One Year Blogoversary/ 200 Posts / Giveaway/ Apple Pie Recipe and Tutorial!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

**NOTE:  This contest is now closed**

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. :)
Read to the end for my special 200th post/blogoversary giveaway!!!!

Click here for printable recipe
Pie Crust--this crust was a Maryland State Fair winner from 1979 (obviously not my entry since I was in first grade that year). After experimenting with a million different ones over the years, this is by far my favorite (and everyone else's too)!
The ingredients:
1 cup Crisco (I like butter flavored Crisco)
2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 egg + enough ice water to make ½ cup liquid
Cut shortening into flour and salt until mostly the size of peas (DO NOT OVERWORK THE DOUGH! Big clumps are not only okay, but desirable. You do not want to dough to start sticking together at all).
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.

Don't be scared to flour the surface VERY generously.

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...

No Fail Apple Pie--seriously this is SO easy!
1 ½ cups sugar, divided
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
Start with the pie crust rolled out into a 9” pie pan. Combine ½ cup sugar, ¼ cup flour, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl and sprinkle over the uncooked bottom crust (this step seems weird to a lot of people, but I promise it turns out fine. I forgot to take a picture, but basically you'll just pour the flour, sugar, and salt mixture into the empty pie crust and stir it lightly with your fingers to evenly distribute it).
**If you don't have an apple/peeler/corer yet like this one from Pampered Chef, I highly recommend purchasing one. Not only will your kids love the thin spiral slices it makes, but it makes the apples evenly sliced in your pie. I get comments all the time on how uniform the apples are and how that makes each one perfectly cooked. If you don't have one, then just try to chop them as evenly as possible. **
Then fill crust with half of the apples. Sprinkle on another ½ cup sugar, then add the rest of the apples so they mound an inch and half or so over the edge.
Combine the remaining sugar (½ cup), pinch of salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger in small bowl. Pour evenly over the top of the apples. Cut butter up into small clumps and place evenly over the top of the apples and spices.
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).

Brush lightly with milk.
Sprinkle evenly with approximately 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar.
Make sure to poke a few holes in the top to allow steam to escape. These can be artistically place to enhance the beauty of the pie.

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 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.



Whew! You made it through my novel---Now for the giveaway!

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.

~That would be up to THREE separate entries per person, just make sure you leave the separate comments.

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!**



Glen,  October 18, 2009 at 12:33 AM  

Hi Honey - I read through your post and I think I saw something about apple pie. Are you making your apple pie tonight? I'll be home early...

Denise October 18, 2009 at 2:16 AM  

okay...Glen cracks me up. a long time blog reader not related to you...I am totally entering this contest.

And since I am already subscribed to your blog I get to enter twice.

woot! blog about this and I just have win something, right?


K October 18, 2009 at 3:30 AM  

Don't be surprised if I show up at your doorstep tomorrow begging for pie. Hope you save me some!

I assume I can't enter the giveaway since I'm related. Oh well, feel free to send me any of the prizes for Christmas when you have my name. (o:

Katy ~ October 18, 2009 at 7:27 AM  

Not entering your contest (though the prizes are FABULOUS!!!) as I already have these items - love, love, love the apple peeler-corer. Bought mine for 50 cents at a yard sale YEARS ago and have loved it since!!

Your pie looks and sounds PERFECT!!! I can see where it could make you famous. Well done. Great tutorial. I know it takes a lot of time to do a post like this so I really appreciate the love you put into this one.

slip4 October 18, 2009 at 8:15 AM  

I would love the pastry mat or the stoneware. The corer/peeler looks great but storage might be an issue for me. I recently found your blog and have really enjoyed it!

slip4 October 18, 2009 at 8:16 AM  

Oh, and I am a subscriber! Thanks!

Anonymous,  October 18, 2009 at 8:30 AM  

Hi! I would love that pastry mat but you sure sold me on that stoneware too! I'll have to try your apple pie--I've loved all the recipes we've tried from your blog!

Anonymous,  October 18, 2009 at 8:31 AM  

I subscribe via google reader too!

Tina Butler October 18, 2009 at 9:52 AM  

Happy Blogaversay!!!! Time flies doesnt it. I would pick the apple peeler. I am in need of that really bad. Everytime i peel apples I always say i need to get one of the nifty peelers. Your pie looks really good. thanks for sharing.

Tina Butler October 18, 2009 at 9:52 AM  

Happy Blogaversay!!!! Time flies doesnt it. I would pick the apple peeler. I am in need of that really bad. Everytime i peel apples I always say i need to get one of the nifty peelers. Your pie looks really good. thanks for sharing.

Tina Butler October 18, 2009 at 9:53 AM  

I am and have been a follower through google.

Lisa Kai October 18, 2009 at 10:08 AM  

That pie looks amazing! Adding it to my menu this week!

I would LOVE to win any of those prizes, but especially the stoneware!

Heidi October 18, 2009 at 10:09 AM  

Congrats! Keep the wonderful recipes coming :) What a great giveaway. I don't know if I want the pastry mat or the pie plate more.... I guess if I have to pick I will say the pie plate because you would laugh if you saw my poor pathetic pie plate (my good one was left at my moms house when I brought a pie and now she says it was hers!!)

Heidi October 18, 2009 at 10:09 AM  

I am already a follower :)

Lisa Kai October 18, 2009 at 10:09 AM  

I also follow your blog and subscribe to you feed.

Carla October 18, 2009 at 10:18 AM  

I would love to win the pie plate. I absolutely love PC stoneware, I've even gotten my husband on the bandwagon!!

Carla October 18, 2009 at 10:18 AM  

I am a subscriber already, as well. Thanks for the giveaway! :)

Lisa Kai October 18, 2009 at 10:22 AM  

I'm sharing your giveaway (and apple pie recipe) on my blog:

Also, hope you don't mind, I'm adding you to my blogroll. Love your great recipes!

teresa October 18, 2009 at 11:14 AM  

Congratulations on your 200th and your blogiversary! what a delicious looking pie, my glenn would go nuts for this too! great giveaway!

SnoWhite October 18, 2009 at 11:17 AM  

what a delicious looking pie! I am intimated by the crust -- because it's an "art"... but you've reminded me that the taste is what's important ;)

I'd love to have the stoneware baking dish -- I love that stuff. Thanks.

I have my own apple peeler/corer and it's amazing. Has made me much more likely to cook with apples :)

Nancy Mc,  October 18, 2009 at 2:16 PM  

Hi, I make a pretty good apple pie myself but don't have the peeler-corer or a stoneware pie plate. I think my first choice would be the pie plate but I wouldn't turn down the peeler either. Thanks for sharing.

Charlene October 18, 2009 at 2:52 PM  

I have enjoyed many of your recipes and have sent links your way for your fabulous recipes!! That apple pie looks yummy!

Charlene October 18, 2009 at 2:54 PM  

I'm also a follower too!! I look forward to many more of your recipes!

Does it help my chances that I've known you for so long-non-relative?

Arlene Delloro October 18, 2009 at 7:15 PM  

I'd really like a slice of that pie, but I'll be happy with the stoneware pie plate. I have an antique apple peeler and my Food Network silicone pastry mat, so I'd be all set.

MaRiN October 18, 2009 at 9:41 PM  

What an awesome looking pie! I love my pastry mat and apple/peeler/corer/slicer, so I'd have to go with the bakeware. (you never have too many, right?) Congrats on the 200th post and one year mark, that's crazy how they fell on the same day!

Kilcup Family October 18, 2009 at 9:41 PM  

I love the recipes on this blog. Thanks for going through the work to post them. Oh, and I would love to win the pastry mat!

Heather S-G October 18, 2009 at 11:08 PM  

Wow! What a day to find your blog :D Gorgeous pie...I'm a pie gal. I would love any of the prizes, but since you're being mean and making me choose (wink, wink)...I choose the pie mat.

Heather S-G October 18, 2009 at 11:08 PM  

...and I am now a happy follower, too :D

ShellyLynn October 18, 2009 at 11:39 PM  

I can't decide!!! I would love the pie dish or the apple peeler.

Anonymous,  October 18, 2009 at 11:51 PM  

Your apple pie looks delicious and pretty. Love the leaves on the top!

I would love to win the stoneware pie plate!!!

Anonymous,  October 18, 2009 at 11:52 PM  

I am a follower of your yummy blog!

Chats the Comfy Cook October 19, 2009 at 1:23 AM  

You tutorial for the apple pie is amazing.

I would like the apple peeler, if I should win.

I am now following you.

Chats the Comfy Cook October 19, 2009 at 1:25 AM  

I want the pastry sheet to roll out the crust.

This is my first visit here and you have an interesting blog. Since, I landed here, I want to come back and really look around.

I am subscribed through Google.

Thanks for doing this.

Chats the Comfy Cook October 19, 2009 at 1:32 AM  

I am back. I just sent an email to a friend with the information.

I would like to suggest, if you want this to get around, that you ask people to twitter it. I am going to do that now. That should get you more traffic.

I want the apple peeler.

They are all great giveaways. Thanks for doing this.

rhc,  October 19, 2009 at 1:43 AM  

Love your apple pies and all your desserts. Your recipes have become some of my favorite things to cook. Interesting that the year anniversary and and the 200th post coincided.

Deanne October 19, 2009 at 9:36 AM  

I've had this pie and can attest that it's wonderful!

I would love to add the pie plate to my stoneware collection.

Deanne October 19, 2009 at 9:37 AM  

I follow your blog via RSS reader - netvibes. Does that count?

Jessie October 19, 2009 at 10:29 AM  

Your pie looks amazing!! I would love the peeler corer because peeling and coring apples is such tedious work and it would be nice to have a handy instrument to speed that process along!!!

Wehrle October 19, 2009 at 12:10 PM  

Yum! I want to make that yummy pie!! I would also love either the mat or the stoneware!! Thanks for all your recipes!

Annette October 19, 2009 at 1:30 PM  

Congrats on one year! I want to eat at your house.

Very cool contest, I think I would take the apple peeler, make my kids work for their pie. ha ha

Jess October 19, 2009 at 3:49 PM  

I would like the apple peeler/corer/slicer, please.
PS. I think we have the same glasses. Crate and Barrel??

Clarinda October 19, 2009 at 4:01 PM  

Congrats on your 200th post! You're awesome, and I've loved all your recipes so far.

I'd love to win the pastry mat!

Clarinda October 19, 2009 at 4:02 PM  

I've long been a subscriber to your here's my 2nd entry.

Clarinda October 19, 2009 at 4:13 PM  

For my third entry...I updated my Facebook status inviting people to visit your blog and enter the contst. Does that count? I hope so.

Donna-FFW October 19, 2009 at 7:56 PM  

Id so so so love the stoneware pie dish!!

I am so trying your pie VERY soon!!

Donna-FFW October 19, 2009 at 7:56 PM  

Already a follower.. thanks for the chance.

Jen October 19, 2009 at 8:33 PM  

I have to tell you that a week ago I searched through your archives to get this recipe. It was Doug's birthday "cake". And for the first time ever, I did not get mad at my pie crust. It was easy and I was pleasantly surprised. I will now be baking more pies. Thank you. As for a prize, perhaps I would make more apple pies in the future if I had an easier way to peel them. Now that the pie crust dilemma is taken care of, I now have to deal with my dislike of peeling apples. I really do love this blog. You inspire me.

Harmony October 19, 2009 at 10:30 PM  

The kids and i would love the peeler. it looks like a lot of fun. Oh and it would give me a chance to try your pie crust. Thank you for a chance.

CDMOM October 20, 2009 at 7:33 AM  

Beautiful Pie! I love the pastry mat! Thanks for the giveaway.

tracey October 20, 2009 at 7:54 AM  

I would love to have the apple peeler, I have 2 apple trees that for the past several years have produced like crazy.

SnoWhite October 20, 2009 at 8:16 AM  

I'm a follower too ... have been for a while! Wouldn't want to miss your great recipes :)

Lex October 20, 2009 at 9:00 AM  

I think the pastry mat would be my number one pick. Thanks for the giveaway! I love your recipes and try them all the time!

Lex October 20, 2009 at 9:01 AM  

Oh, and I follow you in my google reader and have for ages. (Thanks to Karey! She got me hooked when she'd reference your blog often!)

Rachel October 20, 2009 at 1:44 PM  

Congratulations on your Blogoversary and reaching your 200th post!!! Your pie looks absolutely amazing...I'm bound and determined to master a homemade pie! I tried last fall and didn't have the best of luck :(

I would love a chance to win any of the three prizes, but if I had to pick, I think I'd go with the pie plate! My pie plate has definitely seen some better days...and ironically, it's barely used! I think I bought a cheap one when I first moved out on my own!

Rachel October 20, 2009 at 1:45 PM  

I already follow your blog :)

Rachel October 20, 2009 at 1:58 PM  

I just sent an email out to a handful of my friends and family...I was going to copy you on it, but couldn't find your email address anywhere! I really hope they stop by your blog--I know they'd love your recipes!

Anonymous,  October 20, 2009 at 4:31 PM  

I emailed my friends about your simple family-friendly recipes and you're cooking with kids recipes... and about the contest of course.
Caryn Nielsen

Anonymous,  October 20, 2009 at 4:32 PM  

I have never made an apple pie but my hubby loves my cream cheese pie. And my kitchen is red, so what would be better than a red stoneware pie plate to replace my glass ones?!
Caryn Nielsen

Caroline October 20, 2009 at 6:46 PM  

I would LOVE the stoneware pie plate. Thanks for your blog & all the great recipes!

Matthew K October 20, 2009 at 10:17 PM  

I really like your blog. I am pretty sure that I am not eligible to win since I am related, but I thought that I would leave a comment anyway. Your recipes really are fantastic.

Heather October 22, 2009 at 3:29 PM  

You were the first one to introduce me to foodie blogs - thank you! As a person who loves to read cookbooks, food blogs were a revelation. I can't believe I was ignorant of them for so long! I've tried many of your recipes and they were all delicious. Thanks for all of the great pictures and ideas!
And, if I were lucky enough to win, I'd love a pastry mat or ceramic pie dish! Thanks!

Janelle October 22, 2009 at 6:21 PM  

I didn't know you had a food blog. I've been wanting a apple peeler/corer forever. Fingers crossed!

Ashby October 22, 2009 at 6:23 PM  

Cute blog Lara! And I'm so excited you posted your apple pie recipe! It's one of my favorites! And what a cute red pie dish! I've always wanted one of those!

donna October 23, 2009 at 9:51 AM  

You got my attention with this apple pie. I have never attempted an apple pie before, I have done cherry and always do pumpkin but I am going to try this. Of course now I need a mat, a apple peeler thingy and mostly I love that you posted pictures!

Mirien October 23, 2009 at 1:29 PM  

In my true procrstinating fashion, I just linked to you on my blog. You are my hero! I only dream about blogging regularly and taking pictures of each step, but you actually do it. Keep it up--I love it!

Mirien October 23, 2009 at 1:29 PM  

Oh, and I've been a faithful subscriber.

Mirien October 23, 2009 at 1:31 PM  

And if I did win, I'd like a new pie pan. I'm still using cheap metal ones. You sold me on this one.

Unknown October 23, 2009 at 3:48 PM  

That pie looks amazing! I'd really like an apple corer/slicer! My Mom had one while I was growing up, and I remember loving to help her.

Unknown October 23, 2009 at 3:48 PM  

Oh, and I'm already a follower. I love your blog!

Pam October 29, 2010 at 1:21 PM  

Found your blog not too long ago. You do such a good job. As a new blogger myself, I know what a challenge it is and how much work it entails so I appreciate it even more. I'll be following you from now on. I'd love the mat or dish. Keep up the good work!

Pam October 29, 2010 at 1:27 PM  

Following you on google connect also.

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About This Blog

My name is Lara and while I'm definitely not a gourmet cook, I do love preparing tasty, healthy meals for my family. Finding new recipes to try and sharing the ones we've already fallen in love with is a passion I've had since college and the reason why I've started this blog! With five kids, I'm usually in a hurry, so you'll find most of these recipes kid friendly and simple to make.

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