Saturday, June 24, 2006
To start - Brigid's foolproof pie crust.
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups shortening
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/2 cup very cold water
Add flour, shortening, sugar, and salt to a large bowl. Get out your pastry cutter.I was watching this documentary about how the invention of the pastry cutter was what allowed Cro-Magnon man to surpass and eventually entirely surplant the Neanderthal in the chain of human evolution. Or it might have been greater linguistic competence and cultural sophistication and the Colt 45, I don’t know, I wasn’t watching that closely. I was making pie.
Mix flour and shortening with the pastry cutter until it looks nice and crumbly, crumbs should be much small than the size of peas. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, egg, and water.
Add to the flour mixture, stirring in till well-moistened.
Shape it with clean hands into a ball of pastry dough. (Don’t overhandle.)
Divide the dough into four equal-size balls.
Wrap each ball with plastic and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before using.These will keep a week in the fridge or a couple months in the freezer in freezer bags.
To use, sprinkle some flour on waxed paper. Sprinkle some more flour on top then roll out, adding more flour if necessary to keep from sticking to your rolling pin. Place in a greased pie pan. You can just up-end the rolled crust right off the waxed paper on top of the pie pan. Peel off the paper then crimp the edges. For the top I used a pastry cutter and cut some fat strips and made sort of a half-assed lattice top. Not as pretty as the bakery's but it lets a little of the juice bubble on up.
For the filling:
* 1/2 Cup unsalted butter
* 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1/4 Cup apple juice or cider
* 1/2 Cup granulated sugar
* 1/2 Cup light brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 6 HoneyGold apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin, but not too thin
* lemon juice
Your pie crust is waiting -
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.(220 degrees C). Melt butter in large saucepan. Stir in flour to make a paste. Add apple juice, white sugar and brown sugar; bring just to a boil.
Reduce temperature to low to medium/low and let simmer for about 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and add vanilla & cinnamon to the mixture. Use REAL vanilla, the fake stuff is mostly alcohol and you'll lose most of the flavor.
If you have cut or sliced the apples, cover them with lemon juice so they won't turn brown.
Toss apples around with the lemon juice in a bowl to cover evenly. Add the apples to the butter mixture in the saucepan.
Have your crust ready in the pie pan. You might put some foil under the pie plate in the oven in case it bubbles over.
Carefully put the apples in the pie crust lined pan. You could put a lattice top over the pie or cut out cute shapes with a cookie cutter to place over the apples. I tried to find a cookie cutter in the shape of an AR15 but had no luck so I did lattice. I sprinkled maybe a half a teaspoon of sugar and cinnamon on top of the crust before placing it in the oven.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F. (175 degrees C) Continue to bake for 45 minutes,placing a thin strip of foil around the edges the last 15 minutes so it doesn't get too brown.
Try and let it cool enough so you don't scald your mouth. Vanilla Ice Cream will take a bit of the sting away if you do.