Every now and then I feel super ambitious and want to try and bake something amazing. My cooking skills in general are pretty average (like right now I’m suppose to be thinking of something for dinner but I’m blogging instead …), but I like to think that I’m a slightly better baker. I’m no Wonder Woman when it comes to the oven, but I could probably pull off most things as long as the recipe wasn’t too crazy and complicated.
A couple weeks ago I decided that I wanted to make a pie. A rhubarb-strawberry pie, to be exact, but Kyle’s not a huge fan of the flavour so I decided to go with a good ol’ apple pie. Who doesn’t like apple pie? We happen to have an idiot-proof recipe book called “Clueless in the Kitchen,” from which I’ve also made the most amazing chocolate cake, so I figured I’d give the pie and crust recipe a try!
So, the recipe for the crust is:
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2/3 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vinegar
- cold water
Mix the flour and sugar together in a bowl. Cut the shortening into chunks and add it to the bowl and with a pastry blender (or a pair of forks or knives), blend the mixture until it looks crumbly and similar to oatmeal or bread crumbs. Crack the egg into a measuring cup and add the vinegar. Whisk it all together, and then add cold water. (I used enough to make the mixture measure out to a ½ cup.) Pour the liquid into the bowl of shortening and flour, and mix until it’s just all combined. Separate the dough into two halves and refrigerate for at least an hour before using. It makes enough for a 9″ pie plate!
Now for the good part – the filling!
- 4 cups apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (I used 6 medium-sized Gala apples):
- 2 tbsp plain dry bread crumbs (I have no idea why, but Kyle thinks it has something to do with soaking up some of the excess liquid from the fruit)
- ½ to 1 cup sugar (I used about ¾ cup of sugar because the Gala is a sweeter apple. If you use a more tart apple like a Granny Smith, use the full 1 cup)
- ¼ cup flour
- ½ tsp cinnamon
Preheat your oven to 425°F.
Roll out one half of the dough on a well-floured surface into a circle about 1″ larger than your pie pan. Gently fold it in half, then half again, and place it in the bottom of your pan. Take a knife and trim any excess dough so everything is even with the pan. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the bottom of the base.
Now – add the sugar, flour and cinnamon to the apple mixture. Mix it all together until everything is well blended, and then dump it all into the pie pan with a “mound” in the middle.
Roll out the remaining half of the pie crust the same size as the bottom and repeat: Gently fold into quarters and place it on top of the filling. Trim any excess dough from the sides so the dough meets the edge of the pan, then pinch the bottom and top crusts together. Now, poke a few holes into the top crust, and you’ll have something that looks like this:
Put it in the oven for 45-50 minutes until the fruit is tender and bubbling. I went with 45 minutes because my oven runs hot. And then?
Delicious pie! Mine turned out a wee bit dark on top, but overall, it was really good! Kyle gives it 4 out of 5 stars. He’s my toughest critic, so I’ll take that as a big win! He figures the crust could use a ½ tsp of salt, but he thought it was really good for my first crack at homemade, from scratch, pie. Go me!
And of course – I had to have ice cream with my slice:
What’s your favourite flavour of pie? With or without ice cream? Cheese on top?