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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Homemade Apple Pie with Crust Tutorial

Everyone loves a good apple pie recipe!  Especially this time of year when the weather starts to turn cooler in the evenings and the leaves start to fall.  Autumn is actually one of my favorite times of year.  As much as I love grilling, it's so comforting to turn on my stove and let it's heat fill my home--especially when the smells come from a homemade, warm apple pie!

Title Image

The recipe for the crust comes from my Grammie!  She always made her pie crusts with chilled milk and vegetable oil. The crust comes out super flaky, not overly thick which I think can take away from the filling, and is a bit salty to balance out the sweetness of the apples. While traditionally pie crusts are made with butter or lard and ice water, I find them a bit more difficult to make.  Or at least I haven't mastered a good rolling technique for it yet.  Growing up, my mom showed me how to make and roll out her mom's crust only once!  Seriously!  But I guess I had wanted to know so badly that I paid careful attention, haha.  And it was for a peach pie, absolute favorite!

So let's get out our ingredients together and get started!!

Ingredients for Apple Pie

First, you want to pour the milk and vegetable oil into a measuring cup, but DO NOT stir.  Place it into the fridge to chill while making the other elements of the pie.  This is a very important must be cold!

Next combine all of the pie crust dry ingredients into a small bowl.  Set aside.  Peel, core, and slice up your apples about 1/4" thick and place those into a large bowl.

Slicing Apples for a Homemade Pie

Toss the apples with the sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.  Mmmm, it's already starting to smell good!!  Make sure to mix it all around really well and let it sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.  This lets all of the juices to start releasing and creating a sugary, syrupy sauce in the bottom of the bowl!

Tossing the Apples with Spices

Now we're going to get our crust put together!  It has a few steps, but it's fairly easy once you get the hang of it!  Hang in there with me!

  • You'll want two sheets of wax paper cut roughly to the size of your rolled out pie crust.
  • Combine the milk/oil mixture with the dry pie crust ingredients and divide into 2 even balls of dough.
  • Place one ball of one sheet of wax paper and cover with the remaining sheet.  Carefully roll out into a circle wide enough to cover the pie plate with extra to go up and over the sides of the plate.
  • Carefully peel the top paper from the dough and flip dough placing it into the pie pan.  GO SLOW!  This step takes a little practice but after a few tries, I find it to be much simpler than trying to keep a buttery mixture together.  This crust doesn't crumble but can easily "rip" if the wax paper is removed too quickly!  Remove the other wax sheet.  Make sure the dough "relaxes" into the pie plate.
  • Fill the crust with the apple mixture making sure to pour in all of the juices.
  • Repeat the rolling method for the top crust and carefully place over top.

Wax Sheets for the Crust

Rolling out the Dough for the Pie Crust

Separating the Dough from the Wax Paper

Placing the Dough in the Pie Pan

The Finished Crust Before Baking

Pinch those edges up, poke a few holes in the top of the crust to release steam while it bakes, and you're ready to get this guy in the oven!

The pie is going to bake briefly at a high temperature to get the crust golden and will finish at a lowered temp to thicken the sauce, soften the apples, and deepen the crust to a deep golden brown. Mmmmm!  Now you can relax and enjoy the warm smells as they fill your home!  This is my favorite part of making a pie...other than eating it, of course!

How does this fit into my "Real Food Philosophy"?
 While I've made a few concessions on the crust (vegetable oil is highly processed), I have tried making the crust Whole Wheat Pastry Flour and it turned out great!  Plus, the pie already has a good amount of sugar in it so I didn't feel so bad about using oil instead of butter! 

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Homemade Apple Pie
  • Crust:
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Filling:
  • 4-5 large baking apples (peel, core, & slice)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. allspice
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.Combine milk and oil together and refrigerate.Combine the crust dry ingredients and set aside.Combine together the filling ingredients and allow to sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.Carefully stir together the oil/milk mixture into the crust dry ingredients.Divide in half and place each half between two pieces of wax paper. Roll until thin.Place one in bottom of pie plate.Add fruit, then place other crust on top.Cinch edges (after cutting off excess) and cut vent slits into top.Bake 25 minutes until golden brown. Then lower temperature to 325 degrees and bake 30 minutes until deep golden brown and bubbling.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8 servings

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