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 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:)