Saturday, June 29, 2013

Apple Pie Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Can it be? Can I really be blogging after a near 9 month hiatus? Yes, it is I, back to the grindstone of blogging. Sort of. So what could I have possibly been doing for nearly 9 months? What takes that long? Oh, yes I know.
Growing a human inside my uterus. That generally takes about 9 months.
Why did it stop me from blogging? Well, let me break it down for you.
Back in October I found out I was pregnant, which was awesome! I was feeling great, on top of the world, glowing, all that jazz. Then about a week after I found out I was knocked up, it hit me. Morning sickness. Which is a huge misnomer btw. I had "All Day Sickness". Generally I felt terrible all day and all night. The kind of terrible where if you eat you know its just gonna come right back up, but you have to eat because you are not only trying to sustain yourself, but a new life growing inside of you. Plus I still had a 8 to 5 job that I could barely keep up with. Seriously, I had no idea how I did it. So, when I would come home from that job, I would basically insert my self on the couch or bed and not get up until the next morning. The very last thing I wanted to do was be around food/make food/anything to do with food. So that was the first 4 months of my pregnancy. Once the sickness went away, the tiredness and aches and pains took over. And I was still working all day. So I had no energy to make anything. Thank God I have such an understanding husband. He has been such a wonderful support to me and a trooper keeping up with my mood swings and lack of energy to make a pb and j sandwich let alone dinner on a bigger scale.
So now I am days away from my due date, no longer at my job, and have some energy! I was able to crank out this recipe for a church gathering. Its been so long! Can I still do it? Lets try it out peeps!

Brown Sugar Apple Pie

I got this recipe from this cook book by Ken Haedrich:

Its a pretty awesome cookbook, which literally has only pie recipes in it. I got this as a wedding present from my mom(5 years ago!), and have only made a few pies from it. I thought I was going to be a wonderful pie maker. You've heard of Delusions of Grandeur, right? That was me thinking of all the great pies I was going to make. The reality is that I just like to make pies. Its fun. I am no proficient at it. Pies are like a fun hobby for me. I enjoy making them, and they turn out pretty decent, so I have no cause for complaint. Anyway, about the cook book. The first chapter is just different pie crusts. He has a great selection of basic crusts and a few harder ones. Then the rest of the book is all recipes of pie fillings that he pairs with different crusts. You can totally mix and match at your discretion too. Which I did for this recipe. This book also has tips on picking the right apples/berries for fillings and tons of hints on pie making. So anyway on with the recipe!

Ingredients for the Pie Crust:(Keep in mind you will need more ingredients for the filling, but since you make the crust first I will share the ingredients for it first, then later the filling)
This is for a Double Crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup cake flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup(1 stick)cold unsalted butter cut into 1/4 inch pieces, 1/2 cup cold water

So I didn't picture the water, my bad. The main reason I chose this crust recipe was for the cake flour. I have a that big box of cake flour that I have been trying to use up. So if you don't cake flour, just make a basic pie crust.


The other cool thing about this cookbook is that he has directions for making the crust by hand, by food processor, and my choice by electric (stand) mixer.

Combine the flours, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and toss with flour.

With the mixer on low speed, blend the butter into the flour until you have what looks like coarse, damp meal, with both large and small clumps. Add the shortening and repeat.

Turning the mixer on and off add half the water and mix briefly on low speed. Add the remaining water, mixing until the dough starts to form large clumps. Do not over mix.

Using your hands, pack the dough into a ball. If making double crust(which I was), divide dough in half, making one half slightly larger, but your bottom crust(which I mixed up, oops!).

Knead each piece 2 or 3 times. Put each in the center of a piece of plastic wrap and flatten it into a disk about 3/4 inch thick(which I skipped, heheh). Wrap up and place in fridge for at least an hour, at most over night.

On a sheet of lightly floured wax paper(yes, I skipped that too. Think of recipes as guidelines more than actual rules), roll the larger(in my case smaller, I just grabbed the wrong one!)portion of the pastry into a 12 inch circle.

So, since I used the smaller portion, it didn't quite make it to 12 inches. But I was able to get it big enough for the 9 inch pie pan that I was using. He says 12 inches to allow for a lot of over hang on the sides so you can blend the top and bottom crust better. 

Invert the pastry over a 9 inch pie pan. Place in fridge for 15 minutes.

This would have been easy if I did the wax paper trick, but meh, it worked.
Filling Ingredients:
6 cups peeled, cored, and thinly sliced Granny Smith apples(or whatever ones you prefer. My husband requested Granny Smith), 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, Big pinch of salt, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
So the recipe doesn't tell you how many apples makes 6 cups, but I figured it was about 6 or 7. So I bought 8, to be safe. Like my "fresh" lemon juice?
This is how I sliced, cored, and peeled my apples. With my Apple Peeler-Corer-Slicer from Pampered Chef. This is a way older model. I don't know how old, like 10 or more years. It was my Gramma's but she never used it, so she gave it to my sister, who also never used it, who in turn gave it to me. I have used it maybe 3 or 4 times, which totally justifies its place in my kitchen I think. It works great! My Papap made the work bench for it, since there are no counters that it would fit on. I think the newer model comes with one.

See how good it works? I love using it. Even if it is a bit messy.
Combine the apples, brown sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a large bowl. Toss well, then let sit for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix the sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Stir into the apple mix, then scrape into chilled pie dough.

Roll out the other half of pie dough to fit over bottom of pie. This is where you would normally see the whole "use a fork to crimp edges together and cut steam vents into top". I totally didn't do that. I wanted to try something new. I have cool pastry cutters and cookie cutters in the shape of stars. Very American. So I rolled out my dough, and cut 6 big stars and 5 small stars. Then I placed them ontop of my pie. No need for steam vents or crimping. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar.

Place the pie on the center oven rack and bake for 30 minutes, Reduce the oven temp to 375 degrees and rotate the pie 180, so what was in the back is now in front. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool for 2 hours.

Boom. Amazing. Usually I do like to take a pic of a piece of hte finished product, but since this was for a church function I didn't. And I couldn't take one when we got home because it was all gone! Woot woot! That's one of the best feeling when you make something that took all day and its finished completely. Yes, this did take me all day. First, when I start baking I need a clean slate. So I had to clean the kitchen. Then for some reason I thought every room in our apartment stunk with some phantom stink that would not got away(it was my pregnancy nose getting the best of me, when my husband came home he said he couldn't smell anything). I swept and mopped the floors, took out the garbage, and lit tons of candles, and cleaned the toilet. Then as I was making the filling I started to get false labor contractions and had to sit down for another half hour. Then I had to clean the kitchen again after making a huge mess.
So needless to say it was pretty gratifying when the entire pie was eaten.
Well, I am glad to be back, but this will prob be my last entry for a while again. I will have a baby here pretty soon, and that should occupy my time too. But I am back and I will continue this blog, I promise! Thanks to anyone that reads it! :)


  1. that is a very good looking Pie!

  2. I love the star idea! I am rubbish when it comes to pie dough. Until I tried your recipe for dough! (Not this one, one you gave me earlier.) Still, this looks like a ton of work. Well done!