Rain has come, and with it wind and cold. The dogs don’t want to venture far from the house, and to be honest, neither do I. We took a long walk around the harbor, only to be rained on on the way back. Mom took her dogs to be blessed by the priest in his annual “pet blessing,” while I sat and read a book. She promised me a picture, which I’ll post in a bit. Apparently even the donkeys came to be blessed.
It was a slow, boring day.
So we decided to make PIE!
Which is, by my account, the most exciting thing ever.
Our apples from the fallen-down house were too green, but we searched our own property (okay, and a few of the neighbors) for some ripe, red apples. After climbing through the sumac, we found one with knotty-looking, but tart and delicious fruits.
Okay, so I have to divulge something here. I LOVE pie, but I almost NEVER follow the recipe. It just isn’t in me to follow that many directions. So I’ve had some great pies and I’ve had some failure pies.
This one was a great-tasting failure.
Here is my mother’s recipe for No-Fail Pie Crust.
I apparently took that as a challenge, because as you can see in the pictures, the crust wasn’t large enough or smooth enough to cover the whole pie.
She said she almost never uses the 2 Crust recipe and uses the single crust recipe instead. I whole-heartedly agree that this is the way it should be done, because I didn’t have enough crust. So if you need two crusts, just use this one twice.
1 1/2 Cups Flour
1/2 tsp salt
Mix those two with a fork.
Reserve 1/4 C of the flour-salt mixture. Mix this 1/4 C with 3 tablespoons of cold water (make a paste).
Cut in 1/2 cup of lard (Crisco) with the bigger mixture. It should look sandy and be all virtually the same texture. Then dump in your 1/4 cup wet paste mixture.
I’d never done this recipe before, but upon mixing it should come together quite quickly into a well formed ball, which you wrap in plastic wrap and stick in the freezer until you’re ready for it. (10-20 minutes). If you’re making two crusts, make the recipe twice and then you’ll have two balls in the freezer (hehe).
I apparently f*cked up.
So take that however you will.
We then continued my streak of not using a recipe, and took a little from this one and a little from that one. We pre-cooked our apples on the stove with cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg and lemon juice. This is a step from a recipe that recommends using Granny Smith apples. Since our apples were small and fresh and some mystery type, we probably didn’t need to use this step. It ensures that your apples will not be too crunchy in your pie. Ours turned into soup.
Then we slung our failed-no-fail pie crust into a pie pan. (The trick is, when you roll out one of the balls, use a lot of flour on your rolling pin and board, then roll the circle of flatted dough up ONTO your rolling pin, and lightly drop it into the dish.) It was considerably difficult.
Our apples produced a huge amount of delicious liquid when we cooked them, but we were unsure how much of this to add to the pie. We decided upon half. ::Shrug::
Then we worried that too much of the sugar was left in the juice and that our pie would be too tart. I then took ideas from other recipes, and crumbled brown sugar all over the top of the apples before adding the top crust. Cause, well, it sounded good.
We also brushed the top with an egg wash, which is 1 egg yolk and 2 tsp of water to give it a pretty sheen.
We baked it for one hour at 350 degrees F. It was a small oven that held its temperature well.
It definitely started life looking a little bit like a pie baked by Edward Scissor-Hands. But I think it turned out quite pretty.
It tasted like tart caramel apples. With a little vanilla whipped cream it was perfect!
So there you go, pie as promised.