The apples are ripe and it's time for Apple Pie! This is a recipe that has been passed down from my Mother. It was given to her by a neighbor who was Pennsylvania Dutch. The pie crust is tender and flaky, and the filling has just the right amount of cinnamon and spice. I have been making this pie for years and whenever it is known that I am baking one, I hear whispers behind my back...."Well, maybe I will stay for dessert, after all."
Set aside an afternoon or evening for pie baking, as it does take some time. Your kitchen will look like someone ransacked it. But when you are finished cleaning up, and the pie is baking in the oven filling your kitchen with it's warm, spicy fragrance, you will feel very satisfied with yourself.
And then, when you sit down to take your first bite, you will know it was all worth it. There is nothing quite like home-made apple pie.
Recipe for Pie Crust
4 cups flour
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1& 3/4 cups vegetable shortening, such as Crisco, chilled
1 lg egg
1 Tbsp white or cider vinegar
In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs and all the flour is incorporated.
In a 1 cup liquid measuring cup, mix egg, vinegar, and enough cold water to equal 1/2 cup. Add to flour/shortening mixture and blend just until soft dough forms. You may need to use your hands. Do not overwork the dough! This will make it hard to hold together. Pat into ball and cover tightly with plastic wrap and put in refrigerator until ready to use.
Recipe for Apple Pie
Bake at 375 degrees for one hour
Pastry for pie
12 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples
(4-5 lb bag of apples. I used Gala, but any firm, sweet-tart apple will do, such as Graventstein, McIntosh, Cortland, etc. Do not use soft apples such as Red or Yellow Delicious)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
pinch of nutmeg
3 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
Peel and slice apples into 1/4 inch slices. Put into a large bowl. Sprinkle with the lemon juice to keep from browning.
In a medium bowl, mix sugar, flour, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and salt together. If using juicy apples, add a little more flour. If apples are dry, add less. This keeps the filling from being too runny.
Pour mixture over apples and stir gently to completely cover.
At this point you can decide whether you want to bake your pie in a traditional pie pan, or if you would like to make the easier version and make a 'deep dish' pie in a 12"x7" glass baking pan. This will only need one crust.
If making a two crust pie, cut the pastry in half and pat down the first half onto a flour covered board using the heels of your palm and pushing the edges together to form a round. If making a deep dish pie, pat down into a rectangle, making only one crust to fit the top.
For two crust pie, roll out half the dough with a floured rolling pin to fit the bottom of the pie dish, making it larger to crimp the edges.
Here is a little tip for keeping your crust from falling apart. Use a metal spatula to carefully loosen the pastry from the board, sliding it under from the edges, pressing together any tears, then very gently wrap pastry around your floured rolling pin and roll up, mending any tears by pressing together very carefully. Then place crust on edge of pie plate and unroll. This is a very delicate operation. And very frustrating. It is the reason many people don't make pies. But this crust is very forgiving. You can completely tear it apart and it will mend back together. So don't give up if it breaks. Just press the edges together very carefully, patting down delicately and once the pie bakes, you will never know the difference!
Use waxed paper. Use a large piece on your board or counter, flour, roll out dough, and simply place pie plate upside down on top and flip the whole thing, peeling away the waxed paper. Either way it can be frustrating. Just put the pieces back together and move on. Isn't that the way it is in life?
Pour apples into the pie plate, being careful to keep edges of crust dry for sealing with top crust. Really mound the apples high, as they will shrink while baking. Dot with chilled butter.
Roll out top crust, place on pie and fold up and crimp the edges. Cut a few slits in top for steam to escape.
Wrap edges of crust with 4" wide strips of foil.
Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 30 minutes more or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling.
Oh my! Try not to eat the whole pie! Enjoy!