Thursday, October 3, 2013

Homemade Apple Pie

Not like, honestly, there's any other way to eat a pie.  Sure, you can go to the store and buy one, but that destroys the very essence of pie.  It's meant to be lovingly made, and baked so that the whole house is simply filled with the delicious smell of slowly baking apples and cinnamon......  No, store bought just doesn't cut it.  That, and store bought crust is never good... Till you've ate perfectly crisp and sugary pie crust, you've never really ate pie.  Sure, you can stick with your play-dough tasting pie as long as you want.  But I'm going for the good stuff.  


Mmmm... Johnathan apples.  You really can use any type of baking apple (Johnathan is a baking apple right?  Well, if it isn't, I'm going to pretend it is, cause it made a pretty darn good pie).

Notice my apples are nice and yellowed by this time, no matter how fast I grab the camera, they always end up discolored.  I must just be slow at peeling apples (Which is no surprise, you should see how slow I peel potatoes compared to my mom.  She'll even think up other work for me so that I won't offer to peel potatoes, pretty pitiful, right?).

And of course, my favorite cinnamon...

Aaaand stir those apples right up.  Don't worry if it won't all mix together, that'll turn into that lovely gooey stuff in the oven.

And the pie crust-  Remember, you can mix that shortening together till you turn blue in the face (though I wouldn't recommend it) (and, as a side note, usually you should stop when the mixture turns into little teeny balls, like the picture above) but do NOT over mix  it when you add the cold water.  No kidding.  Some of the first few pies I made, while they tasted amazing, had a crust with the texture of cardboard.  I'm just glad nobody lost a tooth.  So just lightly, lightly, LIGHTLY toss it with a fork and one hand till it BARELY combines, like the picture below.  Don't worry if it's still slightly crumby.   

And then form the pie mixture gently into 2 balls, and then pressing with one hand and turning with the other to press the edges in so they don't crack (honestly, I would have taken pictures to demonstrate, but unfortunately I wasn't born with 3 hands), press into a large round, like the one below.  Basically, make it look like the one below.

The roll it out to be slightly bigger than the pie dish that you're using (usually if you set it on the rolled out pie crust and look down on it, it'll have roughly an inch and a half (I think) of pie dough sticking out.  Then roll it onto the rolling pin like so.... (being sure to run a knife under it as you go so that it doesn't stick to the counter) 

And into the pie plate, and fill it with the apple mixture (being sure to press down on the apples so they're nice and packed in there), and then top it with pieces of butter (roughly 2 tablespoons of butter).

Next, roll out the top. lay it on, and trim the edges.  Usually I end up with about 1/2 to and inch of pie dough hanging off the sides after I trim it.  Then roll the edges under...

And crimp that baby.

And then lightly brush the pie crust top with water (not the edges) (and most certainly don't drench the pie crust.  You don't want to have puddles for little apples to skinny dip in on the edges), sprinkle with sugar, and with a sharp knife cut the vents in the top.

Slide that baby in the oven for about an hour (a good way we like to use to see if a pie is done is make sure to check that the vents are still opened on your pie (you may have to run a knife in them again), or watch the goo that comes on the sides of the pie- if it's thick and gloopy and slowly popping, it's done.  If it's thin and runny, let it bake a little longer), and listen to your stomach complain because it just smells sooooo good....  And there you have it.  A perfectly baked pie.  (if your pie is browning sooner than you think it should, simply lightly cover it with foil.  Just don't forget it in the oven!!) 

Apple Pie
Note: this recipe is for an 8 or 9 inch pie.  I doubled mine and used a huge pie plate.

For the Pie Crust:

2/3 cup plus 2 Tbs. shortening
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
4 to 5 Tbs. cold water
Cut shortening into flour and salt until particles are size of small peas.  Sprinkle in water, 1 Tbs. at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl (1 to 2 tsp. water can be added if necessary).

Turn desired filling into pastry lined pie plate.  Trim overhanging edge of pastry ½ inch from rim of plate.  Roll other round of pastry.  Put on filling.  Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1 inch from rim of plate.  

For the Filling:

6 cups of sliced Granny Smith apples
1 ½ cups sugar
¼ cup flour
About 1 tsp. cinn.
2 Tbs. of  butter (to dot on apples)
Bake at 350 degrees until apples are tender and bubbling.

And don't forget to serve it with vanilla ice cream.

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