Saturday, July 05, 2008

Apple Pie

My grandma makes the best apple pies, in my opinion, and I only try to imitate hers when I make mine. I've gotten a lot of tips throughout the years from various sources. The crust I make is out of the Betty Crocker cookbook that my mom had when I was a teenager. I still use it. For the crust you will need:

2 C Sifted Flour
1 Teaspoon salt
3/4 C Shortening (I use Crisco)
5-7 Tablespoons of cold water

Sift the flour into a bowl, add the salt and the shortening. Use a pastry cutter to cut the shortening into the flour. It should look about like this when you are done:

Next I put 8 Tablespoons of water into a glass and pour a little at a time into the flour mixture, mixing with a fork until it forms into small dough balls. It is better to use too much water than not enough because you will be rolling it out on a floured surface. This is what mine looked like:

Using your hands, form it into a ball. Split that ball equally into two smaller balls.

Spread flour all around the area you will be using to roll it out. Take one of the balls and using the side of your hand, make 3 vertical indentations in it.

Then make 3 horizontal indentations in it. It helps it to start into a circular shape.

Then, turn it over, making sure the surface under it still has flour.

And roll it into a circular shape that is bigger than the pie plate you are using.

An easy way to transfer the dough into the pie plate is to fold it in half, then into a triangular shape, like so:

Then you put it into the pie plate,

And unfold it.
Next you take a butter knife and cut the excess dough flush with the edge.
Poke holes in the bottom of the crust with a fork, and sprinkle some flour and sugar on the bottom.

Why? Because Grandma says so. And she is the expert around here. ;) It helps to keep the bottom of the crust flaky and not mushy.
For the filling you will need:
3 Granny Smith sized apples (if they are smaller, use more)
1/2 C Sugar + a little more
1 Tablespoon butter or margarine
Cut up about 1 1/2 apples - maybe more, depending on the size of the apple. I used to use Jonathan apples because that is what my Grandma uses, but I can't find them much anymore, so I began using different types. Here I used Granny Smith, so I used a bit more sugar than usual because they are not really sweet apples. Jonathan apples are a bit more sweet, so I would use less sugar for them. This is the first time I have actually measured the sugar, I usually just put whatever looks right to me.
Put the 1 1/2 cut up apples into the crust and take 1/2 TBSP of the butter or margarine, and cut it into 4 parts and place on top of the apples.
Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the sugar over the apples, and sprinkle some cinnamon on.

Now, repeat. Cut up the other 1 1/2 apples, put in the pie plate along with the other 1/2 TBSP of butter or margarine (cut up), cover with 1/4 cup of sugar and sprinkle on some cinnamon.

Now, get the second ball of dough and roll it out the way I showed above. Fold it into a triangle too, and place it on top of the apples. Use your hands and form it over the apples.

Now cut the excess dough off of the edges with a butter knife - flush with the edge again.
See these scraps? Don't throw them away! I'll show you what to do with them in a second.

Let's finish the pie first. Take the top crust and fold it under the edge of the bottom crust.

All the way around.
It will look like this:Then take your fingers and pinch the edge all the way around so it looks pretty:

Next, poke holes in the crust with a fork so it can release some steam. I think. I really don't know why, that is just how Grandma does it. I have even used a knife before and cut words into the crust. Like "Happy Father's Day" and "Happy Birthday" and things like that.
You will also want to pour a little bit of milk into a glass and stick your fingers into the milk and pat the milk all over the top. It makes it brown nicely.

Now sprinkle some sugar over the top:

And put it into a 350 degree (F) oven to bake for 1 hour. No, I don't put anything around the edges to keep the crust from burning. I've never had a problem with that.
OK, now, back to those scraps of dough you cut off the edges.
Form them into a ball and roll them into a rectangular form, like so:
Now take some soft butter and spread it all over the dough.

Now take sugar and cover it with sugar, and then sprinkle a bunch of cinnamon on it.

Now take one of the long edges and fold it over.

And roll the dough into a log form.
Take a butter knife and cut the roll into little cinnamon rolls! They are yummy.

Now, put them onto a baking sheet and put them in the oven with the pie. They don't take as long as the pie to cook, though. I usually leave them in for about 30-35 minutes. While they are cooking, the butter will melt and get all over the sheet and burn. It's really ugly. But that doesn't matter, they still taste good. Trust me.
See? Ugly.

But if you pull them off the sheet right away, the bottoms will be safe. See? I've even forgotten about them before and they have burnt. And they are still good! If you don't like the burnt part, you can just cut it off. These little rolls go quickly at my house. The kids come and grab em before they are cool. And they are my mom's favorite. I once made a whole batch of dough into these things for her. And yeah, they are a bit dry, so have some milk or coffee or something with them. Yummm.

Now here is the pie after an hour. Some of the juices leaked out onto the top, but that's OK.

Now cut it, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you have it (we did not) and enjoy! :)


Misty said...

These pictures make me so HUNGRY!!

Work Bud said...

That looks like some might fine pie! Did you save a slice for me?

I thought my Mom was the only one that did that with the leftover "scraps", however, she doesn't cut hers before baking, only after it is done.

Debra said...

i LOVE cinnamon rolls from pie crust. Man, now I'm hungry...