Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A is for Apple P is for Pie Y is for YUM

What happens when you go apple picking with your immediate family, your in-laws, and the in-laws family?
You end up with a whack load of apples, AGAIN!! 
It seems like deja vu considering about a month ago I was inundated with the little buggers and I JUST finished using them.
I love my family so I would never trade the time that I can spend with them.  They are all quirky in their own way and it makes little outings a barrel of laughs to say the least!  So when they decided that we'd all get together and go for Thanksgiving how could I say no?? 

Uncle Gary finding a use for the rotting apples

Then....the cold from "HE double hockey sticks" came and all I wanted to do was sleep and DIE. Sadly apple picking waits for no one and so we headed out, kleenex stuffed into pockets, Vick's on the chest and a warm cup of apple cider in hand.  They do say "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" so who was I to argue?
So, ok, I do have to admit that we went for the company, the sunshine, and the picturesque scenery NOT to pick any more apples.  My mother-in-law however picked with our son and  since I have been a resident baker the last little while I think she was assuming I needed more and more and more apples. AH well....lets make pies!

Apple Pie
Filling -
5-6 apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. cinnamon
2/3 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 tbsp. flour
1 tbsp. butter diced into small pieces
pinch of salt

Wash, peel, core and slice apples and place in a bowl.  sprinkle the lemon juice over apples and toss to coat (this stops the apples from browning).  Place cinnamon, sugars, flour and salt over top and mix.  Pour into unbaked pie shell (homemade or store bought - recipe below). 
Take the butter and place around the apples sporadically.  Cover with second pie crust, pinching the sides or using one of those fancy dancy pastry cutters which I don't own - hint hint and cut a few slits for steam.
Some people like to brush a little water/egg mixture over top of crust and use some rock sugar but I am not that fancy.
Bake at 400 for 15 minutes and then reduce heat to 375 and continue to bake another 35-45 minutes.  My test is the top of the crust should be slightly browning

Homemade Crust - if you aren't lazy or strapped for time
2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 c. unsalted butter
1/2 c. vegetable shortening
2 tbsp. lemon juice
6 tbsp to 8 tbsp cold water as needed

Combine flour with salt. Using a pastry knife or fork, cut in butter and shortening until mixture is a crumbly texture. Add lemon juice and water and mix just until dough comes together. Shape into a disc, wrap and chill for 30 minutes.  Roll out to 2 10 in circles (so that it will overhang the 9 in pie plate)  Lightly flour the pie plate, place one sheet and fill with apple mixture, place second over top and pinch the two to form a seal.
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