Pie Love

The first baking thing I mastered is apple pie. I mean most pies are a variation on a theme, so if you can get a pie crust down and the fundamentals of filling the pie you are good to go.

Honestly, my mother who is not the kitchen kind of mom who was raised by a not a kitchen kind of mom recited the recipe for pie crust as the golden standard when I was in my teens. I was so startled by her knowing this nugget of information that I can tell you where we were when it happened.

In a world where people want a better, easier, healthier, etc. ways to do things, this is the old standard. I’m not going to lie and say that I’ve not been tempted with replacing some water with vodka or using a different fat, but this is the best tasting recipe. Period. And the ingredients aren’t fancy.

Pie Crust
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
3-4 tablespoons water

Double by 2.25 for a double crusted 10 inch, deep pie pan. The recipe easily gives you one standard issue 9 inch crust.

In a roomy bowl toss the flour and salt together lightly. Add the shortening. Take your time here and cut the shortening into the flour. Make sure there are no lumps, you can even rub the flour and shortening together so long as you move quickly and don’t let the mixture get too warm from your hands. Add 3 tablespoons water and toss lightly. Take a walnut sized piece and squeeze it together. If it doesn’t hold easily add additional water. Form into a disc. Chill 30 minutes.

Roll between 2 sheets of parchment. Loosen the pie dough from the parchment as you roll it flat. Flip it into the pan as quick as you can.

Apple Pie Filling
1 lemon
3 pounds apples, less one you eat to see how much sugar is needed. Peel and core
3/4 cup sugar, more if the apple is very sour
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

Juice the lemon in a big bowl. Peel and core the apples, tossing in the lemon juice as you go. You can get all up into which apples are good for what but Golden Delicious are readily available and they make good pie. Add the sugar, flour, salt and cinnamon. Toss thoroughly.

Apple filling ready to be topped.

Pour apples into pie shell. Dot with butter. Top with a second pie crust.Flute the edges.

2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon sugar, AA big fatty crystals if you have them.

Brush the top with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Cut slits or get decorative with vents in the top of the crust. One tip for bakers wanting to look a little more fancy than average, buy some giant crystal white sugar and top things you bake with it. It adds sparkle and a little something that elevates your baking.

Fluted and sugared

I put the pie pan on a cookie sheet line with a piece of the parchment I used to roll the crust. This catches the drips and makes for easy clean up.

Do you have a recipe you know by heart?

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