Sunday, September 28, 2008

Homemade Pastry and Apple Pie

A long time ago, I took Home Ec and learned to make pie crust. Then my mom took over the farmer's market pie-and-coffee stall for a summer and we had to make pie weekly. This is the crust that got us through. It's just plain delicious. I know most of you fancy-pants cooks have a food processor do all the work, but I don't own one (and neither did my mom or grandma, who make a damn fine pie). So these are purely manual directions that may be adapted if you're more technologically advanced than I am.

Basic Pastry
1 cup shortening (Crisco, lard, butter, or marg)
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 egg (beat and discard 1/2)
1/2 tbsp vinegar
1. Beat egg w/ fork in measuring cup. Leave 1/2 egg in cup. Add vinegar to egg and then add enough liquid to make 100 ml (scant 1/2 cup) liquid.
2. Measure dry ingredients into bowl. Stir. Cut in shortening using a pastry blender or 2 knives until the size of peas. Add liquids. Stir lightly with a fork, then mix into a ball with your hands.
3. Divide pastry in half. Roll between waxed paper. Ease one portion into pie pan. Remaining portion is for top crust.

Apple Pie
5-6 apples, peeled cored and sliced
2/3 c sugar
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp butter/margarine
1. Preheat oven to 425*F.
2. Combine apples, flour, cinnamon, and sugar. Put into crust. Dot with butter.
3. Add top crust. Be sure to cut a few vents (holes), and seal the crusts together.
4. Bake 15 min. Reduce oven heat to 350*F and bake until crust is lightly browned - about 35 more minutes.

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