So it was thanksgiving weekend and much to my dismay I learned that my dad wouldn’t be making his usual collection of thanksgiving pies. My dad makes the best pies! Thus I decided it was about time I learned the family tradition and so I set out to bake 6 pies – pecan, pumpkin, raspberry, and 3 apples.
PIE CRUST [Source: The Joy of Cooking]
INGREDIENTS (double crust)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup lard or shortening
2 tbsp chilled butter
4 tbsp water
STEP 1) Sift together flour and salt in large bowl.
STEP 2) Add butter and shortening to flour mixture and combine well. This can be done using a pastry blender, cutting in with knives, or you can use your hands (which is how we do it in our family). My dad insists it is important that when all the butter/shortening is mixed in that there are no pieces bigger than the size of a pea.
STEP 3) Sprinkle the dough with 3 tablespoons of water and blend well. Add 1 teaspoon of water as needed until dough forms into a soft ball.
STEP 4) Divide dough into 2 pieces.
STEP 5) Sprinkle a generous amount of flour over a flat surface to roll out dough. Flip dough a few times as you roll the dough so that it doesn’t stick to the surface.
STEP 6) Roll dough onto rolling pin and gently place over pie pan.
APPLE FILLING [Source: The Joy of Cooking]
6-8 apples (this will vary depending on the size of the apples and the pie pan.
1/2 to 2/3 cup of brown sugar (add more of less depending on how sweet your apples are)
1/8 tsp salt
1 to 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch (use the larger amount of cornstarch if the apples are very juicy)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp lemon juice
STEP 1) Pare, core and thinly slice apples.
STEP 2) Combine apples in a bowl with brown sugar, salt, cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
STEP 3) Arrange apple mixture into pie crust and dot with 1 1/2 tbsps of butter.
STEP 4) Dab pie crust with milk and place second crust on top. Cut off excess pie dough and press crust using your finger or a fork.
STEP 5) Dab milk over top pie crust and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
STEP 6) Bake in 350* oven for 35-45 minutes, or untill golden brown.
PECAN FILLING [Source: The Joy of Cooking]
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup pecan halves
1 tsp vanilla or 1 tbsp rum
STEP 1) Roll out pie dough into deep dish pan and bake pie shell for 5-7 minutes at 450*. Allow pie crust to cool and reduce oven heat to 375*.
STEP 2) Combine eggs, sugar, butter, and corn syrup in bowl and beat thoroughly.
STEP 3) Stir in pecan halves and vanilla/rum.
STEP 4) Fill the pie shell and bake for 40-50 minutes at 375*.
PUMPKIN AND RASPBERRY FILLING
As the day was slowly fading away I decided I wouldn’t be able to make these from scratch so I bought the canned pie filling from the grocery store.
THE FINAL PRODUCT
For my first time making the family pies I think things went fairly well. I got rave reviews from the family and my dad said he couldn’t have made them better himself. I can wait to try out some new flavours soon.