It's good to be "best" at something, and though I'll never touch Michael Phelps in the pool, he'll never touch me in the kitchen.
Some things are that certain.
- Martha Stewart knows this; she didn't even bother to include apple pies in her online "Pies & Tarts" recipe index (though when I searched "apple pie" on Martha's blog, she treated me to a scenic tour of her farm which has a grove of apple trees).
- My beloved Paula Deen has a recipe for Savannah High Apple Pie, but it calls for 24 sliced apples and they don't make pie plates that big in Tennessee. Plus, I'm certain she's trying to kill me again with the caramel topping at the end.
- When I searched the ever-darling Rachael Ray's site, I realized she's a bit "touched" in the head when it comes to apple pie: Bacon-Crumble Apple Pie? Nothin' says "good breakfast" like crispy dead-pig strips, but PLEASE, for the life of me, don't add bacon to my apple pie! That's like squirting ketchup on top of an ice cream sundae, and ewwwww!--sends shivers down my spine!
I made my first apple pie of the season yesterday; after dinner with friends last night (where my friend Dawn informed me it was the SECOND best apple pie in the world...f.i.n.e.), there's just one slice-and-a-half left, testament to its finger-lickin' goodness. Headless Mom and my friend Julie asked for the recipe, and though I've posted it before, since the crust (aka the secret ingredient) is on my old site, I'm including both crust and pie recipes together for the first time.
For the record, my husband insists it's the crust that makes this pie, and I PROMISE: if you follow the directions, it's idiot proof.
Foolproof Homemade Pie Crust
- 1 cup + 2 Tbsp ALL PURPOSE flour
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup Mazola Corn oil
- 2-3 Tblsp. ICE water (cold is supposed to matter, too)
Pre-heat oven to 375°.
Note: The above recipe is for ONE crust, and since apple pies require two, make two separate recipes for this...DO NOT DOUBLE THE INGREDIENTS and then divide the dough. I can't be responsible for what happens if you do!
In a small bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients. Make a "well" in the center and add the oil.
Next, with a spoon or pastry knife cut in the flour with the liquid.
This is when I begin adding the ICE water; I usually start with 2 tablespoons, and then if it seems too dry, I had a third. Once it is mixed well by spoon, I fold it in with my hands (from the outside to the center). If it sticks to your hands, it is too wet, so add a bit of flour. Don't over-handle the dough. It should be smooth enough to shape it into a disc like this:
Tear two sheets of waxed paper about 18" long. Put the dough-disc on top of one sheet and cover it with the other. Now the fun part.......start your rollin' :).
Roll in opposing directions, with the obvious goal of shaping a circle (because you're limited by the width of your waxed paper, your circle will be more oblong...). I'm not sure about the thickness of your pie crust, but it's THIN...maybe 1/8". No worries, though.
Once your circle/oblong is larger than your pie plate, you'll be ready to pick it up and drape it over your dish. Here's where the secret technique comes in. Slowly lift the top layer of wax paper completely off the crust. If it sticks, go slower. If it STILL sticks, start over. Lightly replace the top sheet of wax paper.
Pick up BOTH sheets of wax paper with the crust between them and flip it over to the other side.
See that little piece of dough that crumbled out? You have permission to eat it.
Now, lift what WAS the bottom layer of paper completely off. Ball it up and see if you can score two points by tossing it into the nearest trashcan. Note: This step is not part of the secret technique but it conjures up all kinds of fun school-year memories of trashcan basketball :).
Carefully lift the crust by the wax paper underneath and drape it, centered, over your pie plate.
Now, slowly remove the wax paper; it should lift easily since you've already lifted it once before.
Add your pie filling, and if necessary, a top crust. Then bake, according to your pie's recipe.
Here's what the finished, unbaked apple pie looks like:
To avoid overcooked (or worse, burned!) edges, I used to place strips of tinfoil along the rim of my pies. Heartfelt thanks for my mother-in-law who gave me a "Piecrust Saver" years ago, saving me from this aggravating-but-helpful step.
Voila! The finished product!
Olympic Gold Apple Pie
(my new name for it inspired by the Michael Phelps reference above)
- 5-6 cups sliced Rome apples (or your faves)
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 heaping Tbsp flour
- sprinkling of cinnamon
- bout 5-6 pats of REAL butter
VERY complicated step: Mix the above together in a large bowl, reserving butter.
Pour the apple mixture on top of your bottom pie crust and dot with the butter; layer the second crust on top and be sure to make incisions to vent it (you're certainly welcome to criss-cross with a lattice crust if you're
not lazy trying to make this harder on yourself extremely industrious. Cook it at 375, covered with tin foil or a pie saver for 20-25 minutes; remove cover and cook for an additional 20-25 minutes.
Cool slightly. Add a ginormous scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream. Inhale. Avoid bathroom scales.
TA DA!!! You may now wear a gold medal around your neck.
Originally posted a few years ago, and with the holidays approaching andTidyMom's Pie Party, I thought it'd be a good idea to repost it now; well, that and this is one of my most frequently searched posts!! Apparently people want to find THE best apple pie in the world AND an easy recipe to make homemade pie crusts! Works for me!! ;)
** p.s. For Amber, at least my family thinks it's the best apple pie in the world!!! That's good enough for me ;).