Mom’s Apple Pie

My mother is hosting Thanksgiving dinner, but I’m providing the rolls, stuffing balls, and apple pie. I thought I would share our apple pie recipe. This is a crumb topped apple pie, and quite delicious. Recipe taken from Farm Journal’s Complete Pie Cookbook edited by Nell B. Nichols, copyright 1965. I always make two pies, so I make double the pie crust, but it’s only for two bottom crusts, since the crumb topping is the top crust. This year I confess that since I’m sick, I’m using Trader Joe’s frozen pie crusts.

Old-Fashioned Apple Pie, with the Crumb Apple Pie variation:

Pastry for 1 crust pie (see below)
3/4 – 1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 to 1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
6 to 7 cups sliced peeled apples (2 to 2 1/2 lbs)
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine

NOTE: Amount of sugar you will need varies with tartness of apples.

Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Mix lightly through apples (sliced 1/4″ thick). Heap in pastry-lined 9″ pie pan. Dot with butter (don’t forget this step!). Normally, adjust top crust and flute edges; cut vents. Bake in hot oven (425 degrees F) 50 to 60 minutes, or until crust is browned and apples are tender.

Variations:
Our family likes to make the:

Crumb Apple Pie

Use 3/4 cups sugar. Omit top pastry crust; instead, sprinkle filling with crumbs made by mixing:

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup flour
(Mix together until pea sized crumb mixture. Don’t overmix or it becomes a dough-like substance. Ask me how I know.)

Bake in hot oven (400 degrees F) 45 to 55 minutes or until crust is browned and apples are tender. Serve warm with ice cream or pass a pitcher of cream for pouring over pie.

Dutch-Style Apple Pie: Cut large vents in top crust and omit butter. Five minutes before baking time is up, remove pie from oven and pour 1/2 cup heavt cream into pie through vents. Return to oven and complete baking.

Cinnamon Apple Pie:
Omit cinnamon and nutmeg and add 3 Tblsp. red cinnamon candies (red hots) to sugar. use a lattic pastry top if desired.

Speedy Apple Pie: Substitute 2 (1 lb, 4 oz) cans sliced apples for the fresh apples.

Green Apple Pie: Add 1/2 cup more sugar. Omit spices completely, or reduce amounts. If apples are very juicy, add 2 Tbsp. more flour.

Flaky Pastry for 1-Crust Pie

(Traditional Method — Makes enough for 1 8″ or 9″ pie shell or top crust for 1 1/2 quart casserole.)

1 cup sifted flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. vegetable shortening or 1/3 cup lard
2 to 2 1/2 Tbsp. cold water

2-Crust Pie (or two pies bottom crusts)

(Traditional Method — Makes crust for 1 (8″ or 9″) 2-crust pie, 2 pie shells, 8 or 9 (4″) tart shells, 1 pie with latticed top or topping for 2 deep-dish pies)

2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup vegetable shortening or 2/3 cup lard
4 to 5 Tbsp. cold water

Combine flour and salt in mixing bowl. Cut in shortening with pastry blender or with two knives until mixture is the consistency of coarse cornmeal or tiny peas.

Sprinkle on cold water, 1 Tbsp. at a time, tossing mixture lightly and stirring with fork. Add water each time to the driest part of the mixture. The dough should be just moist enough to hold together when pressed gently with a fork. It should not be sticky.

Shape dough in smooth ball with hands, and roll. Or if you are not ready to make the pie, wrap it in waxed paper and refrigerate 30 minutes or until ready to fill and bake pie.

To Make the Pie Shell:

On lightly floured surface roll Pastry for 1 crust. Roll it lightly from the center out in all directions to 1/8″ thickness, making a 10″ to 11″ circle. Fold rolled dough in half and ease it loosely into pie pan, with fold in center. Gently press out air pockets with finger tips and make certain there are no openings for juices to escape.

Fold under edge of crust and press into an upright rim. Crimp edge as desired. Refrigerate until ready to fill.

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