Fall is a favorite season for many, not just because of the weather, the crisp air, or cozy weekends around the fireplace. But because of the opportunity to spend time with family and friends celebrating and eating! What could be better than a day in the kitchen with the kids making pies?
I was recently sent a copy of the book America's Best Harvest Pies by The American Pie Council and I have to to tell you that if you like prize winning pie than you are going to enjoy this book. Since 1995, amateurs and professional bakers across the country have competed in the National Pie Championships to determine the best pie maker in America.
This book is a collection of seventy of those prize winning pies, including apple, pumpkin, blueberry, peach, sweet potato and more.
Divided into sections by harvest crop you will find not only classic recipes but unique twists on old favorites too.
I decided to try my hand at an old fashioned apple pie. I am going to be honest here, this is my first apple pie; although I frequently make my grandmother's slab apple pie this is my first foray into making flaky pie crust.
Harvest Apple Pie
Recipe by Lana Ross, Indianola, IA 2009 APC Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division, 1st Place, Apple
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cups Crisco
6-8 tablespoons ice-cold water
2 teaspoons vinegar
7 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 cup of flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
1 cup of flour
6 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
Mix together the flour and the salt. In a separate bowl mix together the vinegar and the ice water. . Using two knives or a pastry blender, cut the Crisco into the flour mixture then gradually add the water until the dough comes together. Roll out the dough and place into your 9 or 10 inch pie pan, flute the edges. I used a tart pan because I like the look.
Preheat the oven to 350. In a bowl mix all of the filling ingredients and toss to coat the apples then place into the prepared crust.
Combine all of the ingredients and spread evenly on the pie. Bake at 350 for 70-80 minutes. Cool and then serve with ice cream or whipping cream.
Note: This recipe calls for using half of the dough for the crust and half to make decorative cutouts to attach to the crust, I did not do that part. In addition, I always use more spices than called for and added the nutmeg. The original recipe also calls for a combination of apples I only had granny smith.
This is a delicious pie. The crust is flaky, the apples are moist but still firm, and the combination of the tart apples and the buttery crumble make this pie melt in your mouth. I loved it!
The cookbook is a wonderful addition to any collection and even better it is a cookbook that you will turn to again and again when baking pies.
I hope that you have a fabulous day!