There is something about baking pies that makes me feel like a true baker. The craft of baking pie is a lot like baking bread, but sweeter. That’s one reason why I wanted to include a special section for pies on my blog. The other reasons are the pies that I’ll bake this year and the tasting I’ll have to do!
- Nana’s Apple Pie with her special pie crust * posted today
- Tomato Pie with cheese ( not so sweet but so good)
- Pumpkin Pie
- Peanut Butter Pie
- Apple Streusel Pie
- Blueberry cheesecake Pie
- many more country style Pies
My mom, (otherwise known as Nana), baked pies year round. She always baked two as we had a large family of 8 pie eaters, so this pie dough recipe is enough to bake 2 pies or if you make the crust thick like I do, you’ll get 3 crusts. So, one 2 crust pie and one 1 crust pie. The filling recipe is for just one pie because now I have a family of 2 pie eaters, my husband and I. ?
I usually make up the pie dough, split into 3 disks, wrap in plastic wrap and chill. I’ll then use 2 of the disks for a 2 crust pie, saving the extra disc in the freezer for a 1 crust pie later. You can freeze this pie dough for 3 weeks, it can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
My mom passed away last year in November of 2014, so baking pies now for me is a tad bittersweet. I remember seeing apple pies sitting on the counter at my parent’s home most weekends during the fall and holiday season. Apple pie was her best, she also baked pumpkin, cherry and blueberry. If she felt fancy, she baked a lemon or coconut meringue.
My parents lived on the Pennsylvania farm where my Dad was born, where there was an apple orchard when he was growing up, where baking pies and bread was done almost every day.
It was no big deal to bake a pie.
Now that I’m back to baking pies, I realize it is a bit more difficult than it looked, but still a very relaxing endeavor. If you are new to pie baking, realize that most of your pies will look slightly different. It can really be a creative time to experiment with fillings and decorating your pie crust. Whether you use cookie cutters to add a few fall leaves as I did with this pie, or make a crimped edge or add streusel on top instead of another crust, enjoy the process! Pies do not have to be perfect. Mine certainly aren’t.
But there is something special about baking a pie from scratch. Maybe it’s so much hand contact with the dough, like baking bread. Then the fillings can be so varied.
A delectable piece of pie served with a scoop of ice cream is simply satisfying. Pies are an old-fashioned dessert that is worth some time learning to create. Give this one a try and add your own special touches.
? ? I used honey crisp apples with this pie. Use your own choice of pie apples, granny smith, fuji, pink ladies are a few that I’ve used with success. I’ve combined a few varieties also for some very tasty pies. Tag us on instagram @ CountryCupboardCookies with a photo if you try the recipe!
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1¼ cups Crisco shortening
- ½ cup unsalted cold butter (4 ounces or one stick)
- 1 TBL sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 TBL apple cider vinegar
- 1 egg
- ½ cup ice water
- 9 medium apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (approximately 7-8 cups)
- 1¼ cup sugar
- 3 TBL flour
- 4 TBL tapioca
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- dash of nutmeg
- ¼ tsp salt
- Prepare Pie crust. This recipe makes enough for 3 to 4 crusts. I like my pie crust thick, so I will bake a 2 crust pie, then save the leftover dough until later and bake a 1 crust pie. You could also bake two 2 crust pies if you roll thinner.
- Combine flour, shortening, butter, sugar and salt. Cut cold butter into small pieces and cut into flour using 2 forks or pastry blender. You want the dough to have small lumps.
- Beat vinegar, egg and ice water together and add to flour mixture, finish mixing with hands to form 3 to 4 round discs. Try not to overwork your dough.
- Wrap each disc in saran plastic wrap, flatten a bit and chill for 30 minutes.
- After chilling, roll out your dough using rolling pin to fit the size pie pan you are using. I used a 9 inch pie pan.
- Fill with apple pie filling.
- Top with second crust, trim any excess with kitchen scissors, fold crusts under and crimp with your fingers or use fork. I use the excess dough to cut out a few mini fall leaves using cookie cutters to place on top of pie. ( If using these, apply the mini cutouts halfway during the baking time)
- Cut 4 vertical vents in top of crust using a sharp knife.
- Bake pie in 425 degree oven for 15 minutes. Decrease temperature to 375 degrees and bake an additional 45 minutes. Halfway through the baking, I add my mini cut-outs and brush the crust with milk and a sprinkle of sugar.
- If crust appears to browning too much, cover edges with a thin piece of foil. Cool for 4 hours before cutting.
- Apple Pie Filling
- Use your favorite pie apple, I used honey crisp for this recipe and loved them.
- Toss thinly sliced apples with lemon juice, sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and tapioca.
- Fill unbaked pie shell and bake as directed above.