds too much moisture will make apple pie soup.
- When manually peeling an apple, I always always try to perform the nearly impossible task that my grandma managed to execute with almost every apple. That is, to peel the apple without breaking the peel. My first attempt failed.
In fact every try failed until the very last one. Voila!
4. After you've peeled, cored, and sliced your apples, put them in a bowl. Depending on how sweet your apples are add 1/2 to 1 c. of white sugar and a tsp or two of cinnamon. Stir it all up and put it to one side.
5. Grab your crisco/flour bowl, a glass of very cold water and a fork (yes, a fork). Work the crisco into the flour with the fork until it's the consistancy of heavy cornmeal and uniform in appearance. I usually watch tv while I do this. I've tried other types of pie making gear but nothing works as well or as fast as my fork.
6. Add cold water a tbsp. or two at time and work into the dough. Keep doing this until the dough sticks together well, you shouldn't have any falling or crumbling off. Don't be afraid to work it a bit with your hands as well.
7. Take a large tea towel or any flat towel, I'm using an old tablecloth here, and work flour into the surface of it. Divide your crust dough with a little more than half for the bottom crust. Shape the crust into a large fat disc and pat the whole thing down liberally with flour. Place in the center of your cloth and begin rolling outward into a circle-ish shape. Keep your piepan handy to use as a size guide. Keep flouring your rolling pin and the surface of your crust. Once it is the right size, use the edge of the cloth to fold your crust in half and then gently lift it onto the pie pan. Unfold it and work it into the pan, pressing down on the parts the over lap. Use a small knife to trim off the excess.
8. Save the scraps to the side. Fill your pie with the apples to gauge the amount.
9. Crumble a handful of dark brown sugar and cut a few pats of butter into fourths and place around the top of the uncovered pie.
10. Roll out the second pie crust, it doesn't have to be as big, but if you don't have enough, use the scraps to make it bigger.
11. Fold in half and place on top of pie, unfold and trim the edges to match the bottom.
12. Pinch/press the edges of the pie to seal the crust together, cut small slits in the top of the pie to allow steam to escape. Finally, use a wet paper towel to moisten the top of the pie and sprinkle with white sugar.
13. STOP!! Don't throw away those scraps. Smoosh them together and roll them back out. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and place on some aluminium foil. This is a delicious treat!
14. Line your oven bottom with alumium foil. Sometimes pies leak and having sugar carbonizing on the bottom of your oven is a sure way to get your smoke alarms to go off and give yourself a heart attack. Use more aluminium foil to create a protective cover for the edges of your crust. This keeps the crust edges from burning.
15. The crust cookie will need to back for about 20 minutes at 425 Celcius. It's done when the edges start to brown and it feels dry in the middle. The pie cooks for 35 minutes, remove the foil and cook another 15 or until you start to see the juices bubbling up through the holes in the top of the pie. Remove the pie and let it rest for at least 6 hours. (Yes, I'm sorry). This is why we make the cookie, a small treat to tide you over. The pie needs that time for the apples to reabsorb the juices that have been brewing in there.
Once you've waited, slice your pie, invite your friends over, and enjoy!