Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Need some election day comfort food?

What could be more comforting (or celebratory) than some good old-fashioned apple pie? So here's an illustrated tutorial on how to make my favorite apple pie with perfectly flaky crust just in time for election night blues and Thanksgiving!

Pie Crust--this crust was a Maryland State Fair winner from 1979. After experimenting with a million different ones over the years, this is by far my favorite (and everyone else's too)!

1 cup shortening (Crisco)
2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 egg + enough ice water to make ½ cup liquid


Cut shortening into flour and salt until the size of peas. Add egg/water mixture and stir with fork until just barely clinging together. Knead with hands for thirty seconds just bringing in some of the loose crumbs. I think the crust handles best when used right away, but you could cover and refrigerate the dough at this point. Yields two 9” crusts.

Divide the dough into two equal sections. Then on a generously floured pie mat (mine's from Pampered Chef) or piece of wax paper, use your hands to pat the dough down until relatively flat. You'll want to flip it over a few times, reflouring the surface each time.
Making sure you start with both sides of the dough and the mat well floured, use the rolling pin to form the crust into a somewhat circular shape. Make sure that you rotate the whole mat a few times while rolling out the dough to ensure that the thickness is even throughout.

After rolling it out to your desired thickness, carefully lift the entire mat into a centered position in your pie pan. Be careful when removing the pie mat/wax paper, so that you can try to minimize any rips or sticky spots in the crust.
Whew! The hardest part is done! Now it's onto the filling part...

No Fail Apple Pie--seriously this is SO easy!

1 ½ cups sugar divided
¼ cup flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. ginger
6-7 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped
2 Tbs. butter

Start with the pie crust rolled out into a 9” pie pan. Sprinkle ½ cup sugar, ¼ cup flour, and a pinch of salt over the crust (this step seems weird to a lot of people, but I promise it turns out fine. I forgot to take a picture, but basically you'll just pour the flour, sugar, and salt into the empty pie crust and stir it around lightly with your fingers).

Then fill crust with half of the apples. Sprinkle on another ½ cup sugar, then add the rest of the apples. Then sprinkle on another ½ cup of sugar, pinch of salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Cut butter up into small clumps and place evenly over the top of the apples.
Roll out top crust and place over pie (using crust directions from above). Cut half an inch from the edge and tuck and form as desired,(I use the extra dough to cut out seasonal shapes with cookie cutters to adorn the crust)Make sure to poke a few holes to allow steam to escape, then brush the top with some milk, then sprinkle with about 1 Tbs. sugar.

Bake at 425° for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 375° and bake for an additional 45 minutes. Watch the pie carefully the last 20 minutes or so, being ready to place some foil over edges or top if they are browning too quickly. The filling will bubble out slightly when the pie is done.

Serve warm with cool whip or vanilla ice cream and voila....you've got comfort for the most depressing of election days.

Oh and I guess I should tell you that my bishop informed me that my calling and election were made sure after I brought one of these pies to him....

I wish it were only that easy, but I'll take what I can get.


Andie said...

Thanks, Lara. I am staying up crawling the internet waiting for Ryan to come home from his election night party.

If I had a pie in front of me I'd probably eat the whole thing, I'm so disappointed. We figured our vote here in Minnesota (Land of 10,000 Taxes) didn't matter much, but bummer about Virginia.


Denise said...

Totally going to try this out! Thanks Lara.

Deanne said...

Yum! Thanks for divulging all your secrets. Now I feel like I can actually attempt this recipe!

Deon said...

Love it - I will have to try your tricks! I need to get one of those mats and try your egg in the crust.

Charlene said...

thanks for the recipe-it looks delicious!

The Giles said...

Yes I can attest that this is the best apple pie EVER!
Thank you for being so generous and bringing one over. We loved it!

JenJ said...

Thank you Lara!!!
Step by step instructions from the expert!!

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