Friday, May 21, 2010
I have baked my very first pie! I had the vision of making an apple pie with a lattice top and so I decided to try it. After talking with a few people, I realized that pie crust is supposed to be a somewhat difficult task. Yikes. I pulled out my trusty Betty Crocker cookbook and started to make a plan. I ended up using a pie crust from The Pioneer Woman's website. If you've never been to her website, you should check it out (www.thepioneerwoman.com).
Sylvia's Perfect Pie Crust from Pioneer Woman
1 1/2 cup Crisco (vegetable Shortening)
3 cups All-purpose Flour
1 whole Egg
5 Tablespoons Cold Water
1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
1 teaspoon Salt
In a large bowl, with a pastry cutter, gradually work the Crisco into the flour for about 3 or 4 minutes until it resembles a coarse meal. (I don't have a pastry cutter, so I used the two knife method.) In a small bowl, beat an egg with a fork and then pour it into the flour/shortening mixture. Add 5 tablespoons of cold water, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir together gently until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
Separate the dough into thirds. Form 3 evenly sized balls of dough and place each dough into a large Ziploc bag. Using a rolling pin, slightly flatten each ball of dough (about ½ inch thick) to make rolling easier later. Seal the bags and place them in the freezer until you need them. (If you will be using it immediately it’s still a good idea to put in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes to chill.)
When you are ready to use the dough to make a crust, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for 15 minutes. On a floured surface roll the dough, starting at the center and working your way out. (Sprinkle some flour over top of the dough if it’s a bit too moist.) If the dough is sticking to the countertop use a metal spatula and carefully scrape it up and flip it over and continue rolling until it’s about 1/2 inch larger in diameter than your pie pan.
With a spatula, lift the dough carefully from the surface of the counter into the pie pan. Gently press the dough against the corner of the pan. Go around the pie pan pinching and tucking the dough to make a clean edge.
Because I wanted to do the lattice top, I followed the above steps and then rolled out a second crust. I cut it into strips and then placed them onto my pie. Ideally, I would have woven the lattice top, but then I actually realized how delicate pie crust could be so a simplified lattice top seemed perfectly acceptable.
Apple Filling from Betty Crocker
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash of salt
8 cups thinly sliced Granny Smith apples
2 tablespoons butter
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Make pastry. Mix sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl. Stir in apples. Turn into pastry-lined pie plate. Cut butter into small pieces; sprinkle over apples. (Moment of honesty: I didn't fully read my recipe and so I mixed the butter in. Make sure you cut it up well so it can be distributed among the apples.) Cover with lattice top. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
Cover the edge of your pie crust with foil to keep it from getting too dark. Remove the foil for the last 10-15 minutes. Cool on wire rack at least 2 hours.
Result: A success! The crust was delicious and flaky, the apples a bit tart with some bite to them, and paired with vanilla ice cream it was perfect.