Tuesday, November 26, 2013

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to One and All! (Apple Pie recipe included!)



What are your plans for Thanksgiving? Cooking for a crowd? dining out? visiting someone else’s home?

I know this greeting is 2 days early, but I wanted to give you time in case you were looking for a pie crust - or apple pie - recipe to serve your guests.

For years Doug and I hosted Thanksgiving to a cast of many, now it’s a quiet affair since everyone is scattered. 

My homemade Apple Pie
Good friends have invited us to share Thanksgiving at their home, an offer we couldn’t refuse. My only obligation …. bring an apple pie.

The pie crust recipe I’m making was handed down to me from a former Home Economics colleague back in the early 1970’s. Its name, ‘ Never-Fail Pie Crust’ suggests a successful outcome. Vegetable shortening, despite its bad reputation, really does make for a flaky crust. Remember, you’re only eating a sliver, not the entire pie, right??

Making pastry dough is easy. Just be cautious - don’t over-work the dough, and it will be light and flaky. (This isn’t yeast bread – no heavy-duty kneading necessary!)

Never-Fail Pie Crust:
(My recommendation: Make this in advance.)

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cup vegetable shortening (such as Crisco)
1 tsp. salt
1 egg, well beaten
5 Tbsp. ice-cold water, divided (NOTE: The amount of water may vary depending on the type/brand of flour you use and the amount of humidity that’s in the air – no joke!)
1 Tbsp. white vinegar

Directions:
1. Place flour and salt in a large mixing bowl; blend well.
2. Using a pastry blender, combine the shortening into the flour-salt until mixture resembles small peas.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the beaten egg, 1 Tbsp. of the water, and vinegar. Pour into the flour mixture. Stir in the remaining cold water, 1 Tbsp. at a time, until a workable dough is achieved. (See note above about the amount of water.)
4. Divide dough into 2 even balls, then flatten using the palm of your hand. Tightly wrap each portion with plastic wrap, and refrigerate up to 1 week. (The dough will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months when placed in an additional freezer bag. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before using.)

Apple Pie Filling Ingredients:
6 cups thinly sliced, peeled, and cored apples (about 6 medium) NOTE: I use a combination of Granny Smith and Fuji apples
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (add more if apples are very juicy)
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, optional
1 tablespoon lemon juice 

Filling Directions:
In large bowl, gently mix filling ingredients. 

Egg wash for top crust: 1 egg, beaten

Directions for assembling and baking:
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Roll out both of the dough balls on a lightly floured work surface so that they are larger than the size of an inverted pie pan. Place one ‘crust’ in an ungreased 9-inch glass pie plate. Press firmly against side and bottom. Trim excess dough so that there is no more than 1-inch overhang.
3. Spoon the filling into the bottom crust, without flattening the apples.
4. Place second crust on top. Gently fold excess top crust under the bottom crust edge. Do NOT press the folded crust onto the pie pan rim! Press edges of the top and bottom dough together to seal; flute or crimp the edges.
5. Brush egg wash over the top and edges of the pie crust. Cut slits in several places in top crust to allow steam to escape while baking.
6. Before baking loosely cover edge of crust with strips of foil cut 2- to 3-inch wide. This will form a collar, preventing excessive browning.
7. Bake for 30 minutes; remove foil collar. Bake another 10 to 15, or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown. Cool on wire rack at least 2 hours before serving.

2 comments:

  1. I just started reading and I'm glad I did. You're a good blogger, one of the finest that Ive seen. This blog absolutely has some facts on subject that I just wasn't aware of.Thanks for bringing this things to light.

    www.imarksweb.org

    ReplyDelete
  2. I came across your site and noticed your post about apple pie. Upon further reading I couldn't believe you use the same recipe (with slight adjustments) that was handed down in my family "The Never Fail Pie Crust". I love this recipe and yes it has never failed me! Cool to know there are other families out there enjoying a easy to make and delicious pie crust.

    ReplyDelete