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Good Ol’ Apple Pie

October 28th, 2013 · No Comments

An old fashioned recipe never goes out of style

By Susan Oppenheim

My maternal grandmother gave me a copy of  The Naomi Cook Book first published in 1928 the Hadassah Women.  All the donated recipes are clear and simple. Things pop up like “cook in medium oven till done” quite often. My copy has the inscription “When you finish this book you will be a good cook–love Bubbie Goldie.”  The book I have had for over 40 years now is held together with rubber bands and lovingly used very often.  Everyone would drop in to my British-born grandmother’s house for afternoon tea, seven days a week, around 3 p.m.  Everything we ate was freshly baked that morning and her apple pie was simply great.  We avoided sweetening our tea and always put the milk in the cup first. Why?  Because you do not have to stir it and dirty a spoon!  Into her 80’s she was supplying baking to Just Desserts when it first opened on Davenport  Road. She lived to be 102 years old and was a popular resident at Baycrest the last four  years of her life.

Pie is only as good as your ingredients. It can be challenging to find good locally grown cooking  apples. Last week I regret to say I was shocked that my closest grocery chain offered none. I  guess people do not cook with apples very much anymore. It boggles the mind.  Make sure you  get the right ones.  My favourite brands to use are Spy Apples or Macintosh.

For this recipe I use either a glass pie plate or a metal one. A nice deep dish works best. You want height to show off the feathered layers of slices.

Apple Pie

6-8 good sized cooking apples

¾ cup sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Peel core and thinly slice apples. Mix with ingredients evenly. (Told you it was simple!)

Line pie plate with single pastry.  If you don’t want to make it yourself, you can buy frozen shells  at the supermarket.  Using your rolling pin, jelly roll it up, then unroll without tearing on to the  pie plate.  Pat it into place and stretch slightly to cover evenly, making sure there is some extra  hanging off the sides.  Sprinkle some bread crumbs or flour on shell to seal it.  Pile the apple pie mixture into the pie plate and dot generously with sweet butter.  Prepare the finishing top pastry layer as you did the bottom, starting at one end to unroll over filled shell and when in place, pinch all the edges with three fingers of both hands.  Trim edges with knife, not too tight to allow for shrinkage when baking, and add your personal signature.  This could be fork holes in a pattern, a centre hole using a cookie cutter (you must allow air to escape in the baking), or a ceramic pie funnel purchased from a kitchen shop. A shiny finish can be an egg wash using a pastry brush (yolk and 1 tbsp water) or a milk wash.  Dust white sugar and cinnamon on the top for colour.  Bake in centre of hot oven 425 degrees for 15 minutes, reduce to 400 and bake another 30 to minutes (crust will be brown).  Serve with whipped cream, cool whip, frozen yogurt, ice cream, or cheddar cheese.  Once again here is the pie pastry recipe for those who missed it last month.

5½ cups of all-purpose flour

2 tsp salt

1 lb lard-use from the fridge–always better slightly chilled–or all vegetable Crisco

1 tbsp vinegar

1 egg, lightly beaten

Ice water to make 1 cup of liquid

Mix flour and salt well in a large bowl. With pastry cutter or two knives, add chilled fat product  and cut it with downward motion into small coated bits. In a glass measuring cup, combine  vinegar and egg.  Add iced water to one cup level and mix well with a fork. Pour liquid into flour mixture and toss with fork gently to combine. Gather the dough into a ball and divide into six equal portions. Do not overwork the pastry–keep it light. Wrap the portions and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes, if you are using right away, or freeze for future use. Roll out each portion on a lightly floured surface, about ¼ inch thickness. If the dough is sticking, chill again for another hour or two.

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