Have you seen my new tagline?
Food and wine. Trial and error. Love and bacon.
This apple pie was definitely a case of trial and error.
I asked Robby if there was anything he wanted to see on the blog as we round the corner into Fall. It went like this.
“Hey love, are there any fall recipes you want–”
“What kind of–”
Here’s the thing, though: I’ve never made pie at home. (I thought it was a case of “Didn’t make pie very often” and then I realized that I didn’t own a pie tin.) I’ve made pumpkin pies, but that’s just a matter of pouring batter into a store-bought pie crust.
If I was going to make an apple pie, I’d have to do it right. That meant choosing apples, putting together some kind of filling…and tackling the big issue, the thing that stops so many people from making pie at home.
Dun dun DUUUUUUNNN.
Now, if you have a foolproof pie crust method, please share it in the comments! We can never have too many great pie crust recipes. For instance, my friend swears by Paula Deen’s Perfect Pie Crust, a classic butter/shortening recipe. I didn’t want to use shortening, so I did some googling and settled on this recipe from Serious Eats.
There’s a lot of science, which you can read here, but the gist is that the trickiest part of pie crust is when the fat (butter and/or shortening) is cut into the flour. Ideally, it creates little pockets of flour-coated butter that melt into beautiful layers. Where a lot of pie crusts fail is that they are either undermixed and never come together, or are overmixed and get tough. This recipe allows–nay, encourages!–you to just squash together the butter and 2/3 of the flour to form a paste, before adding the rest of the flour. This paste magically (or scientifically, if you read the article) acts like flour-coated fat, forming a dough that’s easier to handle AND bakes into beautiful flaky crust.
Bonus: The recommended method is a food processor. Food processor pie crust! How great is that? I don’t have a food processor (yet), so I mixed it all together with my hands. And it came out great! Even though I undermixed the dough a little, it still came out flaky and buttery.
Is it the perfect pie crust? That I can’t say, but there sure is a lot going for it. Let’s summarize:
- it doesn’t require shortening
- it can be done in a food processor
- it’s fast!
If this was a successful trial, where’s the error? Ironically, the “easy” part, the filling, is the part I’m still working on. The Serious Eats apple pie filling tastes pretty good, but it didn’t have a lot of gooey goodness between the apples, which to my mind is a fault. If you have great filling ideas, leave them in a comment! Otherwise, I’ll be over here,
eating testing more pies.
(Credit for the photos that feature my hands goes to Robby. He was very patient, and also paid in pie.)