...Several states away from me, Patsy smiled. (Yes, you can tell when people smile when talking on the phone.) She said, "My crust is no-fail; you can't make a mistake with this recipe." She reminisced about a time she took her pie to a dinner party; when it was time for dessert, the hostess brought everything out of the kitchen except her contribution. Later, she asked about her pie; the woman smirked and whispered, " Pat, I'm saving that one for myself!"
Intrigued? I was. Then Patsy related that she learned how to make her awesome crust 40 years ago at a pie-baking assembly line on a farm in Pennsylvania. She said she helped make 100 pies that day, and she never forgot the secret.
(If I can make it, so can you!)
1 (fresh farm egg)
3 Tbs water
3Tbs white vinegar
2 c flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks butter, softened (works much better than cold)
Whisk egg, water and vinegar - set aside.
Stir together flour and salt.
Add butter to flour mixture and mix with clean hands, until crumbly.
Then add liquid (above)."Warning: it will be really wet, like cookie dough! That's why you need to prepare the waxed paper, first)."
Sprinkle dough generously with flour, dust hands.
Cut dough in half with a butter knife and gently form each half into a ball, then flatten to make a disk. Wrap in floured, waxed paper or (plastic wrap) and refrigerate.
(Make sure to eat some while you are working.)
Peel core and slice 8-12 apples into a big bowl. Patsy prefers Macintosh; I like to use Granny Smith; Farmgirls use what's available.
Mix and Stir
1 1/2 cups sugar (If you use sweet apples, reduce sugar)
2-3 TBS cinnamon ( I use 3)
2 Tbs flour.
1 pinch of Love (I add this to everything I make, so does Patsy.)
Set oven at 400 degrees.
Locate pie dish. Patsy and I use a deep dish.
Flour the work surface and roll out your first crust. (Leave the other one in the fridge.)
Set bottom crust, leave edges overlapping rim.
Fill and mound with apple mixture.
Dot with butter.
Roll out top crust; measuring size by holding pie dish over crust to be sure top is several inches larger than the rim of your dish. Be generous with flour as you roll. The beauty of this moist dough is that you can re-roll the crust if you mess up, continually lift and flip dough and brush flour underneath and onto your rolling pin. (Keep a pile of flour handy for this purpose.)
Carefully lay on your top crust, trimming edges out an inch or so from the edge and seal top and bottom crusts by rolling under. Now flute the edge. To flute pie pastry:
- Place a finger against the inside edge of the pastry.
- Using the thumb and index finger of the other hand, press the pastry around the finger.
- Continue around the rest of the pastry's edge.
Whisk an egg, use a basting brush to coat top of pie and sprinkle with sugar.
Make a foil rim to protect the edge from over-browning.
Place a foil-lined cookie sheet on the bottom rack of your oven to catch drips . Place pie on top rack and set timer for 15 minutes; After time is up, turn oven to 350 and cook another 45 to 50 minutes, or until apples are tender when you slip a sharp knife into the pie.
Remove to cooling rack and guard pie well! The aroma has been known to attract husbands and children of all ages.