Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mom's Diner: Apple Pie

Since my mom still thinks I'm a growing boy (I'm still waiting for those last 3 inches the doctor promised me), she wasn't just going to let me leave without a complete meal. To make sure I got the necessary sugar part of the food pyramid, my mom introduced me to the sweet tooth utopia known as her apple pie. At first, I was a little hesitant about committing an act of piedultery against my normal pie shoppe partner Robin, but then I remembered that I hadn't eaten pie since her departure in May, giving way to the ever popular pie withdrawal excuse.

Pie Crust
Ball of shortening!
Adapted from Crisco
Servings: 1 deep dish pie
Time: 30 minutes

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 stick or 1 cup chilled all-vegetable shortening
6-10 tbsp ice cold water

My mom's dough rolling skills > my dough rolling skills.
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  2. Whisk the flour and salt together in a bowl.
  3. Cut the shortening into 1/2 inch cubes. Then cut the cubs into the flour mix with a pastry blender or fork (or smush them with your fingers) until only pea-sized coarse crumbs remain.
  4. Sprinkle 5 tbsp of water over the flour and distribute evenly. Continue adding water until it is moist enough to hold together and work with.
  5. Shape the dough into a ball then flatten into a 1/2 inch thick round disk.
  6. Roll the dough out evenly into a circle at least 2 inches larger than the size of your pie dish. Gently place into the pie dish. Trim so that there's about 3/4 inch overhand. Fold the edges under and flute the edges of the dough.
  7. Poke holes into the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork to prevent blistering and rising. Prebake for 10-12 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown.
And she even flutes it. Hot diggity damn!
I had never made a crust with shortening before, so I was quite intrigued. The shortening based pie shell was surprisingly easy to work with and had a fantastic taste that ranked up there with any pie crust in all the land. Plus, I was too dumbfounded by my mom's stellar dough fluting abilities to even notice what I was eating. For all I knew she replaced the pie with a darn tasty toaster.

Dutch Apple Pie
Servings: 1 deep dish pie
Time: 1 hour
You'd never know the apples are actually wax
1 pie crust

1/4 cup water
10 Granny Smith apples
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cu brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
6 tbsp flour

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup butter

    not even baked yet and already delicious looking
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Mix the water, apples, lemon juice, sugars and cinnamon together in a large pot. Let the butter melt then blend well. Bring the mixture to a boil then let simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes until the apples start to soften.
  3. Remove from heat and mix the flour in.
  4. Pour the filling into the prebaked pie crust.
  5. Whisk the topping ingredients together in a large bowl until coarsely crumbled. Sprinkle it evenly over the filling.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes then cover the crust with aluminum foil to prevent burning. Bake for an additional 40 minutes. Let cool quaintly on a windowsill and enjoy.
I want to go back to there.
Despite being completely stuffed from the chili cheese fries, fried peanut butter and banana sandwich, root beer float and shame, I managed to force a piece of pie down my throat before promptly falling asleep for thirteen hours. I'm glad I did because this was a killer piece of pie. Our granny smith apples provided sharp flavor and were perfectly cooked. The inside was so good and gooey that it was as if it also was filled with caramel (yay butter and sugar!). Most delightfully, however, the brown sugar crunch from the streusel topping went beautifully with the cinnamon punch of the pie to provide me with sweet dreams of a land made of apples and sugar. Stay tuned for the long awaited conclusion to my parental visit: Cajun Eggs Benedict. Can my body recover from the food pummeling it received in time to make a classy brunch, or will my mom bombard me with even more calories before I can get to the kitchen?

It's comforting to know that my mom also has trouble cutting pretty slices of pie.

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