Baking makes me nervous and making pie dough even more nervous. I love to cook and cook with ease, baking is a different story. However, I'm trying to become more proficient and one day do hope to make the perfect looking apple pie. This pie certainly was not perfect looking but it was indeed delicious! I used cookie cutter leaf and turkey shapes to cover the rips and holes on the top crust. Even if the dough did not rip or tear I had planned to decorate the pie with some leaves and a turkey in the middle......for Thanksgiving of course.
The dough recipe hails from The Boston Globe Cook Book for Brides, copyright 1963. A friend of mine sent me the recipe knowing my hesitation with dough and assured me this was a simple recipe and that it was!
Bride's Easy Pie Crust:
1 cup lard or shortening (I used Crisco)
1/2 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
Cut shortening into fairly small pieces or chunks. Pour boiling water over and stir to a cream mass. Add salt and sugar. Sift flour and baking powder together. Stir into first mixture. Mix well with flat well-tined fork or pastry blender, until well blended. Gently shape into a big round ball. Wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour. When ready to use, cut the dough ball in half. This will make a two-crust pie. Keep other half in the refrigerator for future use........it will keep at least a week.
To roll out crust for pie, divide in half again, and roll out very thin on a floured board or pastry cloth with a floured rolling pin. Lift into 9-inch pie plate and fit gently into place. Do not pull, stretch or tear. Now put in your filling, roll out top crust and fit it into place. With long kitchen shears, snip stars for steam vents in center of pie. Trim off excess crust with scissors; with pastry brush spread milk lightly between crusts, and press gently together. Brush pie with milk for golden brown crust. I used an egg wash rather than milk. I had the hardest time putting the top crust on and it did tear, rip......you name it!
The filling of this pie is adapted from Nick Malgieri's recipe for Apple Pie. Here are the ingredients:
3 pounds apples (I used golden delicious, Granny Smith, and Honey Crisp), peeled and each cut into 8 slices
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup sugar (you may use more or less depending on sweetness of apples)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash of salt
Melt butter in large saute or frying pan. Saute apples for about a minute, gently stirring to coat apples with butter. Add lemon juice and sugar and cook till apples are just tender, about 5 more minutes. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Allow to cool while rolling out bottom crust.
Preheat oven to 400º.
Place bottom crust into 9-inch pie plate. Fill with apples. Roll out top crust and place over apples. Seal edges and flute if desired. Cut a few vents into top crust to allow steam to escape. If desired, whisk egg with salt. Brush lightly over crust and sprinkle with sugar.
Place pie plate on sheet pan to catch any drips (since much of the moisture is removed by precooking, this isn't a big problem). Reduce oven temperature to 375º, and bake for about 40 minutes, till top is browned and filling is bubbling. Cool on rack.