It wasn't until the last year or two that I began making pie crust from scratch. You're familiar with the refrigerated kind that comes in a red box? Perfectly delicious. I still buy them. However, now that I have this recipe, I make my own pie crust far more frequently!
I'm sure you've all heard of Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, right? I've not yet had the pleasure of meeting Ree, though I came very close last Spring when she was on a cookbook tour in Pittsburgh. (Her book signing time was at just the wrong time, and the bookstore just far enough away that I couldn't work it out.) I'll meet her one day! At least I hope. :)
Please visit Ree's blog! You'll laugh, cry, and feel totally connected to her in a you're-a-stranger-yet-I-feel-like-I-know-you sorta way.
So, this recipe for Flat Apple Pie is absolutely fantastic! It's not a recipe which calls for perfect fluted edges. There is no pie pan involved---it's a rustic, free-formed pie---perfect for pie beginners!
You begin by mixing the pie dough and rolling it out. The recipe makes two pies.
The filling is simple----fresh sliced apples, a squirt of lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, a wee bit of flour, and an even tinier smidgen of salt.
Pile the filling into the center of each rolled out crust. I added some toasted walnuts to one of our pies. Ohhhh, just perfect!
Fold the crust up over the apples and dot with butter.
Bake until golden brown. *note* Do NOT use cookie sheets without sides! You should have seen my husband and I fanning the smoke away from the smoke detector. Oh yes. The juice from the apples and sugar leaked from the pies and off of my side-less cookie sheets, burning on the bottom of the oven. Yikes. We had a good laugh....and a good upper-body workout with the 20+ minutes of fanning!
Allow the baked pies to cool a little bit on the pan, then remove to a cutting board or serving platter to cool until ready to serve.
Serve with whipped cream, or better yet, vanilla ice cream!
Here's the recipe from Ree!
Flat Apple Pie
5 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 recipe Perfect Pie Crust, recipe follows
6 tablespoons butter
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In large bowl, stir together the apples, brown sugar, granulated sugar, flour, salt and lemon juice. Set aside and see how long you can keep from sneaking a slice of apple.
With a rolling pin, begin rolling out the Perfect Pie Crusts into large circles. Roll the dough from the center outward. Be gentle and patient, it'll take a little time to get the dough completely rolled out.
If you think the bottom is really sticking to the surface below, use a nice, sharp spatula to loosen the dough and sprinkle some extra flour on top. Then flip it over to finish rolling. Remember to roll from the center in single, outward strokes, no back-and-forth rolling.
Again with a spatula, loosen and lift the dough and carefully place the circles on large baking sheets.
Place half the apple mixture on one crust and the other half on the other crust. Fold over the edges of each crust so that it covers 2 to 3 inches of the apple mixture. No need to be artistic - the more rustic the better. Dot the tops of the pies with chunks of the butter.
Bake until the filling is golden and bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes. If the crust appears to brown too quickly, cover the edges with aluminium foil for the remaining baking time.
Allow to cool slightly, then slice into wedges with a pizza cutter. Eat 'em on the go!
Perfect Pie Crust
3 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks cold butter
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
5 tablespoons cold water
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add in the butter and shortening. Using a pastry cutter, gradually work the butter and shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles tiny pebbles. This step should take 3 or 4 minutes.
Lightly beat the egg with a fork, and then add it to the mixture. Next, add in the cold water and vinegar. Stir the mixture together until it's just combined, and then remove half the dough from the bowl. Yield: dough for 2 crusts.