Apple Pie with New Crust

17 Dec

My Aunt Dinah is a 90-something powerhouse of a woman with a fondness for awesome shoes and the most amazing spirit you have ever met.   She is awesome.

However, she is 90-something and while she was fine to make ONE homemade apple pie from scratch for Thanksgiving, she admitted she couldn’t bring the usual two pies.  My cousin/uncle Mark, who hosts Thanksgiving every year at his house with wife Wanda, asked that I pick up a pie down the street.

Are you kidding?

Pick up a pie?

That was not going to happen.  Though I couldn’t go up against Dinah’s classic apple pie.  I didn’t even want to try to compete.  So I wanted a bit more of a twist on the pie, so I went with one that had a crumble top.  I got the full recipe from one of my new favorite blogs, The Pioneer Woman.  And I was up for a challenge, so I chose her pie crust that she, a very experienced baker, said was very difficult to make.

And it started with (gulp)… shortening!  EEEEEEEEEEEEK!  How can you make a buttery crust without butter?  I just wasn’t sure, but I had trust.  So I took out the stuff that always reminds me of kindergarten paste and measured myself a cup.


 And because I have never seen the difference between pastry that I do by hand and when I do it in the food processor (except in wrist pain), I “cheated.”


 So I pulsed the shortening with the flour until it made a lumpy mess.


 So I pulsed it a bit more until it looked more like crumbs. 


 My idea of the right texture for pie crust is always where most of it is making pencil eraser size chunks with a few bigger and some crumbs.


 Then I added some egg.


And some water, white vinegar, and salt before separating the crust into 3 parts and making some balls.


 I put the balls into ziplocks.


Then used a rolling pin to smush it down so it would be “easier” to work with later (HA!)


Then I stuck it in the freezer, for what wound up being overnight.  I took it out the next morning to thaw while I prepared the filling.  First I cut up apples (uniformity is important!) 

The filling recipe also came from the Pioneer Woman recipe collection.


And then stirred together this mixture that was like heaven in my mouth.


 Phew!  Now just to roll out the crust.

I added flour to my surface and pin.


And then I rolled… and rolled… and folding it up… and rolled… and rolled.. and refloured… and rolled and rolled and folded it up and rolled and rolled and refloured and rolledandrolledandfoldeditupandrolledandrolledandrefloured… and rolled…


 It just never quite made it smooth.  I decided that even though it looked like it was falling apart that I would try to lay it into the pie dish and just patch it as needed.


But how do I get it off of the mat?  It had been floured and all… but it was STUCK.  And it was right around the moment when I somehow looped my apron around the handle of the cabinet and in one foul swooped yanked it open, toppled out the top to my salad spinner, and dumped a combo of flour and pie dough all over the floor.


Mike was looking at the sorry state of me covered in flour, fear, and frustration and suggested that I turn the whole thing over on the pie plate and peal the dough off. 


Much to my relief, it worked.  


 I had to patch some areas and wound up with no where near enough to make nice edges, however, it was SO thin that I dared not roll it anymore. 


The recipe didn’t mention if the crust should be pricked to allow air out, however, I didn’t want to take any chances so I pricked.


Then I filled it with the apples that were covered in the delicious sauce. 


 And I made the topping, which was supposed to be like crumbs… but it never really came close.


So I wound up breaking it into little chunks with my fingers and spreading it across the top.


 The smell while this was baking was absolutely fantastic.  And it came out looking BEAUTIFUL!


But how did it taste?

Well…. ehhhh… it was good… but it wasn’t great.  Not even all that special.  I don’t know why this fell short.  It had all the makings (and look) of a brilliant pie… but it just wasn’t.  And the crust was no better than my other crust, which was much less effort.

So while I still love Ree and her recipes, I think I have to say… skip this pie.   And from what I hear from Lori, make this Pecan Pie instead (which I plan on doing very soon).

For the recipes, it’s better (and so worthwhile) to check out Ree’s summaries:

The Crust

The Pie

3 Responses to “Apple Pie with New Crust”

  1. LKP December 17, 2010 at 11:19 am #

    Shortening is the secret to some of my mother’s best recipes (and she’s a Yankee)! She subs half the butter for shortening..but it tastes better if you don’t think about it.

  2. Young Wifey December 17, 2010 at 11:40 am #

    I like to make my pie crust ahead of time and freeze it too, it helps when I’m already so busy during the holiday season!

  3. Linda December 17, 2010 at 3:22 pm #

    If you’re gonna make a crumble top and don’t need a pie crust top, I just stick with the plum tort crust..add whatever fruit mixture and then play with the flavoring in the crumble top. Tried and true, it never fails!!!

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