March 20, 2010

On pies, again.

Posted in Baking tagged , , at 9:53 am by Dani

Just a quick update on pie-making. I made another apple pie today. The person who sent me the “mama burndt’s recipe” and I had made a deal previously: he gave me the recipe and in exchange I’d make it for him next time he was in town. Which was tonight.

I used the same recipe as last time, and this time I measured the spices used (more or less.) Final tally: 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, and a shake of all-spice. The flavor was good, but it was pointed out to me that it could have used more apple. This is a valid point, though I think it might a matter of personal preference. I like more crust in my pie-to-crust ratio, but perhaps the more crowd-pleasing pie would be higher in filling.

It should also be noted that this time the apples happened to be not-so-juicy, so I added about 1/4 cup of naked apple juice and this worked fine.

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March 14, 2010

On pi (pie) day.

Posted in Baking, Pie, Recipe tagged , , , at 9:11 pm by Dani

Pi day = 3/14

Pi = 3.141593…..

Pie = Delicious

I’ve always been intimidated by pie. Not by eating pie–that’s easy. Rather, the prospect of making pie has always made me feel small and insignificant. Not pizza pie. I’ve been making pizza pie for years. I’m talking about Pushing Daisies, Waitress, 50’s diner pie.

My Hero

Now that you know my inspirations, get ready to hear about my process. First I do research. My love for food network (the yeast puppets are my favorite) gives me a good idea where to start. I found this great website on pie crusts, and had a few friends send me their recipes for apple pie. I youtubed to see what Alton says (I almost never make anything without consulting Alton.) The last credit must go to a lady named Mama Burndt. I do not know this woman personally, nor do I know Baby Burndt, but her recipe ended in my hands (and inbox) and she is just as responsible for this pie as I am.

And without further ado, I give you my very first attempt at pie-making

Apple Pie

Apple Pie

Ingredients:

Crust

1.5 cups all-purpose flour

2 tbsp sugar

Pinch of salt

7 tbsp butter

4 tbsp Crisco

5 tbsp ice water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

1. Sift flour, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. You’re going to be banging at the bowl with a knife, so be sure it’s one you don’t mind scuffing up.

2. Chop butter into small pieces. The smaller you cut now, the easier step 3 will be.

3. Add butter and Crisco into flour mixture and, using a knife or pastry cutter, cut the butter and Crisco. Stop when the biggest pieces are pea-sized. This is good. We want little clumps of butter.

4. Pour in ice water slowly while stirring with a fork. Stop when all of the flour is moist, but not wet or sticky. You may not need all the water, or you may need extra. If you accidentally use too much water, never fear. Just add a little more flour.

5. Using your hands, roll the dough into a ball (be careful not to over-handle it), and refrigerate it until it is chilled. This is a perfect time to start the filling.

Filling

6 Granny Smith, 2 Mcintosh apples

1/4 cup sugar

Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and/or clove. As much or little as you fancy, though be wary: more than 2 tsp of total spices might kill the flavor of the apple.

1 tbsp butter

6. Slice the apples into thin pieces on a cutting board. Transfer apples to a bowl. Try to keep as much of the juice as possible.

7. Add sugar and spices. Use your hands to toss the apples until they are evenly coated. Let this sit while we get back to the crust.

8. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, separate it into two pieces, and roll both out. Rolling pins work if you sprinkle flour over everything, but I hate flour. It’s messy. I prefer to lay the ball out onto wax paper, and just smoosh it flat with my hands. Once it’s as thin as I’d like, I use the rolling pin for just a second to even it out.

9. Place a 10″ circle of dough onto an 8″ pan, and put the rest of the dough back in the fridge.

10. Fill the pie with apple mixture, while evenly placing dots of butter throughout the filling.

11. There will be extra apple slices. Squeeze these over the pie, letting all the juicy goodness drip into the pie. The more the better.

12. Cover the pie with the rest of the crust, in whatever configuration you’d like. Cover the edges with foil to keep them from browning too much.

Bake 50 minutes. Tada! Enjoy.

Pie Innards

Mmmmmmmm....Pie