Tue 28 Oct, 2003 07:03 am
I made some apple pies last week. They werent so great. I fed the last piece to the dog this morning. im trying to come up with the best damn apple pie or pumpkin pie that my family will once again look at me with love and say
'how does he do it? hes a culinary genius"
Its that time of year when only a crusty sweet pie will do for dessert,
-sTARVING IN LANCASTER
What went wrong....crust, filling or both?
Libby's sells pumpkin pie mix in a can. I haven't made it in several years, but I think all you have to add are a few eggs and some condensed milk, mix it up, pour it into a shell and bake it. I always found I needed to bake it about 20 minutes longer than the recipe on the can. It always came out very good.
Rhubarb pie is my absolute favorite. Believe it or not, you can sometimes find fresh rhubarb at the souks here.
Remember the pie scene in Michael? That one really made me hungary for pie.
Pecan Pie with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream on the side.
I haven't been able to look at a rhubarb pie again since seeing Stephen Kings "Thinner".
I can give you some advice...I don't like pre-packaged pumpkin filling, it's always too watery. Making a proper filling takes some oven time, but it's not exactly difficult, and can be done a day ahead.
Have you tried a good crisp apple like the Granny Smith, cooked in a white sauce with apple juice instead of water? I haven't either, but I mean to. It was suggested to me a year ago.
APPLE PIE PERFECTION - 2 VERSIONS
(The perfect crust and apple filling)
Adapted by BumbleBeeBoogie
2-1/2 cups pastry flour or all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
11 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
7 tablespoons chilled solid vegetable shortening or lard, but into small pieces
4 to 5 tablespoons ice water
Glaze: 1 tablespoon milk or cream
1 tablespoon sugar
In a food processor bowl fitted with the metal blade, pulse twice the flour, sugar and salt; scatter the butter pieces over the flour and pulse 5 times. Add the shortening pieces and process 4 times or until the butter-shortening pieces are no larger than small peas and the flour resembles coarse cornmeal. (This step may also be done manually with a pastry blender.)
Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of the ice water over the flour mixture; pulse 5 or 6 times. Add 1 additional teaspoon of ice water at a time until the dough holds together easily, but do not let the dough form a ball in the processor.
Place the dough on a counter top; shape into a ball with your hands. Divide the dough in half, flattening each half into 1-inch thick discs. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at 30 to 60 minutes.
7 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients EXCEPT the butter and cornstarch; toss to mix. Set aside at room temperature from 30 minutes to 3 hours to allow the apples to macerate. Then transfer the apples and juices to a colander suspended over a bowl and drain to capture the liquid. The mixture will release at least 1/3 cup of liquid.
Add the drained juices and butter to a small saucepan; cook, swirling the liquid but not stirring, over medium-high heat until syrupy and lightly caramelized, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Return the apple slices to the large bowl. Toss well with the cornstarch. Pour the hot syrup over the apples; toss gently to blend.
Flour the counter surface, the rolling pin, and your hands. Roll out the bottom crust into a 12-inch circle, about 1/4-inch thick. Fold the dough in half, then in half again; lift and unfold the dough to fit into a 9-inch pie pan; trim the dough to overhang the pan about 3/4 inch.
Transfer the apple filling to the pie shell, mounding them in the center.
Roll out the top crust to a 12-inch circle; fold the dough in half and then in half again. Brush the edge of the bottom crust with water; lift the dough and fit it on top of the pie. Tuck the top crust overhang under the bottom crust edge; pressing it down to seal. Crimp the edges using a fork tine or your fingers. With a sharp knife, cut 4 slits in the top crust to create steam vents. Brush the top crust with the milk or cream and sprinkle evenly with the sugar.
Locate the oven rack to the lowest position. Preheat the oven at 425 degrees F. Cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil; place the pie on the sheet and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the juices bubble through the steam vents and the apples feel tender when a knife is inserted through a vent. To prevent the crust edges from over-browning during baking, place an aluminum foil ring* around the edges after 30 minutes of baking. Remove the pie from the oven; cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
*To make the foil ring, cut the foil into a circle a few inches large than the pie; cut out the center. Pie shield rings may also be purchased at cookware stores.
TO SUBSTITUTE A CRUMB TOPPING FOR THE TOP PIE CRUST
1 cup walnut or pecan halves
1/3 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/2 to 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Place the nuts, brown and white sugars and cinnamon in a food processor bowl fitted with the metal blade; pulse until the nuts are coarsely chopped. Add the flour, butter, vanilla and salt; pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Remove the metal blade and pinch the mixture together. Set aside.
Cover the apple filling in the bottom piecrust with a circle of aluminum foil to create a dome; cut 4 steam vents in the foil. Bake for 1 hour at 425 degrees F. on a foil-lined baking sheet. Remove the pie from the oven and remove the foil. Lower the oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the apples, pressing lightly to adhere to the apple filling. Place a ring of foil over the crust edges to protect them from over-browning, return the pie to the oven. Bake another 15 to 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
I'm impressed with you, Farmerman, not too many men make pies! What kind of apples did you use? Did you taste your filling beforehand? Did you add a tiny bit of salt to the filling mix of flour & flavorings? Did you use any butter?
I generally use at least half brown sugar to sweeten my apples. My favorite spices to use are cinnamon and cardamom. Fo some extra spice in my apple pies I've even used cinnamon candies, aka red-hots. There are recipes that call for them! I don't really use a recipe, having learned in my mother's kitchen. She used to make delicious apple pies and in the 60's began to add a teaspoon or two of Tang orange drink mix if the fillings didn't have enough zing. Go figure, but people raved about her pies.
Sometimes the apples are too dry. I think it is best to use at least three different kinds and plenty of them to be sure that you'll get a lot of flavor and a good mush-level. I always taste as I go, and if the filling doesn't seem right, I head for the spice cupboard.
No matter how you make your crust, I think it is smart to butter the bottom crust before you put in the filling... it keeps the crust from getting wet and mushy. I also put a few nibs of butter on the top of the pie before the top crust goes on. My trick, learned from my mom, is to make a recipe for two crusts, then scrimp and squeeze it into three crusts. One pie will be a regular two-crust, the other will have a brown sugar/flour/butter/spice crumbled topping. Yummy.
If you ever have a problem with a somewhat tasteless apple pie, you can make a cinnamon sauce to pour over it. That helps almost anything!
Nutmeg and mace are essential. And a pear or two tossed in. Currants are good, too. Mmmmm....
But me likes a strawberry rhubarb pie the mostest.
crissakes. I just left for a meeting and missed the story.
MY PIE TASTED LIKE ****> the filling was nothin , it was like sour apples but even with the sugar alotment upped. There was no complexity of flavor. The crust was ok, I used one of those Carnation ready made ones and they arent overworked.
Nope, it was the filling.
I do prebake the bottom crust a bit and this keeps it from getting mushy. Imgonna trey that apple cider trick . Im using Jonagold from a local Amish orchard. Maybe if I mix some other varieties.
Bumblebee-Im following your recipe next . My wife doesnt jump in and help, I think she's just glad someone else enjoys cooking.
WHen I worked for a major pie company years ago, we mixed frozen apples in an industrial mix of sugar, corn syrup, 10 gallons of a corn starch mixture, some salt and a bag of "secrtet spice" that only Mrs Smiths kept in the company HQ. We then boiled the mix and made about 500 gallons at a time. This was pumped into a stainless tub that was rolled over to a pie machine where each pie shell was pumped full of the apple filling and then a roll of dough ribbon was laid over top in a conveyor belt . the pies were then crimped by a giant whirling crimper that went around like a huge router bit. Then the pies were off loaded onto a large rack of 200 pies per rack and then flash frozen. This was so mechanical and full of cachink-cachink noise that Ive always felt that I can do better .
Sometimes the machines would get totally out of synch because the workings were driven by these cycle chain motors and if the chain slipped a bit, it would be really funny. The pie shell woul drop into a pan freame, but not quite strait. The bottom dough ribbon would be a bit skewed and the stomper that made the bottom shell would just crunch the pan and dough. Then a pump would squirt the pie filling on the table rather than into the pan. It looked like vomit. Then a ribbon of dough would top this empty shell and it would get half crimped and further crushed and fed onto the shelving. The result was a big mess of dough, aluminum and pie filling dripping from the table. This would be one time that they would shut the machine down to fix the chain drive.
But thats not what makes me hungry for pie.
Ahah! "that only Mrs Smiths kept in the company HQ. " Now we know where to shop for that 'extra bit of protein", don't we.
Roger, ugh! you are soooo bad!
oops. you read my other post.
Youll not find any mention of six legged proteinaceous ingredients on any label. hAve I just violatedthe TOS?
how do I print out a post . ? must I save then put in a file?
i wondered if anyone else would make the connection.
farmerman - it seems every cooking board in North America is having the apple pie discussion right now. The concensus seems to be a mix of at least three types of apples are required. The two most popular entrants seem to be Honey Crisp and Golden Delicious - with Granny Smith in the running as well. The gang at Food Talk at Taunton is currently on the spice for apple pie debate as well. Tis the season.
For the crust, substitute one tablespoon of chilled white vinegar for one of the four tablespoons of iced water. Ginger in small amounts, especially ginger oil, does wonders for pumpkin pie.
Golden Delicious suck, as do Red Delicious. My choices would be a mix of Granny Smith, Fuji and Spy.
I'd arm-wrestle for a good Golden Delicious from the orchard, cav.
One of the posters at Taunton posted some fascinating information about what happened to make the Red Delicious not delicious. Interesting to find out that the Golden Delicious and Red Delicious are not related apples. (i'd posted a question about how they could both be called delicious when one so clearly is not)