Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Apple Pie

I love fall! I have to admit that I've been trying to sneak in some fallish things since the the last week of August.  A few candles here, some pumpkin muffins there, a sweater or two, and so on.  I hopelessly gave in and tackled Autumn with full abandon on September 1.  There is just so much to like about fall.  I made this little visual to show you all of my favorite fall things. 

Autumn certainly throws me into a baking mood.  Maybe its all the seasonal apples, pumpkins, and cinnamon sticks.  Or maybe its the cozy rainy days and cool evenings.  At any rate, you won't find me fighting the baking urge!

Last week I baked my first Apple Pie of the season.  I have to admit, it turned out to be one of the most beautiful pies I have ever made.  Maybe its the never fail flaky pie crust recipe I use; or maybe its the method I use for rolling it out that keeps it from tearing and falling apart.  At any rate, take a look at it (yes I was proud!)


Here's my recipe and secret method for rolling out the dough perfectly.


3 c. flour
1 1/4 c. crisco
1 tsp. salt
1 egg
1 tsp. vinegar
5 1/2 T. milk or water

Work flour, shortening, and salt until very fine (use a pastry cutter or fork).  Beat egg, milk/water, and vinegar together.  Pour over mixture and mix until it holds together, but don't over mix.  Roll out half of dough and place in the bottom of a deep dish pie plate.  (Read my secret method for doing this at the end)  Store the remainder in the refrigerator while you prepare the apples.

This recipe yields 3  9 inch pie shells, but I like to divide the dough in half to make only 2 shells.  I have a deep dish pie plate and I prefer a little bit of a thicker crust myself. 

5-6 large green apples, peeled and thinly sliced (thinly is the KEY!)
3/4 c. white sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 T butter

Mix together sugars, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.   Place sliced apples in prepared crust and sprinkle sugar mixture over the top.  Don't worry about the sugar mixture creating a thick layer over the apples.  It will all melt and drip down into the apples forming a delicious juice when it bakes!  Divide the butter into small squares and scatter on top.

Roll out the second crust and cover the apples.  Crimp as desired.  Cut 5-6 slits in the top shell for venting.  Bake at 425 for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350 and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly.

And now........here is my secret tool for easily rolling out my pie crust and transferring it to the dish with no tears.

Yep...Plastic Wrap! Here's how it works:

Overlap two strips of plastic wrap and lay them on your counter.  Place pie dough on the plastic wrap and sprinkle with a teeny bit of flour.  Roll out the dough, being careful not to go off the edges of the plastic wrap.  Once the dough is rolled out to the desired size and thickness, simply pick up the shell and flip it over into the pie dish.  The plastic wrap will now be on the top.  The plastic wrap will make it easy for you to move the crust around and position it exactly where you want it.  When you like the way it looks, peel the plastic wrap off and you're done! Reuse the plastic wrap for the second shell as well.

Well that is all for now friends.  What have you been baking lately? Do you have any secret tips or methods you care to share?