Friday, October 9, 2009

Sue's "famous"apple pie

That's what one of my nieces calls it, anyway, probably because it's my annual contribution to Thanksgiving dinner. I was trying to remember when I first started making pies and I think I was probably in my late teens or early20s, so 40 years is a legitimate guess.
My apple pie is pretty straight forward stuff. No thickening, and no streusal, no fancy flavors. It's the "Plain Jane" of pie-dom.
I've tried many different pie crust recipes over the years. but I always come back to a basic one that I've used forever. Back in the 70s there was a publication called The Grande Diplome Cooking School; they were a series of paperbacks that came out in the grocery store once a week, and took the novice cook from the basics to progressively more advanced and intricate recipes. Their pie crust recipe is still the best.

Put 2 cups of flour in a large bowl. add 1 tsp. salt and stir to mix. With a pastry blender, cut in 1/3 cup of butter and 1/3 cup Crisco. When all the shortening has been incorporated add 1/4 cup very cold water and mix with a fork. Once the dough begins to pull together I use my hands to finish mixing. If the dough feels too dry, add more water 1 tsp. at a time. Caution - becareful not to add more than ateaspoonat a time as you could end up with wet, sticky dough! When the dough forms a firm ball, divide it in half, wrap in plastic and chill for 1/2 hour. This helps to rest the dough and prevents shrinkage later.
While the dough is chilling I peel, core and slice the apples. I cut them into a 10" bowl - when the bowl is full you have enough apples for a 9" pie. I don't like an overly sweet apple pie, so I'm a little stingy on the sugar, I also use light brown sugar, as opposed to white,because I find it gives the pie a deeper, richer flavor.
I just dump the sugar onto the apples until it looks "right", but I probably end up with about 3/4 cup UNpacked sugar. I used MacIntoshes for this pie, but for tarter apples I'd probably dump in a little more sugar. Next comes a couple of healthy shakes of cinnamon and a pinch or so of nutmeg.
Once the pie crust has chilled roll out the bottom, dump in the apples and cover with the top crust. I cut a few vents in the top, sometimes using my "Martha" to make fancy design.

Place the pie in a preheated 425 degree oven for 15 minutes. This helps set the dough so that you don't end up with a soggy bottom crust. Reduce the heat to 350 and bake for another 40 minutes. Cool the pie for at least 2 hours before cutting.
What you end up with is a pie with a dense filling of well cooked apples.
So, as Julia always said, Bon Appetit!!


Tina said...

That sounds REALLY good. I like the simplicity. Thanksgivings at your house must be very yummy. :)

Tori said...

Agreed. Sometimes the basic recipes yield the best results.

Katy ~ said...

I LUUUUUV apple pie. Would surely love a good big wedge of yours!

ellebee said...

Looks beautiful. Thanks for the tip about getting the bottom crust to set up - I had no idea!

Gina said...

It looks beautiful! Can I have a piece?

Kristin said...

Wow does that sound SO amazing right now!

Rolfe Bautista said...

I love your blog :D Everything looks so good and I cant wait to try baking some of these things :D

Sweet and Savory said...

Thanks for such good directions. I want to try it.