Sunday, February 26, 2012

National [Apple] Pie Day

Last Monday was National Cherry Pie Day.  But after searching the house for cherries, I was easily  convinced that apple pie would work just as well.  I was so excited to try out this pie crust recipe from MADE.  But I had no eggs in the house.  So I looked on the back of the Crisco package and found this recipe:

2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup well-chilled Crisco. (well, mine wasn't WELL chilled.)
4-8 T ice cold water. (I used only 4 T.)

Mix the flour and salt and then cut the Crisco into the mix until it is well mixed.  They said coarse crumbs with pea sized pieces, but really its until the Crisco is well mixed into the mix.  Then I measured out 8 T of water. (Why don't they just say 1/4- 1/2 cup instead of 4-8 tablespoons?)  I poured it in in little bits and massaged the mix until it stuck together.  It ended up being about 4 tablespoons (or 1/4 cup if you're not a crazy recipe maker.)

Dana of MADE says that overhandling pastry is bad, so very gingerly shape into two balls, flatten them to about 2 inches thick and put them in the fridge.  The recipe said for 30 minutes.  I didn't time it, I just put it in until our apples were ready.

We used Betty Crocker's recipe for the apples mix:

  • 3/4 c sugar (wow!  that's too much for us, I used 1/3 cup and it tasted fine.)
  • 1/4 cup flour (this helps it to solidify, so your pie isn't so runny.)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (If you're a cinnamon lover or even liker this is not going to be enough cinnamon for you.  I just poured cinnamon in until it looked good, or as Kewpie said, "It's brown now.")
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg (I followed this one, and couldn't taste it, so maybe a pinch more would have been good.)
  • Dash of salt (It wasn't enough.  Needed a dash more, I'd say.)
Once that's all mixed together, add the apples.  (about six large ones if you're using fresh or two cans if not.)

Then we grabbed our dough out of the fridge and rolled it out, remembering Dana's warning to not handle it too much.

It should be about two inches larger than your pie tin.  Place the bottom crust in the tin, make sure it fits well and run a knife around the edges to cut them off.

Pour the apples in, and lay the top crust on.

When you cut off the edges on the top piece, give yourself about 1/4 inch overlap.  Fold that under and then you have some dough to make cute little ridges around the pie.

Cutting little bird marks in the pie helps the crust to not puff and bubble weird.  But if you like that puff and bubbling, then don't cut the cute little bird marks.

I also like to sprinkle a little sugar on top.

Some people brush the top with milk or egg to brown it better.  I didn't, and it seemed to brown fine to me.

It helps to cover the edges with tinfoil or one of those fancy-dancy pie crust shields, so the edges don't burn.
Then it goes in the 425 degree oven and you wait.  And wait.  40 to 50 minutes of waiting.

When it's been about 35 minutes, take off the shield or foil so the edges can brown.  When it looks golden and bubbly, then it's DONE!

Waiting worth while.

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