In an earlier post (or two) I’ve mentioned my Mom’s Pie Crust and how fabulous it is – it seriously could win awards. For many years, she would come to Michigan in the summer (from Florida) and stay at either my sister’s home or ours – just a few minutes apart. While we were working, she would take a day and churn out as many pie shells as we could reasonably cram into our freezers, leaving at least one out for a pie that day. When I would get down to that final frozen pie shell, I’d feel a bit of panic (kind of like when I see empty spots in my wine rack, but that’s another story).
Now that she’s moved back to live in Michigan, having a tutorial with the Pie Crust Master has been on my list. Last Friday we made it happen, after all, if I’m the chef I claim to be – hadn’t I better learn to make Mom’s recipe? Ingredients gathered, rolling pin and cover, pastry cloth and pastry blender assembled – we began.
Here’s both the recipe for the pie crust and my Apple Crumble Pie Recipe, in time for delicious Fall apples:
Mom’s Pie Crust
- 2 c unsifted unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 t salt
Stir together with a fork. Remove 1/3 cup of flour mixture and set aside.
- 1 c Crisco shortening
Add to the flour mixture with a pastry blender, until blended and crumbly but with no dry flour visible.
- 1/4 c cold water
Add the water to the 1/3 cup of flour mixture that was set aside – using a fork stir it until well blended (a slurry). Add this “slurry” to the flour/shortening mixture and stir with a light touch to mix thoroughly.
Flour your pastry cloth heavily as well as the covered rolling pin. Use about half of the dough and form it into a round gently, getting flour on each side and edges. Pat down with your hand so that it is not a round ball, rather round and thick. Now start rolling it out, working each direction in even strokes until it’s the desired thickness. Gently fold it in half and lift it into the pie plate, gently unfolding it. Trim the edges, crimping them (flour your fingers) if desired.
This recipe makes 2 large pie crusts – possibly three if you use smaller pie tins. These crusts freeze beautifully and I’ve had them in the freezer, in a freezer ziplock bag, for up to a year.
Apple Crumb Pie
- 1 pie crust – unbaked
- 3 lb McIntosh, Jonathon, Empire or your favorite cooking apple – I use 2 types
- white sugar
Slice the apples, removing skin. Mix 1/2 c sugar and cinnamon – the amount is to your taste (we love cinnamon). Fill the pie shell with 1/3 of the apples, sprinkle generously with the sugar mixture, add the next third and repeat until the pie is heaped with apples (they will cook down). I tend to slice about half the apples, then start the filling process and slice more as needed based on the size of the pie plate. Top it with the Crumble Topping.
- 1 stick softened butter
- 2 T cinnamon
- 1 c white sugar
- 3/4 c flour
- dash of salt
Blend together with a pastry blender until crumbly (you may want to add a bit more flour). Pile it on top of the pie, pressing down gently and covering the entire top.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the pie plate on a large cookie sheet or pizza pan and put into the preheated oven on the BOTTOM shelf. This is important as it will properly cook the bottom of the crust. Bake until the top is starting to brown as well as the visible edges of the crust. Based on your oven and the depth of the pie, it may take more or less time – start watching it at 40 minutes, it may require another 5-15 minutes to look like this:
Cool completely, then slice and enjoy!