Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My 1st totally from scratch pie

We had planned to visit an Apple Orchard in October as a reward for Blockette's extra good behavior. Sadly, the Apple season ended early this year and we missed out. I told Blockette that I would make her a pie and she could pick out the apples at the grocery store. Luckily, she took the disappointment well, and said that it sounded like fun. (OK, so I told her we were also going to her favorite restaurant, Noodles and Company, for dinner. That was what she probably thought sounded fun.)

I let Mrblocko pick out the apple pie recipe from my huge binder of "to do" recipes. He chose Recipe Girl's Deep Dish Dulce De Leche Pie. This recipe did not include directions on how to make a crust so I went on the hunt for that as well. I settled on Sylvia's Perfect Crust from Tasty Kitchen.

Out of all the possible pie crust recipes in the world, why did I choose this one? Well, I tried a butter crust back in December when I made Pies in a Jar for my uncle for Christmas. The crust was a bit sticky and hard to work with, but I didn't know if that was because I was trying to stick them in tiny jars. I also chose this recipe because it didn't require any butter. I had enough butter to make the pie, but then I wouldn't have any left for the other things I wanted to make later in the week. Butter was about $3 at the store and I refuse to pay this much. I'd rather just stock up when it goes on sale. Did you know butter on sale tastes better? Yup, it's a scientific fact!

The reviews for this pie crust were spot on. Not only was this a very simple crust to prepare, but it resulted in a tender, flaky crust. This was all fine and good, but well, it just didn't have the rich flavorful taste that a butter crust has. It was fine for the Dulce De Leche pie because it was so sweet. The flavors in the pie completely overwhelmed the crust. In fact, had to eat some of the crust by itself so I could actually taste it. Even though the crust was not the best tasting crust on the planet, I would absolutely recommend Sylvia's Perfect Crust to a new baker. The lack of fighting with the crust makes up for any lack of taste. I will keep searching for my ideal tasting crust, but keep this recipe in my arsenal when I want a no fuss pie crust.What about the pie as a whole? It was delicious. I warned Mrblocko before we cut into the pie that this was my first pie that I made 100% from scratch so he shouldn't have too high of an expectation. I told him I even made the Dulce de Leche myself in the crockpot. Do you know what the man said, "Well did you milk the cow yourself too?" Don't worry I smacked him upside the head good for his SASSY mouth.

As for the recipe for Deep Dish Dulce De Leche Pie, I thought it was very straight forward. It was supposed to be a deep dish pie, but it seemed to have enough filling for a regular pie. I think if it was a deep dish pie it would be skimpy on the apples. Or maybe the cups of apple are supposed to be heaping? The only change I made to the recipe was to bump up the cinnamon to 1 tsp.

For some reason the top didn't get as dark as I would have liked. At one point I did put foil on the top of the pie as the recipe states. I was fearful that I would burn the crust. I wish I had kept it off to get a slightly deeper tan. The crust was crispy enough for my liking so it was just an aesthetic thing.

One thing to remember about this pie, as with most pies, you absolutely need to let the pie cool before you slice it. Cooling lets the pie set up. I once had a disaster of a pie that was like soup, partially because I cut it while it was hot. The pie was still slightly warmer than room temp when we cut into it. We just couldn't wait any longer! It was just set enough for it to come out in a complete slice. The pie was even better the next day when it had sit in the fridge overnight. I am totally not ashamed to say that I had a nice hearty wedge for second breakfast!

Deep Dish Dulce de Leche Apple Pie from Recipe Girl
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of salt
7 to 8 cups of peeled, sliced apples (I like Granny Smith & Braeburn)
1/2 cup dulce de leche (canned or homemade)
2 Tablespoons apple cider
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
double crust for 9-inch pie (purchased or homemade)
egg white mixed with 1 teaspoon of water
coarse sugar for top, optional

Preheat oven to 400F. In a small bowl, mix sugars, cornstarch, spices and salt. In a large bowl, toss apples, dulce de leche, apple cider and vanilla . Add dry ingredients and toss to combine. Between waxed paper, roll out pie dough as large as possible keeping it a good thickness. Line deep dish pie pan with crust and let it hang over sides. Brush with egg white mix. Add filling and spread out evenly.
Roll out 2nd crust a little bit too, place on top of pie. Crimp edges to seal. Brush with egg white mixture. Cut a few holes in top crust for venting. Sprinkle with coarse sugar, if using. Bake for 30 min. Then turn the temperature down to 375F. If pie is browning, cover with foil and top with a pie-crust-shield to prevent crust edges from burning. If you don’t have a pie shield, just cover the whole thing with foil. Bake for another 30 min. Remove pie from oven and cool on rack for several hours to allow filling to set.

*If wish to convert to regular-sized pie (not a deep dish), reduce apples to 5 c and use slightly less dulce de leche.

Sylvia's Perfect Pie Crust from Tasty Kitchen
1-½ cup Crisco (vegetable Shortening)
3 cups All-purpose Flour
1 whole Egg
5 Tablespoons Cold Water
1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
1 teaspoon Salt

In a large bowl, with a pastry cutter, gradually work the Crisco into the flour for about 3 or 4 min til resembles coarse meal. In small bowl, beat egg with fork and pour it into flour/shortening mix. Add 5 T cold water, 1 T white vinegar and 1 t salt. Stir gently til all ingredients incorporated.

Separate dough into 3rda. Form 3 evenly sized balls of dough and place each dough into a large Ziploc bag. Using a rolling pin, slightly flatten each ball of dough (about ½" thick) to make rolling easier later. Seal bags and place in freezer til needed. (If using immediately still a good idea to put in freezer 15-20 min to chill.)

When ready to use dough to make crust, remove from freezer and allow to thaw for 15 min. On floured surface roll dough, starting at center and working your way out. (Sprinkle some flour over top of dough if it’s a bit too moist.) If the dough is sticking to countertop use a metal spatula and carefully scrape it up and flip it over and continue rolling until it’s about ½" larger in diameter than pie pan.

With a spatula, lift dough carefully from surface of counter into pie pan. Gently press dough against corner of pan. Go around pie pan pinching and tucking dough to make a clean edge.

1 comment:

  1. So happy you had success with this recipe! I need to work on my piecrusts too. I'm always on the hunt for those that are no fuss!


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