Its always interesting to make a pie in my house. My brother gets angry if I mess with that which he loves. And for my picky brother to love any food is saying something. So when I became a vegetarian and discovered the dark secrets inside my Mom's preferred Pillsbury Frozen Pie Crusts (they stick lard in those poor crusts, lard!) It's sad really. When my brother discovered that I would be changing his pie, the fear of homemade pie crusts was funny really, he was a bit displeased. However I think I won him over.... mostly.
Its my Mom's filling, she makes it, she changes it, she is in charge of it. My responsibility begins and ends with the dough. It is possible for me to make the filling, but it is also time consuming, trying not to cut yourself takes time. The filling is excellent. Many people make almost cloyingly sweet fillings, whereas this is a bit like sweeter applesauce. Not thin bland applesauce, but a thick, chunky applesauce, one that is full of sweet spice.
Everyone, my Mom included, is frightened of pie crust. I understand why, I've had a few fail before, however if you pay attention to what you are doing then all should be well.
So I have step by step pictures for you, the recipe is courtesy of my favorite- The New Best Recipe
Though beware, it only makes one crust, and this my brother's favorite demands 2 crusts, though deep dish is good as well :)
Here is the recipe for the dough first:
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- 4 tablespoons (half a stick) cold butter
- 4-5 tablespoons of very cold water, however you may need more to pull the dough together
Mix all your dry ingredients first, I use a food processor, but a simple bowl and spatula will work just fine.
Then you want to add in your shortening, followed by the butter, either pulsing in between the additions, or use your fingers to the point where you have gravel. Dump it into a bowl if you used the processor, otherwise start slowly stirring in the water, make sure it is frigid.
Then push the dough, dividing evenly if you made a double batch, on cling wrap, wrap it up and place it in the fridge. Keep it in there for anywhere from an hour to 2 days, but it must stay in for the full hour.
Then get ready to roll!
Just make sure you have plenty of flour on hand. Make certain everything is covered in flour, your hands, the rolling pin, the board (or counter top as my case is), and have plenty to drop onto any overly sticky parts of your dough!
(my Mom's hands as she crimps the edges, mine are always ugly)
Now the filling is simple:
- Enough apples (any sort) to fill the pie twice as high as you think you ought to, they shrink in the oven
- All Spice
- Or you could just use apple pie spice, your choice
- Juice of one lemon
- 2 tablespoons of flour
All ratios are up to you, how sweet, how spicy, what makes it better for you.
No pie is perfect, patching is not looked down upon, unless trying to impress Grandma, then perfection may be best, however taste is all that really matters!