1. I haven't posted in such a long time because I had no time for baking or posting - Rayzor and I were busy buying a house! We don't move in until the end of January, but it has a HUGE kitchen, so look forward to many more baking escapades in 2009!
OK, so that was more of an excuse than confession, but whatever.
2. I actually made this pie for Canadian Thanksgiving (which was way back in October), but am posting it in time for American Thanksgiving. This is very shameful, I know. My mother has been harassing me about it for weeks.
3. Before this apple pie, I had never made a pie from scratch. EVER. I had made homemade fillings, but was always a user of pre-made pie crusts (those of the pastry kind, at least. I've always made my own graham-cracker crusts). Why? Well, this is the most embarrassing part -
I WAS AFRAID.
Yes, that's right. I was actually SCARED of making pie crust. I had just heard too many horror stories of things going wrong, so I avoided the whole issue by baking other things.
But here's the thing - Thanksgiving pretty much requires a pie of some sort, so I finally had to confront my fear and face it. And that's what I did. And you know what? IT WAS AWESOME!!!
Here are the three things you need to know about making pie crust:
1. Make sure the butter, shortening and ice water are very, very, very cold.
2. Don't overmix at the butter stage - wait until you add the water to mix well.
3. Cover the edges of your pie crust so they don't burn.
Yep, it's that easy. The filling is time-consuming with all the cutting, paring, coring, etc., but it's simple. Baking the pie is easy. And trust me, EATING the pie is easy. All you have to do to make it happen is take a deep breath and get started on the crust.
Oh, and then enjoy the freedom of never to cruise the frozen pie crust aisle at your grocery store again!
The ingredients for the crust:
Stuff to make the filling:
The apples, dotted with butter:
Ready to be baked:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsps. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
5 tbsps. cold vegetable shortening
8 - 12 tbsps. ice water
1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar and salt together.
2. Add the butter and shortening to the bowl. Cut them in with a pastry cutter or knife and avoid overmixing them.
3. Add the ice water. Mix until the dough holds together, adding a bit more water if necessary.
4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, knead it together and then divide in half.
5. Flatten each half into a disk, wrap in saran wrap, and chill for at least half an hour.
6. Preheat oven to 425 F.
8 medium sized apples (I used McIntosh)
2 tbsps. butter
1/3 cup of sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1. Peel, core and slice the apples, trying to keep them even in size.
2. Mix the sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt together in a large bowl.
3. Stir in the apples, making sure they are well coated with the sugar mixture.
4. Remove one of the dough disks from the refrigerator, and using a rolling pin, roll it out on a lightly floured surface until a circle forms (about 12" in diameter).
5. Put the circle in a 9" pie plate, trimming any extra dough from the edges with a knife.
6. Add the filling on top of the rolled out dough, and dot with butter.
7. Roll out the second dough disk like the first, and cover the apples.
8. Using your thumb and forefinger, pinch the edges of the dough together to form a seal.
9. Using a sharp knife, cut several slits into the top of the pie to allow steam to escape.
10. Cover the edges of the pie with a 3" strip of aluminum foil to prevent too much browning. Remove the foil for the last 15 minutes of baking.
11. Bake the pie for 45 - 55 minutes, or until the crust is brown and the juices bubble through the slits in the crust.