2 refrigerated pie crusts, softened to room temp or make your own pie crust (enough for a double crust pie ~see below for recipe)
- 6 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples (6 medium)~ like to use Granny Smith
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Heat oven to 425°F. Place 1 pie crust in ungreased 9-inch glass pie plate. Press firmly against side and bottom. In large bowl, gently mix filling ingredients; If using a pie bird here is where it comes in! See directions below. If not using a pie bird proceed with the following:
Spoon into crust-lined pie plate. Top with second crust. Wrap excess top crust under bottom crust edge, pressing edges together to seal; flute. Cut slits or shapes in several places in top crust. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown. Cover edge of crust with 2- to 3-inch wide strips of foil after first 15 to 20 minutes of baking to prevent excessive browning. Cool on cooling rack at least 2 hours before serving.
How To Use a Pie Bird
(1) Place your unbaked crust in your pie plate.
(2) Put the Pie Bird in the center of your crust.
(3) Pour your pie filling in the crust evenly around the Pie Bird.
(4) Cut a small slit in the top crust.
(5) Gently place the top crust over the pie, easing the Pie Bird through the slit. Let it rest on the “shoulders” of the Pie Bird.
(6) Wrap excess top crust under bottom crust edge, pressing edges together to seal; flute.
(7) Bake per pie directions.
(8) Remove the Pie Bird when you cut the first piece of pie.
Gently clean your pie bird with mild dishwashing liquid ~ do NOT place in dishwasher.
My Best Basic Pie Crust
No-fail. Works every time. You will find other crusts throughout this book…but as far as a basic unsweetened crust good for general pie making…you won’t do better than this one! It can be prebaked for cream pies or used unbaked for filled pies. I even use it for pot pies.
This recipe makes enough dough for four 9” pie shell bottoms for cream or meringue pies or two pies with top and bottom crusts such as an apple pie.
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups shortening (chilled)
- 1/3 cup cold water
- 1 TBSP vinegar
- 1 egg, beaten
Stir the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Cut the chilled shortening into the dry mixture using a pastry cutter or by pinching the fat into the mixture with your hands. The resulting mixture should have fat lumps no smaller than peas.
Pour the cold water, a small amount at a time, into the dry mixture; mixing gently with a fork until the dough is wet enough to be packed into a ball. ball. The dough should be handled as little as possible to prevent the blending of all of the fat lumps, as a crust with no fat lumps will be dense and hard. Split the dough into four equal amounts, roll them into balls and wrap them in plastic before placing them in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.
Chilling will prevent the fat from absorbed by the flour and give a lighter texture to the crust when it is baked.
Generously dust a clean, dry surface with flour and remove one of the packages of dough from the refrigerator. Flatten the dough slightly and dust the dough’s top before rolling the dough out with a rolling pin . Start rolling at the center of the dough and work outwards. Some people prefer do this between sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap because it makes clean up and rolling easier.
Quickly roll the dough into a circle 1/4 or 1/8 inch thick. The size of the circle should be about four inches wider in diameter than the pie pan.
A trick for getting the dough positioned in the pan correctly is to fold the dough in half and then into quarters. Gently pick it up and place it into the pan so that the center point is in the center of the pan.
Unfold the dough into the pan and it should be perfectly centered. If the dough cracks a little during this process, press it back together with your fingers or patch the cracks with a bit of dough from the outer edges.
At this point you can fill your crust according to your recipe or you might want to consider freezing the crusts for later use. I roll out my circles place them individually between sheets of waxed paper and gently fold in fourths. I then place them carefully in zipper plastic bags and lie flat to freeze. When a crust is needed, take it out leave it in the bag to come to room temperature and then proceed with recipe.
PS If you need a pie bird (or two) click on him and it will take you to my etsy!