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This makes a beautiful, full, 9" pie which will earn you praise!
  • 8 Large Apples (Golden Delicious or Criterion are excellent)
  • Use more apples if they are small. You want about 8-9 cups raw apple slices for this pie.
  • cup Brown Sugar
  • cup White Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • tsp. Nutmeg
  • cup Cornstarch
  • cup Flour

Pare the first two apples. Core and slice (I use an apple cutter which cuts the apple into twelve wedges and cores it simultaneously.) Cut each wedge in half lengthwise, making 24 wedges per apple. (If you have an apple corer/slicer that cuts 8 wedges, cut each wedge into three slices.) Put the slices from these first two apples into a large glass measuring cup and microwave on high for two minutes - and ONLY two minutes, or the apples could get tough! (This is the secret for the height of the pie filling - this starts the cooking process on the apples so you can get more apples into the pie shell.)

Mix the sugars, spices, cornstarch and flour together. When the first two apples are done, slide the slices into a large bowl. (I like to use the plastic cake keeper cover - it is deep enough to mix and stir without spilling.) Gently stir in the sugar mix, being sure the slices are well coated.

Repeat with the rest of the apples, two at a time. Let them sit in the mix while you prepare the pie crust.


Flaky Pie Crust

My boss claims this is the second best pie crust in the Northwest - his being the best. While that is open to debate, (it hasn't been brought to a vote in the office yet), out of respect for the man who signs my paycheck, I'll simply claim this to be the best pie crust recipe I have ever used. Try it and let me know how you like it! (diane@dee-lightful.com) If you are an experienced pastry maker, please smile indulgently at my directions. I am including extra information for those who have not made a pie or have not been happy with their pie crusts, because I'd like them to be very successful:

  • 7/8 cup shortening (3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt (optional)
  • 3/4 cup water, and ice to bring the level up to 1 cup

With a pastry cutter, cut the shortening into the flour and salt until all the flour is mixed into the shortening and there are no lumps larger than a whole allspice "berry".

Measure out 2/3 of a cup of the ice water. (Save the rest for smoothing around the outer edge of the bottom pie crust when you put the top on.) Pour the 2/3 cup water into the flour mixture and stir with a fork. Make sure to moisten all the flour. This dough is soft, which means it will be tender and flaky and won't break apart when you try to get it into the pie pan.

Roll out half the dough. I use a pastry cloth and rolling pin sleeve because I like the way they smooth the dough, but as long as you keep flour on your rolling pin and on the counter, you will find this pastry is easy to work with. Roll from the center out all around the dough like the hands of the clock. Make sure the circle is about 3" larger than the measurement of the pie pan. (Hold the pie pan over the circle and make sure you have 3" beyond the edge of the pan, all around the circle.)

Put your pie pan near your circle of pastry. Lightly lay your rolling pin on top of the dough near one edge. Roll the dough up over the pin (it'll drape about 1/3 over, 2/3 beneath). Holding the rolling pin by the roller (NOT the handles!), lift the dough up and carry it over the pie pan. Lay the dough down so it is fairly evenly centered in the pan. You can slip this crust a little to arrange it better, but this is only necessary if you have less than 1" overhang anywhere. (You can move it by lifting the long overhang with all four fingers under it and gently "skootching" it into the pan to create a slight excess. This can be worked over in small successive "skootches" toward the shorted area.) Trim all crust to about " wider than the edge of the pie pan.

If you "paint" the bottom of the raw pie shell with some egg white and let it dry before filling the pie, the pie crust is less likely to get soggy from the filling. Do this gently with your fingertips or a very soft paint (pastry) brush, being careful not to tear or slice the dough with fingernails.

Roll out the remaining dough for the top crust. Turn the oven on to preheat at 350 .

Fill the pie shell with the apples. Spread the apples evenly in the shell. Paint the flat outer edge of the pastry with the remaining cold water, then lift the top crust onto the pie with the rolling pin as you did before. Trim the top crust to inch beyond the lower crust's edge. Fold the extra half inch of the top crust under the bottom crust to make an overlapped edge, then press to seal. If you don't have a favorite method, my mother's technique is pretty and simple. With your pointer and middle finger of the right hand far enough apart to put the left pointer finger between them, press down on the crust with the pads of the finger, not the tips. With the right two fingers still on the pie dough, put your left pointer finger between them and far enough through them to touch the edge of the pie pan. Gently pull the folded edge of the dough one half inch toward the center of the pie, then press down. Move your right fingers so the pointer finger is sitting on the impression the middle finger just made, and repeat. Do this all around the pie shell. It will be sealed and pretty.

Cut a design into the top of the crust. This allows the steam to escape, so the hot liquid doesn't have to pop a hole in the pie crust to vent. As long as you are doing vent holes, make a pretty design - a design of short slashes - in the shape of an apple, or a heart, or three stalks of wheat, for example.

Some people like to coat the crust with milk, to give it a nice sheen, but this is optional. Sprinkle lightly with sugar, and put it in the oven (at 350 ) for 30 to 35 minutes. The crust should be lightly golden. Let cool on a wire rack for about an hour, or the filling will be so warm it will serve as "apple soup" instead of apple pie.

Serve it up, and bask in the praise your family will bestow on you!

If you'd like a Dutch Apple Pie, cut the measurements for the pastry dough in half, so you are making a single crust. Follow the above directions up to the point where you are ready to trim the crust - for this pie, trim the crust to a full 1" beyond the edge of the pie pan. Roll that inch under, so the fold in the crust matches the edge of the pan. Then crimp the edge as you like, and paint the bottom and sides of the dough with egg white. After washing the pastry cutter, and use it to blend these ingredients:

  • cup Flour
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • tsp cinnamon
  • tsp salt
  • 6 Tablespoons butter or margarine.

Pour the apples into the pie shell, then crumble this topping all over the apples right up to the pastry. Bake as instructed above.

 


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