tips for a successful pie
• Invest in a pastry cloth and rolling pin stocking.
• Handle the flour mixture “lightly” throughout the process.
• Be careful NOT to over stir the flour/shortening mixture as you add the ice water.
• Chilling the dough for several hours will make it easier to roll.
• Be careful not to add too much flour to the dough as you roll it out. (Hint: think pastry cloth and stockinette.)
• When rolling the dough, roll from the center all around the “clock;” do not roll back and forth, that stretches the dough.
• Never re-roll a crust; rather, patch the tears with cold water.
• Don’t over fill the pie—this will stretch the top crust which will fall or rise up high while the fruit sinks to the bottom.
• Bake your pie in a very hot, preheated oven, 425 or 450 degrees. You may choose to turn the temperature down to 350 or 375 degrees after 15 to 20 minutes. Your pie is done when the fruit is juicing and the crust is nicely browned.
• Place your pie in the lower half of your hot oven, so the bottom crust can bake before the fruit starts to juice. This prevents a soggy bottom crust.
• The dough is easier to handle if it is slightly wet rather than slightly dry.
Pie crust: For one 9-inch double-crust plus single crust for later
• 3 cups all-purpose flour, unsifted
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup shortening
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
• 1/2 cup ice water
• 1 egg white
Apple pie filling: For a 9” pie
• 7 to 8 cups of sliced apples
• 3/4 to 1 cup of sugar
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
• 1 to 2 tablespoons flour
• 1 tablespoon lemon jucie (optional)
• 11/2 tablespoons butter
• Milk or egg with sprinkled sugar
stir flour and salt together in a large bowl.
add shortening and butter and cut into the flour mixture with a pastry blender, or with two knives (scissor fashion), until particles are pea-size.
whisk cold water and egg white together in a separate bowl.
divide flour/shortening mixture into four quadrants in the bowl.
add equal amounts of the water/egg white mixture gradually into each quadrant of the flour mixture.
stir each quadrant gently with a fork and then combine all of the flour mixture together.
DO NOT over stir as that makes the dough tough and difficult to roll.
prepare a surface for rolling out the dough. If you have a pastry cloth and a stockinette to cover your rolling pin, rub flour into both liberally. If you do not have these, just wet your countertop and rolling pin with a damp cloth and spread flour over both of them.
In both cases, you will need to add more flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking.
divide the dough into thirds (this will give you three crusts, one for another single crust pie later) and with each piece of dough, form a ball in your hand. Flatten the ball until it is about 11/2-inch thick and press together any cracks that appear.
If you need to mend your crust now or during rolling, use a little cold water to act as glue to hold the crust together.
using the rolling pin, envision a clock, and begin at the center of the flattened ball and roll outward toward 12 o’clock, then begin at the center again and roll down toward 6 o’clock, then repeat toward 3 o’clock and then 9 o’clock. Continue around the clock until you have a circle of dough about 1/4-inch thick or less.
Gently fold the dough in half and place in an 8” or 9” pie pan. Trim the crust evenly, about 1/4-inch beyond the pie pan.
chooseand prepare a filling for your pie (our apple pie recipe follows). Roll a top crust and lay it over the filling. Trim the top crust about 1/2 to 3/4 inch beyond the bottom crust. Fold the top crust under, catching the bottom crust inside. Flute the edge in desired pattern.
apple pie filling:
tart, firm apples make the tastiest pie. Choose Macoun, Empire, Cortland, Ida Red, Granny Smith, Braeburn, Winesap, or your family favorite.
peel, core, and slice apples thin, about 1/4” thickness.
prepare your crust and line the bottom of the 9” pie pan.
mix together in a bowl the sugar (use less if the apples are sweet, and more if they are tart), cinnamon, nutmeg, flour (if apples are juicy use 2 tablespoons, otherwise 1 tablespoon), and lemon juice if desired to prevent apples from browning.
stir sugar mixture into apples slices.
place coated slices into lined pie pan.
dot with 1-1/2 tablespoons of butter.
cover with the top crust.
seal the edges of crust by folding top crust around the bottom crust. Flute the edge all the way around. Slice air vents into top crust, like “A” for apple and a few slits!
glaze: The top crust may be brushed with water, milk, egg yolk, or egg white (mix egg yolk or white with a little water) and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar if desired.
bake: 425 degrees for 40 to 55 minutes until the apples juice and the crust is nicely browned.
Prospect Hill Orchards
73 Clarks Lane, Milton (pick-your-own apple orchard)