Saturday, October 11, 2008

Apple Pie

Here is an old faithful recipe that people have been making for years and years. Apple pie is about as American as you can get; it goes hand in hand with baseball, hot dogs, and the county fair.

This post comes complete with pastry recipe for the crust, apple filling, and my variation of apple pie I made last weekend which is Caramel Apple Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream. Let your tastebuds run with wild abandon with this pie as you can make it rather quickly and put just about anything with it to make it even better.

Crust for 2 crust pie:

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup shortening
6 to 7 Tbsp ice cold water

In a bowl, stir together flour and salt, cut in shortening till pieces are the size of small peas. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp of water over part of mixture, gently toss with a fork and push to side of bowl. Repeat until all mixture is moistened. Divide dough in half and form each half into a ball.
On lightly floured surface, flatten one ball with your hands. Roll dough from center to edges forming a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Wrap pastry around rolling pin for easy transport to the pie plate, roll out onto pie plate, and trim edges to rin of pie plate.
For top crust, repeat as the bottom crust, cut slits to allow steam to escape when you place top crust onto filling for the pie. Trim top crust 1/2 inch beyond edge of plate so you can pinch edges together for fluted look.

To make a lattice crust, after rolling out top crust, slice into thin strips and weave the strips over and under each other until you get a lattice look and pinch edges together to finish the lattice look. Bake as directed for individual pie recipes. (in this picture, my blackberry pie with lattice crust is shown but it gives you the idea of a lattice pie crust since I did not do this with my apple pie, even though you can do it with apple pie).

Apple Pie Filling:
6 cups apple slices (can use fresh or frozen; when using fresh, it is about 5-7 medium pie apples)
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp flour

Toss apple slices with sugar and flour, fill bottom pie crust. After top crust is placed on pie, place foil around the edges of pie (not the center) to allow even browning since the edges always brown first. Bake in the oven 25 minutes, remove foil and bake an additional 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown and fruit is tender. Makes 8 servings. (directions for frozen fruit fillings below)

- When using frozen fruit, let filling sit for 15-30 minutes to let the fruit partially thaw but remaining still a bit icy.
- When baking with frozen fruit, cover edges with foil as usual, bake for 50 minutes before taking the foil off then after removing foil bake 20-30 minutes more or until fruit is tender and crust is golden brown.
- To make a nicer brown color, brush on some melted butter or egg wash on top crust.
- You can use a commercial pie crust already prepared if you are not sure about making your own crust, they work well. I have used these when I have to make a lot of pies, it goes faster when making 3 or more pies.
- You can use different fillings with different kinds of fruits. ( I am working on another blog post about different types of fillings but the pie cooking times are about the same, look for that coming soon)

Caramel Apple Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream
After pie is baked, serve it with some vanilla ice cream drizzled with caramel sauce as shown in picture below.


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