Monday, October 6, 2008

Rainy Days & Apple Pie

I spent this rainy Monday cleaning, waiting for the water system serviceman and making an apple pie. There is nothing cozier than the smell of apples and cinnamon on a cool, rainy afternoon.

My pie crust and apple pie recipes come from an old cooking pamphlet I got from my Grandma's collection. HERE is a description and photo of it.

Don't be afraid to make your own pie crust. It just takes a little practice, ice water and a light touch when tossing the water into the flour mixture And while rolling it out.

It really does make a difference if you chill the crust dough for 15-30 mins. before you roll it out. I haven't made a crust so flaky in a long time.

I hope you celebrate the season with your own homemade apple goodness.

––“Good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness.”
Jane Austen

Kay's Apple Pie

Easy Pie Crust--adapted from the Good Housekeeping's Party Pie Book
Makes 8" or 9" double pie crust

2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
3/4 c shortening (I use Crisco sticks)
5 Tb ice water (approximately-- it all depends on the weather, how dry & absorbent your flour is, etc..etc...)
In a bowl, mix the flour and salt. Cut in the shortening until it resembled small peas. Sprinkle in the water, 1 Tb. at a time. Use a fork to toss the water into the flour. Continue until almost all the flour mixture is combined with the water. Gently, as you would make a snowball, gather the mixture into a thick flat round. If it's too crumbly, add a little more water. It should NOT be sticky. Place round of dough in a ziplock bag or wrap in plastic wrap and place in freezer.
(At this point you can leave it there for several weeks. Just set it out for about 30 mins before rolling.)

Apple Pie Filling
6-8 apples; a variety if you have them
1 Tb. flour (more if especially juicy)
2/3 c. sugar (more if apples are really tart or less if sweet)
1 tsp. cinnamon

While dough is chilling, wash, core, peel and slice the apples. Toss apple slices with flour, sugar and cinnamon. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 425°.

Take the dough from the freezer. Lightly flour counter. Divide the dough in half. Place one half aside. Roll other half until it is 1-2 inches larger than pie plate. (I use a pyrex 9" pie plate.) Gently fold the dough in fourths and gently place in the pie plate. Unfold gently and ease into the shape of the plate. Cut the overhang a little beyond the lip of the plate.

Spoon the apple mixture into the bottom crust and mound up in the center. Set aside.

Reflour the counter and roll out the top crust. Again, gently fold into fourths and place on top of the apples. Trim the edge 1/2 to 1" past the pie plate edge. Fold the top crust edge under the bottom crust and crimp. Cut steam holes in the top crust. Place in preheated oven and bake for 40-50 mins. or until the crust is brown and the apples are tender. (You test them by poking through one of the steam cuts with a paring knife or small fork.)

Let cool a bit on a baking rack. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or cold with whipped cream. The ice cream is better.
Sit on the front porch and enjoy the falling leaves, the chilly breeze and the spicy apple goodness.

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