Friday, February 4, 2011

As American As...

You guessed it, apple pie! I've been feeling a bit under the weather, but unlike other intelligent people who take it easy and relax, I bake. Yesterday's project was chocolate cake and today's was apple pie. I had been dying to get my hands on this particular family recipe but have been hesitant to try it for fear of failure. Now that I have gotten the fear of failure out of the way by having spectacularly burned our dinner last weekend, I felt there was no longer any room for fear in my kitchen.

It started out well enough, making the pastry, peeling and slicing the apples, and sifting together the sugars and spice. Chilling the dough was obviously a no-brainer, so was tossing the apples in the sugar mixture. The hard part came when I had to roll out the dough. It was SO STRESSFUL to get it just right, it took me forever! I made two pies, and I don't think I made the tops thick enough, so it ended up looking like a bit of a mess, which made me sad. But the thing is, what a delicious, delicious mess it was!

I made the mistake of letting one of the stock boys help me find the lard. Instead, I got a complete tour of our Safeway.

The Christening of my pastry cutter

My enormous Mac apples. They didn't have any PC ones.

By the time they went into the oven, I was covered in flour and completely exhausted
Not exactly magazine worthy, but scrumptious nontheless
I feel like it would be wrong of me to post my mother-in-law's apple pie recipe without having asked her for permission first, so here is a similar recipe that I got from

Basic Pie Dough Recipe
Makes one double crust pie or 2 single crust pies.

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup lard
4-7 tablespoons cold water mixed with 1 egg and a bit of vinegar

Sift the flour with the salt. Cut in the lard until the mixture looks like small peas. Sprinkle this mixture with water a tablespoon at a time and mix lightly with a fork. Keep adding liquid mixture 1 tablespoon at a time, just until dough will come together when you mix it with the fork.
Gather the dough into a ball. Dough can be refrigerated until ready to use at this stage. If using now, divide the pastry into 2 sections, one just slightly larger than the other. Take the larger ball of dough and roll it out into a large, thin circle with a rolling pin. Make sure you sprinkle a bit of flour on the surface you are rolling the dough out on before you begin. Use the larger sheet of dough as the bottom crust of a 2 crust pie. Roll out the other piece for the top. 


5 to 6 cups apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup granulated sugar 
1/4 brown sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
dash salt
2-4 tablespoons cold butter
Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
Lay 1/2 the pastry, rolled out to about 1/8" thickness, in the bottom of the pie pan and press it in gently to lay flat in the pan. Leave the excess crust hanging over the edges for now.
Place peeled, sliced apples in a bowl. Mix together the sugar, flour, salt and cinnamon. Pour over sliced apples and mix. Fill the pie pan with the apples and pat down with a spoon. Dot the filling with pieces of butter.
Moisten the lip of the pie pan with water. Place the top layer of rolled out crust over the filling, making sure crust reaches outer edges of the pie pan all around. Seal the edge and pinch all around.
Take a fork and prick the pie top in several places to create vents for steam to escape. Bake for 50 minutes, until pastry is golden and the filling is bubbling through the vents.
Let cool a bit before cutting to allow the filling to settle.
Makes 1 - 9" pie.

I am completely in awe of my mother-in-law, because I can honestly say that baking pies is hard. I think I prefer eating them. If I had to bake pies professionally, I would charge one million dollars per pie. I'm glad that all I have to do now is eat them!

Happy Super Bowl weekend everyone!


  1. Yai you made the pie :)
    MMMM it looks yummy. Congrats Elizipoo.
    Talk soon xoxo

  2. The pie crust recipe is one anyone can have. I like it because it is enough to make three pies. I figure if you have to make a mess for one pie, you might as well make a mess for three!

    That way you can keep a couple in the freezer when you don't feel like baking but need a dessert that night.