Our biggest apple tree is ripe and so pie making time has begun! This recipe is from my mom, who my kids call Granny B. Later I will post a recipe from Mark's mom. Both are great cooks and make terrific pies.
1. Pick your apples. Either off the tree or from a supermarket. I recommend a tree. It is way more fun. You will need approximately 12 to 20 medium sized apples. (Did I say this recipe was going to be exact!?) If I have a choice a nice granny smith apple makes a good pie. I have no idea what kind of apples these are as they come from an ancient old tree. All I know is that they are a little soft, bruise easily and they are yellowish green.2. Wash, peel and slice your apples. We have this awesome peeler/corer that I purchased when our children were preschoolers. My kids loved to use it to create their own healthy snack. Here is my hubby using it. It makes the slices about 1/4 inch thick which is just about right. 3. Add sugar, cinnamon and flour to the apples. Hopefully, you have about 12 cups of peeled and sliced apples, more is fine, a little less, not as fine. But doable. I usually use about 2 cups sugar, 4 tsp. cinnamon and 1/4 cup flour. This is one of those cooking variables that depends on the apple. If it is a sweet apple you will use less sugar, if it is tart, maybe a little more and you could use more or less flour depending on the juiciness of the apple as well.
4. Make your crust.
This crust is really good and pretty fail proof: 4 Cups Flour, 1 Cup shortening, 1 Cup butter (don't use margarine), 1 tsp. salt, 1 Tlbs. sugar, 1 Tlbs. vinegar, 1 egg, 1/2 cup water.
Mix flour, shortening, butter and salt together until fully mixed using a fork or pastry tool. It should resemble this. Mix vinegar, egg and water together in a small bowl until egg is dissoved. Add egg mixture to flour mixture until it becomes dough. Do NOT overmix; just until completely integrated. Make dough into two balls.
If dough is sticky, cover with plastic wrap and put in refridgerator for about 10 minutes to chill. ( This recipe makes enough dough for one 13x9 deep dish pie, or two regular two crust pies, or 4 single crust pies... got that!?)
5. Roll your crust out on a heavily floured surface. Use your 13x9 inch pie as a guide for when your crust is big enough. Carefully fold your pastry into quarters and place in pie dish. Look at this photo.... it does not have to be perfect to taste good. If you have tears and holes just patch it up. Same thing goes for life. 6. Dump apples into crust. YUmmm. Looks good already. At this point if you notice a lot of juice, you can sprinkle a little more flour on top of the apples.
7. Roll out top crust using the same method as for bottom crust. Put it on top of pie. Again, mending any little holes along the way :-)
8. Seal top and bottom crust together. My mom is talented and incredible in this regard. She makes beautiful fluted edges that are perfectly spaced apart. Me, I just get the job done with a fork. Do whatever floats your boat, just make sure that they are sealed so you don't loose any amazing juices. Remove the extra dough around the edges. You will also want to use a fork to poke some holes on the tip top to let the steam escape.
9. Wrap the whole shebang in foil with the center open for the steam to escape and pop it into an oven set at 350 ish for 2 hoursish , or until the crust is slightly golden brown and the apples tender to the fork that you will again use to test them with. Don't you just love forks, they are so handy! As our husbands who help you make pies!! ( note the hairy arms and skinned up hands).We made this pie for a very special young lady who came up to the ranch yesterday to celebrate her 18th birthday.
She checked on her cows (she claims they are hers, since she named most of them. LOL), and then she went for a swim. Happy Birthday Jo, enjoy adulthood!