Sunday, September 9, 2012

Apple Pie, A Lesson From My Nana's Kitchen

My Nana was a wonderful cook as was her mother. Every Sunday, she made a big family meal which would include two pies. When we visited, she would make chocolate, my sister's favorite and apple, my favorite. She got up and made the pies before the rest of the house awoke. I would sneak down to join her. On those mornings, she taught me the secret to a tender crust (ice water), what apples are the best for baking (golden delicious & jonathan) plus many other techniques for a variety of pies. She has been gone for over 18 years, but I can still see her rolling out a beautiful crust and sharing her kitchen wisdom!

Double Crust:

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup shortening (I use butter flavored Crisco)
Ice water

Mix together the flour and salt. Cut the shortening into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles a crumble. Add water 1 tbsp at a time to the mix and work with a fork. Keep adding water until a soft dough forms. Form the dough into a ball without over working it or it will be tough. Wrap dough in waxed paper and let rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before rolling out.

Apple Pie:

1/2-3/4 cups of sugar (amount depends on tartness of apples)
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
lemon zest
2 tsp lemon juice
6-8 apples
2 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 425*. Roll out half the crust and place in the bottom of pie plate. Mix the sugar and next 5 ingredients. Place half of the sugar mixture into the crust. Peel, core and slice apples. Add apples to the pie plate and top with remaining sugar mixture. Dot top with butter. Roll out rest of the dough to form the top crust. Before placing the top crust on the pie, brush the edges of the bottom crust with milk so the edges seal together when the top crust is laid on the pie. Pinch crust together and remove excess. Vent crust to allow steam to escape. Bake for 40-50 minutes. I place my pies on a jelly roll pan to prevent pie filling bubbling over onto the oven. About 30 minutes into baking, cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil to prevent over browning.

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