Wednesday, October 26, 2005

As American As . . .

Apple Pie*

(Makes one 8-inch pie, which is enough for 8 to 12 servings, depending on how big you slice them!)

(This is courtesy of my Betty Crocker cookbook, by the way.)

Purchase a refrigerated piecrust, OR, make your own:
Combine 2 cups flour with 1 teaspoon salt. Cut in 2/3 cup fat of your choice (butter, shortening, lard, or a combination of the two. If you use shortening or butter, add an additional 2 tbsp fat, since both contain some water.) Toss in 4 to 5 tablespoons cold water, just until the dough almost cleans the side of the bowl. Gather dough into a ball and shape into a big, flat, round piece using a rolling pin. Turn out into a pie plate. Flute the edges.

Combine 1/3 cup sugar, 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, and a dash of salt. Toss with 8 cups sliced peeled apples. Transfer to pie plate and arrange nicely if you care to. (Or do what I did, and just mound them in there as high as you can without the apple mountain toppling over.)

Combine 1/2 cup flour and 1/4 cup brown sugar. Cut in 4 tablespoons butter. Sprinkle/pat onto apple mixture.

Bake pie at 425 degrees for 50 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Keep an eye on the crust edges and struesel topping -- if they begin to brown way before the pie is fully cooked, make a tent out of foil for the pie. You may also want to put a cookie sheet on the rack below the pie while it bakes in case the pie overflows. (Easier to scrub a cookie sheet than the floor of your oven, righty-o?) Cool for a little while (like 15 minutes or so,) before slicing and serving.

* Why apple pie today, you ask? Well, we made two with the kids this morning. (An apple peeler-corer-slicer helps a lot when you try to do this with a classroomfull of kiddos.) And by golly, they were absolutely pie-tastic, if I do say so myself. And all the kids' grown-ups were incredibly impressed. And almost every child gobbled up the pie. Happy times in the Willow Room.

** Why the struesel topping instead of the traditional 2-crust pie? Well, to save a little fat per serving, and also because I didn't request enough pie crusts when I filled out our snack list a week ago. Sometimes I'm a moron....

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