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Dessert,Recipes

September 26, 2009

An Autumn Classic…. APPLE PIE

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pie crust3 300x210 An Autumn Classic.... APPLE PIE

pie crust

“When baking, follow directions. When cooking, go by your own taste.” – Laiko Bahrs

Pie crust, make it right and you are in heaven. Make it wrong and well you have a shingle for your roof.

Can something so simple be so difficult to make?

A basic pie crust is flour, salt, sugar mixed and then you add some water and fat until it all sticks together. Roll it out and bake it. Boy I wish it was that simple. A lot can go wrong. The ideal pie crust should be tender and flaky. Not like concrete requiring a jackhammer to cut.

I will confess that I have cheated in making pie crusts. I’ve taken that trip to the supermarket and bought pre-made pie crust or even bought it a local bakery. I know, I know it’s a sin. That was in my pre-cooking phase. I was young and foolish (some might say I am still foolish but I am having fun.) You must make the pie crust to taste the difference. I have cooked for many people over the years. I have made the most complex dinners but nothing gets more compliments (and girls! that’s a story for another time) than a great fresh baked pie.

I have consulted many references for this series on apple pie. I have also spoken to local bakers, my mother (she’d kill me if I didn’t), friends and referred to many cook books. I have compiled all the resources for the recipe below. Before you start read the above quote again. If you have any suggestions please let me know.

Try to share this experience with loved one or a friend. Enjoy yourself and have some fun.

Next week part deux … The Apples Strike Back!


The Idiot-Proof Pie Dough…kinda

For one 10″ single pie crust (you will need to make this twice for two pie crusts)

1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 tsp. table salt

1/2 cup of  chilled vegetable shortening MINUS 1 TBSP

1 Tbsp. unsalted butter (this will help make the crust tender)

1/4 cup cold water

2 tsp. fresh lemon juice (this will help make the crust tender)

Place the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Chop the shortening and butter into the flour until it looks like coarse crumbs. To chop shortening and butter you can use a food processor then transfer it to another bowl. Another way to chop shortening and butter¬†is to use two knives and crisscross them through the mixture. Now add the water one Tbsp at a time. After adding each Tbsp of water lightly mix with a fork until the pastry just holds together. DON’T OVER DO IT! Now add the lemon juice and again lightly mix with a fork. With your hands, shape the dough into a ball and place it in a bowl. Chill the dough in the refrigerator. After 30 minutes remove the dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8″ thick. Transfer crust to pie plate and ease into the bottom and sides of plate. Fill as recipe directs (see the next post). Cover pie with another crust.