Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Best ever apple Pie - from the Kiwicake's Test Kitchen

I had so much fun making this pie. I've always wondered why pie in the USA has such a following. Entire diners and bakeries seem to revolve around pie. Don't get me wrong, I've eaten pie, I've just never really seen the attraction, UNTIL NOW! The crust on this pie is very different, and in my opinion is what makes it awesome. The pie crust uses Crisco, not butter. It was a revelation, with it tasting great cold and even better warm. I'm keen to try many more pie recipes using Crisco. Special thanks to Jenny for the old pie recipe book she gave me, from which I've adapted the Apple Pie recipe to create my own.

Because of New Zealand's dairy farming history, butter was always much cheaper than it was in other countries. This is one of the reasons, shortenings and lards were not used as much as other countries. Most of our pastry recipes tend to use butter.

I wanted to try out my new Tala retro pie bird and our brand new Fat Daddio's pie pans. The pie bird actually sits in the pan and bakes in the oven with the pie.

I placed the pie bird in the pie crust (your pie crust should blind bake for 15 mins at 200C) and then surrounded with the filling

I cut a hole in the centre of the pie crust once rolled, so I could drop it over the pie bird. I left the crust on the silicone mat while I lined up the hole over the pie bird. Once I had it lined up, I peeled back the silicone and it dropped gently into place. A great way to avoid tearing of your pastry.

Once I had dropped it over the pie bird, I just gently pressed the crust around the pie bird.

I pressed the edges of the crust together with a fork and used pie crust plunger cutters, to create decorative cut outs on the top. I gave it an egg wash, prior to placing in the oven.

Mom's Apple Pie

Preheat oven to 220C

Pastry (makes enough for top & bottom of 9-10'' pie pan)
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup Crisco
1/4 cup ice water

Mix dry ingredients together, cut shortening into flour (you can use a food processor or pastry blender, or 2 knives cutting in a scissor like motion). It should look like coarse meal. Sprinkle water, 1 tablespoon at a time until dough holds together and forms a ball. Divide in half. Handle as little as possible. I rolled my pastry out on a silicone mat, as this allows you to pick it up without tearing, to place in the pan, and lessens the need for additional flour.

700-800g Granny Smith apples (approx 5 large)
1/4 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
1tsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp butter cut into tiny pieces

Mix all ingredients together. Place in pie shell which has been blind baked at 200C for 15 mins. Cap pie with remaining half of pastry. Brush with egg wash. Bake approx 30 mins until golden at 180C. Delicious hot. Great cold.

Dutch Apple Pie variation
Using the recipe above, remove the pie in the last 7-10 minutes of cooking and pour 1/2 cup cream into the pie through the vent. Return to oven to complete baking. You must allow the pie to sit for at least 15 minutes after taking out of the oven before cutting to allow time to set.

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