Thanksgiving is sneaking up on us, and so I thought I would throw in my best pie recipe. We’ll start with the crust. I was given this recipe by my sister-in-law, who is a fabulous cook. I believe she told me she got the recipe from America’s Test Kitchen. I’ve never had a better pie crust. It’s worth the little extra steps that are in it.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (unbleached & natural)
2 T. granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
8 T. (or 1/2 cup) chilled shortening (I like butter flavored)
12 T. butter, right out of the refrigerator
5-8 T. ice water
Make sure the butter and shortening are chilled. Whisk dry ingredients together. Cut in shortening, then butter, with a pastry blender until they are well integrated. The texture of the crust should be grainy and have chunks about the size of small peas, like this:
Sprinkle ice water over the top. With a fork, stir in the liquid until the crust in moist. Pat into four balls, and cover and chill in the refrigerator.
In the meantime, make the pie filling. You’ll need:
1 1/3 – 2 cups sugar (use more if you have apples that are tart, like Granny Smiths, and less if you have sweet apples, like Gala)
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
8 apples, peeled and sliced (8 cups)
You can just mix all of these together in a bowl. If the apples start to turn brown before you want them to, sprinkle some lemon juice over them.
Now, pull out your dough balls. Generously flour a hard surface (this is a soft crust) and press a tic-tac-toe impression into the dough with the side of your hand. This helps the edges when you are rolling out your dough (this is a trick I learned in an old cookbook my mother had-I believe it was Better Homes and Gardens).
Roll out, flipping often and flouring your surface often, to the size of your pie pan. Fold in half to transport it to the pan, then press into the pan. Fill you bottom crusts with the apples. Place some slices of butter on the top.
Roll out top crust, press bottom and top edges together, and trim the extra dough to the tip of the pie plate with a knife.
Then press a decorative edge into the crust (do this however you want). Cut slits in the top of your pie for venting, brush the top with milk, and sprinkle with raw cane sugar and a little dash of nutmeg. Cook in a 425 degree oven for approximately 45 minutes (watch it, every oven will be different- I’ve found convection ovens are super for pies!) until it is golden brown. This will be your wonderful result: