Wednesday, October 22, 2008


The following is my recipe for apple pie filling. If you are using canned fruit such as peaches or berries you can use the same recipe. Use a quart of fruit and, since the fruit is already cooked, you need only drain the juice into a sauce pan and warm it while you prepare the thickening.

4 to 5 thinly sliced, peeled cooking apples. Avoid Delicious apples. Most other red apples work fine. Granny Smith apples add tartness.
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
OPTIONAL ½ cup canned drained pineapple--chunked or crushed. Juice from pineapple can be used as part of the liquid to cook the apples.

Prepare and roll out pastry for a double crust pie. Line a nine inch pie pan with half of the pastry.
While preparing apple slices, place them in a two quart sauce pan with 1 cup water (part can be pineapple juice—see above) and lemon juice. Simmer apple slices and water, stirring occasionally, on medium heat until slices just start to soften. Remove from heat. Put a colander over a large bowl and drain the liquid off the fruit, then return the liquid to the saucepan. In a small bowl mix together the sugar, cornstarch, and spices. Add ¼ cup water to the sugar-cornstarch mixture and stir until smooth. Stir this into the juice in the sauce pan and return the mixture to the heat and stir. Continue stirring until it comes to a boil. If the mixture is thicker than pudding thin it down with a little more water. Add apple slices, and if desired, drained pineapple.

Pour the filling into a pie pan lined with uncooked pie pastry. Add the pastry top, seal edges and cut holes to let out steam. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes on the lower oven rack until crust is browned.

Prepare as above, except use an uncooked single crust pastry recipe. Fill pastry-lined pie pan with apple pie filling. CRUMB TOPPING: Stir together ½ cup all-purpose flour and ½ cup packed brown sugar. Using a pastry blender or spoon and then clean fingers, cut in 3 tablespoons butter or margarine till mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle crumb topping over apple filling and bake 425 degrees for 35-45 minutes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


The following is the pie crust recipe I inherited. I had to write it down with specific instructions when I presented a demo recently. The filling recipe will follow in my next post.

Before preparing the pie, move the oven rack to the lowest position. Any other oven racks should be moved to a higher position. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2 cups white flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening (not cooking oil)
1/2 cup cold water

Measure the flour, salt and shortening into a medium size mixing bowl. Blend into fine crumbs by first using a large spoon and then using clean fingers. Pour in the cold water and GENTLY mix until the dough holds together. Spread about ¼ cup of flour on a smooth clean surface such as a table. Divide the dough into a large half and a small half.  Shape the large piece into a flatish round shape with your hands. Place the dough on the floured surface and gently roll it out from the center with a rolling pin until it is about a 12 inch circle. Gently pick the dough up and turn it over a couple of times during the roll-out so it does not stick. When it is ready, fold it in half and then in half again and center it in a 9 inch pie pan and gently unfold it. Use any extra dough hanging off the edges to patch any open spaces. Trim off the excess with a sharp knife.

Fill the uncooked pie shell with the prepared fruit filling (see next post).

Roll out the second piece the same way as the first, adding a little extra flour if needed. Make sure the top crust is very round before you pick it up. Fold it and center it on top of the filling and unfold. Trim with a knife and seal the edges using your fingers or a fork. Cut a few holes in the top to let out steam and sprinkle the top with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.

The extra dough can be rolled out and put in another pie pan. Poke holes in it with a fork and bake it with the pie for 15 minutes. It can then be cooled and filled with pudding to make a cream pie. It can also be covered with foil and frozen for later use. Or, leave it unbaked and fill it with pumpkin pie filling or use an apple filling to make an apple crumb pie.

Bake your pie on the lowest rack at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove it from the oven and let cool. Store your pie in the open on a counter and cover it with a light towel so the crust will remain crisp.