The Changing of the Seasons, Pie-Style
We've begun a tradition at our house called the changing of the seasons. Next Friday, I'll prepare a Winter/Spring celebration with foods and decor traditionally associated with both. I love variety, and have marked for years the changing in my mind. Something about moving on, putting the past behind, preparing for the beauty of something new...
In commemoration of this special event at our house, I'm posting two of my most-beloved pie recipes. I must say the Apple Pie is one that has been tweaked and combined and altered to fit our tastes and its crust is Taste of Home's traditional crust recipe. The Strawberry Pie is from a July/August '03 issue of Quick Cooking and I will be posting it later in the week.
*One sentimental note about the following recipe: If you make it to heaven before I do, tell Greg Makcen that yes, his pie is coming. It's the last thing I promised him before he passed away. Friends "awaiting" always make heaven sweeter.
Charity's Apple Pie
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2/3 c. Crisco
8-10 Tbsp. ice water
(I place my flour/salt mixture in the bowl and put it along with my pastry cutter in the freezer to chill it before making this. I store my Crisco in the frig, so that's happily cold, too). In a large bowl, cut the shortening into the flour mixture until crumbly. Gradually add water, mixing with a fork until a ball forms. Halve mixture, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes. Roll out each ball on a lightly floured surface to form two pie crusts. Run a spatula underneath to release any sticking, and fold in half and then again. Center in pie pan and unfold. Add filling. Dot with butter. Place other pie crust on top and seal edges. Brush top with 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 Tbsp. water. Place on baking sheet to prevent spills.
5-6 large Red Delicious Apples
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
Peel, slice and core apples. Toss with lemon juice. Combine other ingredients and then add to the apples. Toss gently. Cover with wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. (This is called macerating- allow excess juices to settle). Place apples into crust with a slotted spoon. Some people like super-runny, messy, sweet pies. You can skip the macerating if you do.
Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, turn down to 350 and continue cooking for 45 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly!