Saturday, September 18, 2010

Homemade Apple Pie

This past weekend was the first weekend the local apple orchards were open for self picking of the apples. We had tried to attend last year, but unfortunately were just not able to make it in time, so this year we were on the ball to make sure we made time to go. We all had a blast picking apples, playing with a little play house they had there, and we almost came home with a kitten; thankfully they weren't old enough to be adopted. When we got home I knew just what needed to be done with the fresh picked apples, apple pie. I've made apple pie before and used a store bought pie crust, but I decided making pie crust is a skill I need to learn. I scoured my cook books and the internet and finally found a recipe that would work for the ingredients I had on hand. I don't use, therefore I don't keep, shortening in my kitchen. I do however try to keep plenty of butter, or imitation butter anyway, on hand.
For my first attempt at making a pie crust I think I did a pretty good job. It was a little tough and dry especially around edge, so I may have used a little to much flour and will have to try to use less next time.

The pie filling came out wonderful! The spices were great, the apples were cooked through, and it was so juicy. The only thing that was missing was a scoop of vanilla ice cream to with it.  That day was a perfect fall day, the temperature was on the cool side and the house was filled with the smell of baked apples and cinnamon.

Butter Pie Crust
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flout
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled and diced
1/4 cup ice water

1. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water, a tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
2. Roll dough out to fit a 9 inch pie plate. Place crust in pie plate. Press the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the pie plate.

Apple Pie Filling
5-6 cups sliced apples
1/8 tsp salt
1/2-2/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1-1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Line a 9 inch pie pan with crust. Peel and slice apples into thin pieces. Combine sugar, salt, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir apple slices in until they are well coated. Place the apples in layers in the pie shell. Cover with upper crust. Be sure to prick holes in it for venting. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 35-50 minutes more until done.

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