Apple Pie Time
Kris Malkoski, President of North America
One of my fondest memories is when my mom would tell me it was “apple pie time”. I grew up on a farm in Nebraska and we had an apple orchard. I would run down the path to the orchard (with an entourage of tame cats following me), gather a basket of the best and biggest Granny Smith apples and return breathless to the house. My mom and I would then gather the ingredients to make the pie dough and the apple mixture. I learned how important lard is to get the flakiest dough and the secret ingredients of lemon juice and butter to make the apple pie taste fantastic! We often made 5 or more pies at one time. Mom would freeze (uncooked) the pies we didn’t immediately need. That way, when a friend or neighbor had a bad day or was under the weather, my mom could quickly bake a pie and cheer them up. I will never forget the look of delight on the faces of the people to whom we’d deliver a homemade pie. You would have thought we had brought them a fortune!
Makes One 9-inch Covered Pie
Flaky Lard Pastry Dough Ingredients:
- 2 ½ cups All-purpose Flour
- 1 tsp. White Sugar
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1 cup Cold or Frozen Lard
- ⅓ cup plus 1 tbsp. Ice Water
Use a rubber spatula and mix thoroughly in large bowl:
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. white sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup cold or frozen lard, cut into pieces
Break the shortening into large chunks, and then add to the flour mixture. Chop vigorously with a pastry blender. Periodically stir dry flour up from the bowl and scrape the fat off the pastry blender. When you are through, some of the fat should remain in pea-sized pieces. The rest should look like coarse crumbs. The mixture should seem dry and powdering, not pasty or greasy.
Drizzle over the flour and fat:
- ⅓ cup plus 1 tbsp. ice water
Using the rubber spatula, cut the mixture until it looks evenly moistened and begins to form small balls. Press down on dough. If the balls stick together you have added enough water. If they do not, drizzle over the top:
Divide the pastry dough into two equal balls. Roll out one ball of pastry dough into a 9-inch circle using a wood or plastic pastry board covered with flour. Transfer the dough to a pie pan by draping it over the rolling pin. Press the dough into the corners of the pan. Roll out second ball of pastry dough (again using a wood or plastic pastry board covered with flour) into a circle slightly larger than 9 inches. Using the edge of the rolling pin, cut the dough into strips, each about ¾ inch wide. After you have filled the pie with the apple mixture, use the strips to form a woven lattice top on the pie. Finish the pie by rolling the lattice strips with the overhanging dough from the bottom of the pan and crimp or flute the edges.
Note: When I’m in a hurry I skip making the dough and use a box of 2 Pillsbury pie dough sheets that you can buy in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. The dough is easy to work with so you can still make a woven lattice top.
Apple Pie Ingredients and Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Peel, core and slice ¼-inch thick:
- 2 ½ pounds Granny Smith or another variety of tart apples (5 to 6 making 6 cups)
Combine the apples with:
- ¾ cup sugar
- 3 tbsp. All-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 3 tbsp. lemon juice (e.g. RealLemon lemon juice concentrate)
Let stand for 15 minutes stirring several times. Pour mixture into crust. Cut into small chunks (¼- inch thick) and place on top of apple mixture in pie pan:
Cover top of pie with woven lattice pastry as described above.
Bake the pie for 30 minutes. Slip a baking sheet beneath it and reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Continue baking until the fruit feels just tender when a knife or skewer is poked into it (30 to 45 minutes more). Cool the pie on a rack for 3 to 4 hours. If you want to serve the pie warm, reheat the pie for 15 minutes in a 350°F oven.