I’ve made sweet potato pies and apple crostatas (simple tarts) so really all I have to do is combine these techniques to create the best apple pie, right?
Watching Martha Stewart make a pie crust really got me feeling ambitious and I decided to offer my family a choice of either a sweet potato pie or – yes, I put it out there — an apple pie (YIKES!). And they chose apple. Of course!
Never made an apple pie but have been wanting to for years now. It’s one of my favorites and I kept putting it off. It’s too hard to create such a beautiful delicious treat like the ones Martha Stewart so easily creates.
I don’t mind facing a challenge especially when the challenge relates to food and baking; even my errors are tasty and they always make me better.
The problems with baking pies from scratch I’ve heard, have to do with, a non-flaky crust, a shrinking crust, an under-baked crust, and the ever dreaded — puffed out crust. How do I create a perfect pie with so many issues to resolve? Research.
I watched You Tube videos on making the best pie crust. I borrowed a Martha Stewart video from the library and learned some of her baking techniques. I read recipes online that discussed the necessary ingredients to result in the “best” pie crust. I read cook books on the various flours to use to make a flaky, full-of-flavor, pie crust.
Okay, enough already! How prepared must I be just to try it? Really…
The empty crust which is just too fun to make…
Weaving the basket…
Egg wash makes it glimmer and shine…
Ground cloves added to the apple filling add intensity of flavor and dark, caramel color…
I’m very proud of myself and don’t anticipate ever purchasing another store-baked apple pie again!
Now to perfect the healthy bread loaf…
Apple Pie Recipe
Pie Crust (I used King Arthur’s Flour Recipe)
Ingredients Yield – 2, 9” crusts
2 ½ C unbleached flour
¾ t salt
1/3 C vegetable shortening
½ C butter, very cold
½ C ice water
Making the dough: In a large bowl add flour and salt and combine. Add the cold butter and shortening to the flour mixture by “cutting them in”. I use a cheese grater. Mix with a fork (I use my hands) until the mixture has pea-sized lumps. Add ice water a little at a time and mix with your hands. When dough no longer sticks to your hands, it is ready. Separate the dough and form two discs. Wrap the discs in plastic wrap, press and smooth them out. Refrigerate until filling is done.
Rolling out the dough: When filling is done, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface. Place into a pie plate, crimp edges and poke holes on bottom of crust with a fork to prevent air pockets during baking.
Making the basket weave topping: Roll some of remaining chilled dough flat into a 9″ diameter. Cut 1 1/2″ x 9″ strips and start by placing a strip down the middle of the pie and then another across it. Add the remaining strips about an inch apart from each other then weave them under and over. Tuck in and trim the edges.
Bake at 350 F for 35-40 minutes until apples are tender.
5 Honey Crisp apples
1 Macintosh apples
¼ C flour
½ C sugar
5 T melted butter
½ t orange zest
2 T fresh squeezed orange juice
¼ t of each – ground ginger, nutmeg, ground cloves
½ t of each – cinnamon, all spice
Process: Wash, peel, and cut apples about ¼” thick. Add the remaining ingredients to the apples and combine.
Now bake one yourself! Have fun!
Beef Stew with Latin Spices
Photograph by Nichelle Ryan.
The gig is back on…
I’m writing again as the Curious Cook. Please stop by FE-Media to get the latest recipe and story about my life in food.
This is THE season for stews and the recipe is delicious and it’s all about the spices.