Homemade Apple Pie for the holidays!


It’s that time of year when we get out all the baking ingredients, supplies and cookware. We begin the holiday baking with wonderful smells coming from the kitchen, making everyone so happy to be home! OH…..not at your house? Worried that those wonderful smells you dream of creating will really be smells of food burning and failed efforts?

Then try a group effort.  Make pie in a group.  That’s what was happening last Thursday at my church. We decided to get past the fear of making a homemade pie by doing it together….and using a no-fail recipe.

I brought all the ingredients (the delicious apples came from Harner Farm–one bushel is $30), everyone brought a pie dish….and took home an apple pie. It was informative and pie-tastic! I was so proud of these ladies!


Foolproof Flaky Pie Crust

4 cups flour

1 Tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons salt

1 and 3/4 cup Crisco shortening

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt; mix together with a fork. Add the shortening to the flour mixture, and mix all together with a pastry cutter (or two knives); cut well until the shortening is in medium-sized pieces.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix well:

1 Tablespoon vinegar

1 egg

1/2 cup water

Combine the egg mixture to the flour mixture with a fork until all is moistened (you may need to use your hands for this).  Mold the dough into a ball, place into the same bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for a least ½ hour (or until it is easy to roll out).
When the dough is firm, cut the large ball into 4 equal pieces.  Roll those into balls.  You now have 4 rolls of pie dough, enough for 4 single crust pies (pumpkin, chocolate cream, etc.) or 2 double crust pies (apple, blueberry, peach, etc.)
This dough can be left in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or it can be frozen for several months, just put the extra balls of dough into a plastic sandwich baggie (one per bag) and throw them in the freezer for another day. 
Apple Pie
from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook
Basic Pastry for a 9-inch two-crust pie
3/4 – 1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 and 1/2 tablespoons flour
6 large, firm apples (Granny Smith/Empire/Rome)
2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Roll out one ball of dough to fit the pie dish. Line a 9-inch pie pan with half the pastry dough (using a bench scraper to carefully pull the dough up from the counter is a help)  Set aside.

Mix the sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and flour in a large bowl.

Peel, core, and slice the apples and toss them in the sugar mixture, coating them well.

Pile the apples into the pastry-lined pan and dot with the butter.  Roll out another ball of dough to be the top crust* and drape it over the pie.  Crimp the edges and cut several vents in the top.  Bake 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 degrees and bake 30 – 40 minutes more or until you see bubbling of the pie filling and the crust is browned. If the pie crust is brown but the filling is not bubbling, place a sheet of foil over the pie and continue to cook–the foil will prevent the pie from getting too brown.

*You can make a lattice top instead.  Just roll out the ball of dough, using a sharp knife, cut the dough into stripes and lay them across the pie, alternating t hem over/under as you can see in the photo (or check out this you-tube video–just DON’T use the box pastry!!).





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