Last night I made an apple pie. I had promised Blake earlier in the week that I would make him a pie since he signed up for two kiln shifts with me (or, rather, I signed him up for two shifts with me). Originally I was going to make the pie for our first or second shift together, but ran out of time both nights. So I decided I would make one for last night, since he had the 10pm-2am shift, which is pretty lame as far as sleepy goes. I started making the pie when I got home last night around 9:30pm, and was able to take it to him around mid-night, after letting it cool for a bit and running to the store to get plastic silverware. Baking the pie was fun, I love making apple pie because it is simple, and yet always impressive to other people. Every time I make apple pie it is different, because I keep forgetting to bookmark the sites that I reference. I think this is interesting and fun, and gives me a good idea of ways I can tweak the recipe to make it my own. As I start to bake more, I find myself adding and subtracting and substituting more and more. Usually it’s just small things like adding more spices, or vanilla, or substituting buttermilk with something else, but before this semester I would never change the recipe at all, so it’s quite exciting!
Recipe: Pie Crust
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening
1/2 cup water
In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water until mixture forms a ball. Divide dough in half, and shape into balls. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
Modifications: This is my go-to pie crust recipe, although I make a 1.5 batch, so that I have extra to make the pie crust pretty. When I make the recipe as directed, I always come up just a little bit short on dough, which makes for a funny-looking lattice-top. So today I did a 1.5 recipe and had a heck of a whole lot of leftover, but a beautiful pie.
6 cups Granny Smith apple slices, peeled and cored
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg to taste
2 Tablespoons cold butter, cut in small pieces
1 Tablespoon milk or cream for brushing the top crust
1 Tablespoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon for dusting the crust
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Roll out bottom of crust into pan, letting the excess crust hang over the edge.
In a large bowl, toss the sliced apples with lemon juice. Add sugars, flour and spices if desired, mixing gently. Fold into prepared pie crust and dot with cold butter.
Roll out a top crust, and arrange in a decorative fashion over the apple filling, making sure to leave air holes in the top crust for the steam to escape.
Bake for 50-60 minutes or until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbly.
Modifications: I used an extra apple (my previous recipe had 8 apples, so I compromised with 7), a small sprinkle of nutmeg, a tiny sprinkle of ground cloves, and a splash of vanilla extract. I also forgot to mix sugar with the cinnamon that you dust on the crust, so I just sprinkled cinnamon on top.