Friday, October 28, 2011

Apple pie of my eye

Last weekend we were given a box of freshly picked, local apples from a kind man's tree.  It was put in the trunk of my car by my hubby without me realizing just how many apples there really was in that box.
The number? A lot.
Just a few of the little lovelies..
So I decided to make an apple pie with the lot of apples.  From scratch.  All of it.
I thought it would be easy.
But I was wrong.
Okay, I'll take that back.  It wasn't necessarily as difficult as I make it out to be as it was time consuming.
 As far as the apples go, you have to peel, core and slice them apples AND that my friends is what takes sooo much time.

But that's not all. You see, the crust has to be made too.  The flour and salt has to be sifted then "cut in" the shortening ( I used good ol' Crisco.) 

From there, very cold water is added a little at a time to make the dough slightly more sticky and then comes the actual mixing and rolling out of the dough to make the crust. Double crust that is.
That part wasn't the easiest for me.  Apparently I made the crust a tad too dry, because it kept cracking on me.  Due to that I believe I made the crusts a little too thick because I was afraid of the crusts cracking in half.
Oh well.




It only took me 2 hours from start to finish. Only.
The end result wasn't necessarily pretty or anything that would make my Nanny proud but it tasted good
(I wasn't the only judge of it....I took it to work and 3 out of 4 of the girls told me it was "very good." And compliments aren't handed out lightly there....)
I've found that everyone has their own version of the "perfect pie" (especially apple pie).  Some like their pie sweet or flaky or dense or tart.  Some like them made by their grannies (ME! Pick me!) or some prefer store made. 
Others do not prefer them at all.
So, If you're interested, here's the very brief rundown of the recipes used for this pie:

FOR THE CRUST or FLAKY PASTRY:
(adapted from the retro version of Good Housekeeping Cookbook)
  • 2 1/4  cups sifted all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening (except butter, margarine or salad oil)
  • 1/3 cup cold water (ice cold)
  1. In bowl mix flour and salt.  With pastry blender (or two knives) cut 2/3 of the shortening into flour until it is like cornmeal (for tenderness).  Cut in rest of shortening until like large peas (for flakiness).....OR cut in all shortening at once until it is like coarse meal..It's up to you !
  2. Sprinkle water- 1 tablespoon at a time over different parts of the mixture tossing quickly with a fork until particles stick together when pressed gently and form a dough that clings to the fork.  Use only enough water to do so.  Dough shouldn't be really wet.
  3. Lightly form dough into a smooth ball ( two if making a double crust).
  4. Roll out.
 FOR PIE FILLING:
(adapted from the Joy of Cooking)
  • 2 1/2 lbs (5-6 medium apples or roughly 6 cups of chopped apples)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 tblsp fresh lemon juice, strained ( I just squeezed half of a lemon over my apples...and picked out seeds later)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  1. Combine apples with all ingredients and allow to sit for roughly 15 minutes, stirring several times so that the apples soften a bit and will better fit into the crust. 
PUTTING THE PIE TOGETHER
  1. Heat oven to 435 degrees F
  2. Place first crust into ungreased pie plate.
  3. Pour the apple mixture into the bottom crust and gently level with the back of the spoon.
  4. Dot the top of the apples with 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, cut into small pieces.
  5. Brush the overhanging edge of the bottom crust with cold water.  Cover with the top crust then seal the edge, trim and crimp.  Cut steam vents in the top of the crust.
  6. Bake the pie for 30 minutes.  Slip a baking sheet beneath it and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  7. Bake until the fruit feels just tender when a knife is poked through the steam vent and thick juices bubble through the vents for 30 to 45 minutes more.
  8. For the filing to thicken properly the pie must cool completely on a rack for 3-4 hours.

4 comments:

threadsandbuttons said...

That looks WONDERFUL! As far as time, I have been wanting one of these (http://www.amazon.com/Back-Basics-Apple-Potato-Peeler/dp/B0000DE2SS) apple peeler, corer, slicer things for soooo long. Sounds like one of them may come in handy in your home as well. Also, smart taking it to work! I always want to make desserts but then I find that I waste like 2/3 or more of it because my hubs and I can't eat it ALL.

Amy Lou said...

What a beautiful pie! :)

Whitney said...

@Amy Lou Thank you so much! It was actually tasty too!

Whitney said...

@threadsandbuttons Duly noted! I need one of those for sure! Thanks for stopping by! :)