Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Cookbook Wednesday and PIE Every Day!

Today is Wednesday! 
Cookbook Wednesday!
Hosted by Louise at 
(it's a great blog -- check it out)

Louise is keeping me on track with my own Cookbook Countdown.
I think I own more cookbooks than anyone in the world!
Are you saying "sheesh"  I too, own a lot of cookbooks!

Well I realize I am not the only cookbook collector, but this one is #75 and I haven't begun to make a dent.
This will keep me busy until I die. (posting from each cookbook)
I'm so glad I have a purpose in life!  A goal!  I can never give up!

from Goodreads:
PIE EVERY DAY will convince even beginning cooks that, with very little fuss or trouble, delicious, filling, nutritious pies can indeed be offered up at the family table every day. Includes a comprehensive chapter on crust-making. "Witty . . . beautiful, as sweet as you know what, I ate it up."--The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. A BOOK-OF-THE-MONTH CLUB, GOOD COOK CLUB, AND COUNTRY HOMES AND GARDENS selection

I love this cookbook!  It's full of savory and sweet pies-- a lot I have bookmarked to try in the future.
Here's one:
Chicken Spoon Bread Pie, sounds great, doesn't it?
Super Bowl Pork Pie?

But I decided to go with a known product here:  Apple Pie.

Now, let me begin by saying -- I am NOT a 2 crust pie maker.
It is a daunting task to me, that top crust.
Give me a crumble topping or a custard pie anytime.  To bake, that is.
But I tired. I tried for the sake of Cookbook Wednesdays and my own Cookbook Countdown.
I tried to make a 2-crust pie.

While it tasted great -- I should know, I ate 2 pieces just to make sure --
there were a couple of big problems.

Here is my pie:
(I know it's not that pretty)

 Here is the inside of my pie.
Do you notice a problem?

Here is a slice of my pie.

Problem #1
my crust is too thick.
WAY to thick.
It was a good tasting crust tho, but...

Years ago, my mother-in-law gave me  this --

It's a Pie Crust Bag!
You can still purchase them from Amazon or King Arthur Flour.
It's a great idea -- you just stick your dough in there and roll it out and it is the perfect size and circumference.
You just need to make sure your recipe is for the right size of pie you are making.  It looks like I made too much crust for this size of pie.
I could have also used a bigger pie pan.

okay, point taken.  I can fix that next time.

Here is my pie again.
Can you see another problem?

Problem #2
my filling falls/shrinks and my crust stays tall and full.

I don't know if you can see it, but that black hole there?  Is just that -- a hole.
The filling shrunk!

I finally Googled it and found out.
It says that I need to make my apple slices very thin.  When they are too thick, it creates pockets of air and then it shrinks.
That makes sense to me.
I slice by hand and I tend to make bigger slices.
I will use my food processor next time and make thin slices to see if that works.

IF there is a next time that is.
I'm not a great pie maker.
I'm an okay pie maker.
I know, I know-- practice makes perfect.

Butter and Lard Crust
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour, chilled
1/4 cups sugar (except for savory pie crusts)
pinch of salt
1 stick butter, chilled and cut into eight pieces
1/3 cup lard, chilled and cut into small pieces
6-8 tablespoons iced water

Combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade.  Sprinkle the butter and lard over the dry ingredients.
Cover and pulse a few times until small clumps begin to form.  Begin to add the iced water thru the feed tube, 1 Tablespoon at a time, pulsing quickly until the dough begins to form a ball.  Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap, as you wrap the dough, from it into  a disk.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Take dough from the fridge and cut into two pieces, one slightly bigger than the other. Wrap the smaller piece back into plastic wrap and return to the fridge.
Roll out and place in pie pan.
Fill with fruit,  roll out top crust, cover, slit, bake.

**it says you should glaze with an egg wash, but I've also read that egg washes make a crust tough. 

A Common Apple Pie
 Double crust for a 9 inch pie

8 or 9 large apples  of several different cooking varieties (Delicious apples will NOT do), peeled, cored and thinly sliced.
Juice of one large lemon
Ground Cinnamon
pinch of both ground mace and nutmeg
unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 450F

Prepare the pie crust.  Line a 9-inch pan with half the pastry/crust and set aside in the refrigerator.

Taste the apples to gauge how much sugar you 'll need to make them sweet.  IN a large bowl, mix the apple slices with the lemon juice. Sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon to taste. Add the mace and nutmeg.

Pour the apple mixture into the prepard crust.  Mound toward the center and dot with butter.

Roll out the top crust and lay it over the apples.  Seal the edges, cut vent holes.

Place the pie on a baking sheet (to catch any spillover) and cook in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes.  Turn down the oven to 350F and continue to cook for about another hour, until the top crust is a beautiful golden brown.

***I had a problem with the  sugar and cinnamon measurements.
I like to be told what to do, not to figure something out on my own.
How much sugar?
BUT, I did it.   It was a great pie. 
The filling was good  AND it was a good, but thick, crust.


1 comment:

Marjie said...

I bought two pie cookbooks a couple of years back. I am slowly learning to make pies, and my dearly beloved says my pie crust recipe is the best he's ever had. Pie is tricky.

Are you really from Winnemucca? I believe my uncle lived there some years back. He was an odd duck, Uncle George was, but well loved.

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