Because the important moments in life just don’t fit in a status update! I started this blog when I was training for my first ½ Ironman, (70.3 miles) to record what I hoped would be growth and progress but ended up being a huge learning experience. Although fitness is one of the key ingredients to a happy life, it certainly isn't the only ingredient. My blog has evolved to document growth, progress and setbacks in other areas too. From my surprise proposal in Rome and wedding in the fall of 2013, to Mom's devastating stage IV cancer diagnosis and death 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant. Who knows what shape it will take, but thanks for being along for the ride.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Apple Pie, From Scratch

I'm sharing with you a recipe I just used to make apple pie completely from scratch, on the eve of Thanksgiving. I've never made a pie before, and it was really easy. Well, I've made things like banana cream using a pre-made crust, but never an entire pie from scratch. So, if I can do it, it will be even easier for you! I pieced together three different recipes that I found on Pinterest. Photos are my own. I've never cooked with shortening before, and learned that it will now keep, unrefrigerated, for up to a year in our cupboard - eew!


Finished product. Next time, I'm going to try a lattice-work pattern.

Apple pie was my Mom's absolute favorite, and I'm sorry that I never made one for her. But hopefully, she's smiling down, and likes knowing that making this pie every year for, and eventually with, Autumn is a new tradition.




GRANDMA’S PIE CRUST

Learn how to make a pie crust the way Grandma did. Grandma’s Pie Crust is buttery, flaky, and takes just a few minutes to make. It’s our long-time family favorite! 
Visit this site for pictures and more details.
Ingredients
  • 3 cups pastry flour
  • 1 teapsoon salt
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ½ cup cold butter
  • ½ cup ice cold water
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  1. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Cut in the shortening and the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. That's what that tool is for - I've never used it! I did also use our mixer. 
  2. Mix the water and vinegar together in a cup. Add the mixture to the crumbs. Mix together just until the dough is combined and handles well.
  3. Sprinkle flour on the counter before rolling out the dough. Split the dough into two chunks. Another site I looked at suggested putting the dough in the freezer for a few minutes, and this helped.
  4. Roll out one piece on a floured surface. Roll the dough about ½ an inch larger than your pie pan.
  5. Lay the crust in the pie pan and press down lightly on the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
  6. If you are making just a bottom crust, turn the edge under and use thumbs "flute" the edges of the dough.
  7. If you are making a double crusted pie, fill the pie, roll out the other half of the dough and lay it over top the filling. Fold the top dough under the bottom dough and use your fingers to seal it together.
  8. Bake according to your pie recipe (see below).
  9. This recipes makes enough for a double crusted pie. I doubled the recipe because I also needed two crusts for my pumpkin pies.

Homemade Apple Pie Filling
Approx. 10 sliced apples - I used a mix of Gala and Granny Smith.
Toss the apples with 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and set aside. Pour 3 cups of water into a large pot. Add 2 cups of sugar, 1/2 cup cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir well and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. The sauce will thicken up, which is good.

Add apples and stir gently to combine. Return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6-8 minues or until apples are tender. Let the apple filling cool, then ladle into freezer bags or jars. This recipe will make enough filling for 2 pies. I froze a bag and made a pie right then. 


Bake
Bake 40-50 minutes at 425 degrees with foil covering to prevent excessive browning. Remove foil for last 15 minutes of baking. Pie is ready when crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in the crust. Keep and eye on it, I had to bake ours for close to an hour, but our oven runs on the cool side.

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