Saturday, October 17, 2009
I was surprised when I came to write my "Blogoversary" post tonight to discover that not only is it the birthday of my blog today, but it's also my 200th post. Wow! How is that for serendipity?
I started this blog exactly one year ago today in hopes that it would become a way for my sisters, my mom, and I to share and organize our favorite recipes. It got off to a slow start with mostly me posting all my old stand-by recipes while my audience consisted of mainly of people related to me. Since then it has become a hobby I love and a motivation for me to keep trying new recipes. Me and my family have really benefited with the discovery of new favorite recipes and many new friends in the process. Thank you to all of you for your support!
Over the development of this blog, I have often felt badly that I posted all my old favorites first thing when not many people were looking at the blog and now most people are finding my new recipe experiments and not so much my tried and true favorites! In honor of my blogoversary and 200th post I am reposting one of my very favorite recipes--my famous apple pie recipe. Of course I'm not really famous outside my circle of friends for it, but I have won bake-offs with it and been promised a place in heaven by my bishop after he tasted it, if that tells you anything.
Perfectly flaky crust and tender, flavor filled apple pie...if only reaching eternal salvation were this easy. :)
Click here for printable recipe
2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 egg + enough ice water to make ½ cup liquid
For the egg/water mixture I put an egg in a half cup measuring cup and add ice water to the top.Make a slight well in the flour/salt/shortening mixture, add the egg/ice water mixture and stir with fork until just barely clinging together. Knead with hands for 15-20 seconds just bringing in some of the loose crumbs. (Only do this until the dough is just holding together, you do not want want to overwork the dough). I think the crust handles best when used right away, but you could cover and refrigerate the dough at this point. Yields two to three 9” crusts. (I always get two, but my friend Karen always gets three. I guess it depends on how thickly you roll out the dough.)
Divide the dough into two equal sections. Then on a generously floured pie mat (mine's from Pampered Chef, although if you look at the link they're even cooler now than the one I have. I love that you can just pop it straight in the dishwasher to get it clean.) or a piece of wax paper. Use your hands to pat the dough down until relatively flat. You'll want to flip it over a few times in the process of flattening, reflouring the surface slightly each time.
Making sure you start with both sides of the dough and the mat well floured, use the rolling pin to form the crust into a somewhat circular shape. Make sure that you rotate the whole mat a few times while rolling out the dough to ensure that the thickness is even throughout. (Do NOT be alarmed about streaks of shortening you see in the process of rolling out. This is normal and desirable. A pie class I went to said that those streaks are what make it flaky.)
(Never mind the skiwampus shape of this one, I pulled the edges of the V on the right together to repair it. Even after years and years of making pie crusts---crusts still rip, stick, or end up slightly off shaped occasionally. Practice makes it easier to prevent and to fix.)
After rolling it out to your desired thickness, carefully brush off excess flour and lift the entire mat into a centered position over your pie pan and release gently into the pan.
Be careful when removing the pie mat/wax paper, so that you can try to minimize any rips or sticky spots in the crust. (Making a mess is inevitable during this process, so don't stress!)Don't flute or trim edges yet, unless you are making a single crust pie. You want to leave it all hanging out until you add the filling and top crust (I forgot to take pictures of doing the bottom crust, but needless to say it's all the same, other than there isn't anything in the pan yet.)
Whew! The hardest part is done! Now it's onto the filling part...
¼ cup flour
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. ginger
6-7 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped (no substitutions--you want tart, firm apples and Granny Smith are the best) **SEE NOTE BELOW ABOUT CHOPPING.
1 Tbs. butter
Roll out top crust and place over pie (using crust directions from above). Brush extra flour away lightly and cut an inch from the edge, pinch top and bottom layers together, then tuck and form as desired,(I use the extra dough to cut out seasonal shapes with cookie cutters to adorn the crust).
Bake at 425° for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 375° and bake for an additional 45 minutes. Watch the pie carefully the last 20 minutes or so, being ready to place some foil over edges or top if they are browning too quickly. The filling will bubble out slightly when the pie is done...be patient!
It's best if you let it cool completely, then reheat before serving. Serve warm with cool whip or vanilla ice cream. Good luck and feel free to email me with any specific questions.
One winner will get to choose one of the following pie making implements from the Pampered Chef:
Apple/Peeler/Corer--peels, cores, and slices your apples into kid appealing, perfectly even, spiral slices. My kids have actually taken over peeling and chopping the apples, because they think it's so fun to do. And even if you don't have any little helpers in your house, you will find that this will save you oodles and oodles of time in preparing the apples for apple pie.
Pastry Mat: This nifty little silicone mat is SO nice for rolling out dough of any kind. We use ours (which is an older version of the same thing) for pie crust, sugar cookies, bread dough, and biscuits. I love that it's flexible, no slip, will roll right around my rolling pin for storage, AND will pop right into the dishwasher for cleaning. With all the measurements right on there, you'll never have to estimate size again. Ours is several years old, very well used, and still looks brand new. You will love this!
Deep Dish Stoneware Pie Plate: I ♥ Pampered Chef stoneware!!! This is the best material for baked goods bar none. I went to a pie making class with a professional chef and she said ceramic stoneware is far and above the best material, metal next (even disposable pans), and the worst is glass because it'll make your baked goods soggy. I've given away most of my glass pie pans now. I have lots of other stoneware pans as well, which I love, but this pie plate is one of my favorites. I use it for my pies (of course), but I also love it for when I just have a few items that still need to be baked (the last few cookies of a batch or something) and I don't want put the whole big pan in the oven.
Now all you need to do is leave me a comment telling me which one you want and for extra entries:
~ Subscribe to my blog or follow me via Google Friends Connect (on the right) and leave me a separate comment. Current subscribers/followers can add an extra entry, too.
~Blog about it or email friends. Anything to share this contest. :) Leave me another separate comment telling me how you shared it.
This contest will end on Friday, October 23 at 11:00 pm EST. Open to residents of US and Canada only. Winner will be announced in a blogpost next Saturday 10/24. Good luck!
**NOTE: This contest is now closed!**