Aug 12, 2012

The World Needs More Pie...

Anyone who knows me knows I do love to bake pies.  I have my own favorites:  peach, apple, cherry, lemon meringue, pumpkin, chocolate, peanut butter, and vegetable/meat quiches.  On my to-do list is finding time to experiment with some other varieties.  

If I lived near The American Gothic House in Eldon, Iowa, I would beg Beth M. Howard for a job at the Pitchfork Pie Stand, where she has made peace with herself through making people happy with her pies.  In fact, she has written a book chronicling her journey into pie making: Making Piece, a Memoir of Love, Loss and Pie.  It just sounds like so much fun!  She and her team have actually traveled to third world countries to teach pie-baking.

I saw a recipe a few months ago in a magazine for "hand pies" so I've tired my "hand" at it a couple of times recently.  I just use the same pie crust recipe I always use, and so far I've only used an apple filling.  I have found I can get about 6 hand pies from one pie crust.  These are great when you want to just take a little treat to someone.

One time I was asked to make 5 cherry pies for a Valentine's Day appreciation dinner our small group put on to thank our church's youth group leaders.  That was really easy since my pie crust recipe makes 5 crusts, and I just needed to make 2 batches.

I have made the pumpkin pies for our family Thanksgiving celebrations for years.  I just use the recipe on the Libbey's pumpkin can and double it to make four large pies.

I've posted the pie crust recipe before, but it is the one I use exclusively, so here it is again.  My aunt Mary Ann gave me this recipe back in 1967, 45 years ago, so why would I change now? Sometimes I even make the pie crust one day, divide into 5 equal sized balls, wrap individually and either refrigerate or freeze them.  When ready to use, I let them come to room temperature before I start rolling them out.  

Never-Fail Pie Crust

5 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1 tablespoon vinegar
cold water
Combine flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Add shortening and work into the flour with two knives until course, about the size of peas, (or use a pie crust cutting tool.) Into a one cup liquid measuring cup, break one egg and beat slightly with a fork. Add vinegar, and then enough cold water to make one cup liquid. Add this to the flour/shortening mixture and mix into a good consistency for rolling.  Note:  In recent years I have been using a very finely ground cake flour.  I have found that I can eliminate 1/2 cup of shortening when I use the fine flour.  Roll the crusts out one at a time on a floured surface, being careful not to over work the dough.

For a great apple pie, here's what I do:

First I have my pie crusts ready and the pie plate lined with the crust.  Then I take 6-7 medium sized granny smith apples, peel, core, and slice thinly.  As the apples are being prepared, I put them in a bowl with a couple tablespoons of lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.  To all the sliced apples, add 3/4-1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg.  Toss gently and fill crust-lined pie pan.  If I remember, I might add 1-2 Tablespoons of butter on top of the apple mixture.  Then I cover with the top crust.  I take my kitchen scissors and cut the perimeter of the crusts so they just barely hang over the pie plate and they are even.  Then I carefully tuck the upper crust in under the bottom crust, then flute the edges with my fingers.  Then I make about 6 small slits in the upper crust.  Lastly, I brush on a very thin coat of milk on the upper crust and sprinkle the whole top with a mixture of sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Bake the pie for about 50 minutes at 400℉.  

There is no question that I fully agree with Beth Howard, The world needs more pie! How about you?


Lois Christensen said...

Thank you FINALLY sharing this recipe!

Dee said...

PIE...for everyone...I love a kid I would eat fried peach pies that look like your hand pie...sooooo good.

Rebecca said...

I'm sure those who get to EAT your pies get as much pleasure as YOU get backing them!

Nellie's Cozy place said...

Hi Jacquelyn,
Thanks so much for coming by.....
It was so nice to hear from you hon,
have missed you........

All those wonderful looking pies have made me could you email a piece over to me!! lol
I wish that were really possible. lol
Guess I am gonna have to settle for Publix sour cream pound cake instead. umm, maybe I will put some peaches or strawberries and whip cream on top and pretend it is pie.

Hope all is well with you and yours. Did your hubby finally get a new job?? and how is your brother doing??

Take care,
Blessings, Nellie
Glad your back.............

Shelley said...

I can smell apie a cookin'. YUMMMY Thank you for sharing.