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.

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 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.”

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

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

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 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.

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 Then I added some egg.

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

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 I put the balls into ziplocks.

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

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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.

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

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 Phew!  Now just to roll out the crust.

I added flour to my surface and pin.

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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…

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 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.

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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.

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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. 

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Much to my relief, it worked.  

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 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. 

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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.

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

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

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

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

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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.
    AND ZOMG MAKE THAT PECAN PIE!

  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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