I quote the bible of all cookbooks to me…The New Doubleday Cookbook…frequently. Last night, after a wonderful lunch with friends, I went grocery shopping and had it in my head that I wanted to make another pie, but not strawberry again. I opted for the “old standby” pie of apple. $140 later, I left the grocery store (holy wow, did we need all this stuff?) in the rain…thank you South Carolina for raining on me when I had a pile of grocery bags….and started the process.
I channel Ree Drummond for my pantry – I’ve always got a pantry of baking products because in my world, baking is an impulse item. I don’t always know when I’m going to feel like making cake or baking cookies. So, we must have everything from vegetable shortening to gluten-free flour….you never know when you’ll be baking for someone with celiac. After last week’s strawberry-rhubarb pie, I had the right amount (like…exactly) of shortening for a 2 crust pie. Not my FAVORITE THING TO MAKE but I thought I’d go for it.
I had purchased two goliath honeycrisp apples that I thought would be enough. And…they would have been enough for a 8″ pie. Of course, my pie plate here in mom’s house is 9″ and you’d be surprised how different 1″ in diameter makes when filling a pie. So, I had to supplement with 2 gala apples. Two mom-sized gala apples.
As you probably know if you follow me, recipes are just suggestions in my house. I already kind of knew the ratios for the crust. If you took my advice and got the above bible of cooking and baking called The New Doubleday Cookbook, you can flip to the Flaky Pastry II recipe in the Pies and Pastries chapter. Luckily apple pie is less than 10 pages later. I really only used the apple pie recipe for a guideline but please note…I need to skim less and read more. Here’s why:
I peeled and cored the apples, added the lemon juice (fresh squeezed cuz that’s the way I roll) and then added the sugar. Then I went to my stand-by Penzey’s Apple Pie Spice. I actually looked at the recipe and saw it called for a whopping 3/4 of a teaspoon of spice…and well, that just doesn’t do it for me. With apples, the cinnamon needs to be bold. I believe that Penzey’s Apple Pie spice is cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. I really love that combo so even if I didn’t have the “pre-mixed” seasoning, I probably would have opted for this combo.
Here’s where I think I erred. I did know that I needed to dot the apples inside the pie with butter, but in the heat of the moment (ha), I forgot until after I put the top crust on. I’m not sure how I missed sealing the bottom crust to the top crust. I totally thought to myself, “Don’t they suggest sealing the crusts?” as I crimped. They had. But I didn’t. So, I’m not 100% sure the top will be stuck to the bottom.
And, I do have to say…although I know how to use the food processor to make pie crust dough…and it’s super easy….these last two times, I haven’t. I used the normal ole pastry blender (in fact, I have a favorite Pampered Chef pastry blender that I think is SUPER) to cut the cold vegetable shortening into the flour. It did take about 6 1/2 tablespoons of ice water…I suppose I could have used 7 but I didn’t want super-sticky dough and with pie crust you can go from perfect to sticky-soupy in 1/2 a tablespoon very quickly. I did choose not to brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar but I’m pretty sure we’ll use whipped topping for the final presentation. That’s sweet stuff.
So….yeah here’s where I have to pause. I baked it for the perfect amount of time. It is a gorgeous slightly browned, gorgeously toasty looking pie.