My Pie Is In The Oven

Apple Pie. I've made my share of pies and eaten even more, but this is the first crust I've tried. A homemade crust can make a pie lover worship a baker; it commands respect. It brings back memories of how Mom or Grandma "use to make it from scratch."

This crust of mine is not pretty, especially the bottom half. I have a lot of practice ahead of me if I expect to become an expert. Is the dough supposed to be this hard to roll out? Should I have added more ice water? My hands were warming the cold butter and shorting as I mixed them with the dry ingredients. Is that why I could not form a dough ball easily in my hands? The top crust came out much better. I was afraid to roll it out further and risk tears, so it's just a tad small; but I'll take that if it tastes good.

Buzz, Ring! Time to get the pie. OH MY GOD! Beautiful.

Apple Pie

Of course, I would never have tried the crust without encouragement from Nic at bakingsheet. Now she is a baker I respect, no, worship! I want to include her recipe for this pie in my format, one that, for me, is easy to follow. But that will have to wait. The required 1 1/2 hours have passed -- tortuously -- and it's ready to cut.

Heaven, if there is such a place, is in my pie plate!

The chart format I am attempting for this post's recipe is eluding me just now. I'll have to hunker down and go back to Food Blog S'cool to get just what I want. Now, it is nap time.

Apple Pie

2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. sugar

3/4 c. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
1/4 c. shortening, chilled
6 - 8 T. ice water

1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 T. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. salt

6 cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced

extra flour for rolling

2 T. unsalted butter, (reserved)

more flour

heavy cream (optional)
cinnamon-sugar (optional)

Combine the first three items. Using fingertips, mix butter and shortening with dry ingredients until no large chunks of butter remain. Add ice water. Make two equal size dough balls in your hands (or one ball if your hands are big enough). Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hr. Combine next five items. Add apples to sugar-flour-spice mixture and set aside. Roll one dough ball into disk; use flour to dust the board, pin, and dough. Use offset spatula or other "helper" to lay bottom crust in the pie plate. After bottom crust and filling are in pie plate, dot the pie filling with butter. Roll the other dough ball out, place on top of filling and butter. Press edges to top and bottom crusts together. Cut steam vents in top. Brush cream on top of pie for a darker color. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake @ 425°F for 10 min. Lower temp. to 375°F and bake for 1 hr. Let pie cool for a 1 1/2 hr. minimum ... if you can!


Alanna's Hearty-Heart Healthy Muffins


I'm learning to blog. It all started when I googled the Web for a healthy muffin recipe. The few general cooking sites I had bookmarked led me to other sites ... blogs ... orange B's I hadn't noticed before seemed to be everywhere. I soon learned about Blogger, Typepad, WordPress and all the other blog hosts and software packages out there for those who want to build a little blog and need a lot of help.

I've downloaded several of these sites on my Mac. Blogger is the one I've chosen to learn on. Typepad, unfortunately, is not free. Learning and loving what you learn -- be it cooking, blogging, reading, novel writing or whatever else interests you -- is good living.

And those muffins I was looking for -- I found an incredible recipe for Hearty Heart-Loving Muffins on Alanna Kellogg's site, Veggie Venture My husband ate all but two of the first batch before bed (I did help a little). The second and third batches went just as quickly. I froze most of the fourth batch and set two to thaw in the frig each night for breakfast. I'm learning.

DH is not warm to the idea of waiting until I photograph his food before he gets to eat it. But he sure did like those muffins, so I have his cautious support. Thanks Alanna!

I'm in. Blogging and cooking with the help of you all. Wish me luck!