Friday, October 26, 2012

Apple Pie, My Way

Our youngest son came home for dinner last week and it was a good excuse to make a family favorite, apple pie. I love to make pies, especially fruit pies, and have been making them forever. When I was in high school, a girlfriend and I tried to make a pumpkin pie from a pumpkin, not canned. We didn't know what we were doing. Let's just say it was inedible:) A few years later, another friend and I wanted to try making pies using lard. Very good. I was getting pretty good at this.

Fast forward 35 years. I have been using the same method for pie crusts all these years and they turn out tender, rich, and very flaky. My family raves about my pies and Justin even wanted me to make some for his wedding reception. But I don't make pie crusts the traditional way.

 I start making the filling using one of these gadgets. Have you tried one? They are fun to use and fun to eat the skinny peelings.

I got mine as a Christmas gift a few years ago, and can't believe I had ever lived without one.

After peeling a bunch of apples, (combining several varieties is nice) I add about 3/4 cup of sugar, lots of cinnamon and a little ground cloves. I'm not much of a fan of ginger with my apples.

Now I start on the crust. Two cups flour for a double crust pie, and about 2/3 cups shortening, and some salt. I don't measure these, but you need enough shortening to make a flaky crust. I know some people use butter, but mine turns out better with the shortening. Cut in until crumbly.

Now I add water, a little at a time, using a fork to gently mix it in. After a few times you get a feeling for how much water to add. It shouldn't be too dry or too wet or you have problems rolling it out. The main thing is to not work it too much. As in, no mixing, kneading or anything else. This will create a tough crust and nobody wants that!

Now very gently make a ball with half of the dough and shape it smooth. And here is where I do things different, I Don't Chill the Dough! I just roll it out using enough flour to keep it from sticking to the counter and rolling pin. Sometimes I have to lift up a section of the dough to add flour. The rolling is also done gently. No rolling back and forth.

I fold the crust in half and then half again and put in the pie dish. Unfold and cut off extra. Fill with apples and dot with butter. Do it again with the rest of the dough, but leave some extra around the sides. Tuck under and pinch to seam it. Don't forget to make vents! That will make the dough tough also. Sometimes I sprinkle some sugar on the top, but usually I forget.

I bake my pies at 350 degrees until I think they're done. I have never used a timer for anything. Don't know why. I also cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil to catch the drips. This saves a lot of cleanup time.


I forgot to take a picture until the pie was almost gone. I got the last piece. Yeah!

I just read about pie baking in the newest BHG, and it was all about chilling everything- the bowls, the flour(!) and the dough. Maybe I'm lazy or just impatient, but I think my pies are just fine at room temperature. Or warm, right out of the oven, with ice cream:)


Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

Yum! I have never mastered pie crust. I really must since apple pie is hubby's fave. I usually buy it premade. Looks so good.

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

Yum! So many different variety of apples are on sale now so it's a great pie baking time.

Anonymous said...

Oh that looks good!
We had no apples this year, the trees froze later on in March and all the crops were gone. I'm with you I like my pie right out of the oven...
Hugs Rosemary...xo

Yesteryear Embroideries said...

Nothing better than apple pie! I agree, I think shortening is better for the crust.

Solstitches said...

That pie looks SO good. I don't know anyone who doesn't love apple pie :)

Helen Philipps said...

Your apple pie looks and sounds delicious! I love apple pie with fragrant cloves and cinnamon added. Your method for baking sounds excellent...and I have never heard of chilling the flour either!!
Helen x