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As American as Apple Pie.

12:57 PM

Guess what I learned how to make?  Proper pie crust.  And it's easy.  Ridiculously easy. All it really took was having a friend come over, give me the "really, it's easy... you're making too big of a deal out of it" tutorial.  A couple of test runs later my youngest daughter and I made an amazing 100% from scratch apple pie that my grandma would've been proud of!

What's so great about this is it's completely versatile and customizable.  I learned with crusts made from good 'ol Crisco vegetable shortening, flour, and water.  I then tried using Earth Balance 100% non-hydrogenated shortening (for those of you who twitch at the word "Crisco" or are Vegan), and my next experiment will be to substitute in lard (because, why not?? And I actually sometimes have some left over from making Lefse... a recipe/process I haven't posted on here yet). 

So here we go!

Basic "Proper" Pie Crust
2/3 cup shortening
2 cups all purpose flour
enough water to bring dough together into a ball (about 1/3 cup)

In a large mixing bowl, cut the shortening into the flour using a fork or your fingers.  Stop "cutting" when the dough becomes crumbly.  Then work water into the dough until it comes into a ball.  Stop working AS SOON AS it comes into a ball.  This is a pastry and there's no need to knead/overwork the gluten. 

Pie crust "ball" with apples to fill.

Apple Pie
4 medium apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
about 1/2 cup white sugar
1tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
4tbsp margarine
2 pie crusts (NOT BAKED)

Egg Wash (optional)
1 large egg, beaten

Put the peeled, cored and cut apples into a large bowl.  Put in the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and stir to coat. Set aside.

Break your pie crust ball into 2 smaller balls. Place each ball between two pieces of parchment paper and roll them out flat with a rolling pin. When you roll them out, roll from the center of the dough towards the outer edges to form a circle.  Once your circles are large enough, STOP rolling and fussing immediately.  Again, don't overwork yourself, or the dough.

Quinn helped!

Preheat oven to 350f. 
Put one of the crusts in the bottom of a 9 inch pie pan.  Fill with the apple mixture and dab bits of margarine evenly over the top of the fruit.  Put the second crust on over the top and seal it together with your fingers or with a fork.
If you decide at this point that you want your crust to be brown and flaky on the top, make a quick egg wash and brush it over the top with a pastry brush.  Then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, and poke a couple holes in the top (or make a picture of something) with a knife to allow steam to escape while baking. 

Bake at 350 for about 60 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and there is juice bubbling up out of the top of the pie.  

Let it cool and enjoy!

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