Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Good Old Apple Pie

I've got my lard and I've got my apples from the local orchard.  My parents are driving in from the northern country today and my husband is itchin' for his favourite dessert.  I guess that means it's time to make some apple pie!  I pulled my lard out of the fridge and smiled.  As I scooped 1 cup of lard into the measuring cup, I was so excited to be using the lard that I had made, all by myself, from scratch!

I used the recipe from Pioneer Woman's site for the pastry, except that I had lots of lard and no butter, so I used all lard. 

Rolling out the dough proved to be more difficult than Pam makes it appear.  I followed her recipe exactly and deduced that I need to flour the parchment paper before rolling next time.  (I did, rather successfully for the top of the pie, which you will see shortly.)
The bottom crust was sorry-looking.  I patched it up a bit with extra bits of pastry and mended the thins parts as best as I could.  (Isn't it fun to see me crash and burn at this?  See Wanda.  See Wanda flop.  Flop Wanda, flop.)
Done with the hard part I went on to making the apple filling.  It's pretty simple.  Just cut up 6 big apples into pieces, throw 2 tbsp lemon juice and 1/2 cup each of white sugar and brown sugar in there.  And then realize that you're out of brown sugar... 

I've read many times that you can make your own brown sugar with white sugar and molasses.  I've always wondered if it works but never tried it.  I was just starting to wonder if the consistency would be affected and considered grabbing my keys for a quick run to the store when my fellow baker and scratch-loving friend, Moni, called.  I poured my worries onto her and she encouraged me to do the molasses trick.  I googled the ratio and found that 1/2 cup of sugar needs 1/2 tbsp of molasses.  I tried it...
...and I mixed it and it looked like brown sugar!
So I continued on with my pie filling.  I added 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp each of nutmeg and allspice, mixed it all together and dumped it into the pie plate.  Miracle of miracles, it looked like my regular pie filling.  Moni's a genius.
I rolled out the second crust, much more successfully with a few sprinkles of flour, dotted the top of the pie with the little butter I had on my table, swept the tops of the edges with some water, and put the second crust on.  I chopped the perimeter so that it still had a little overhang for crimping.
I patched the areas along the edge that were a little short on pastry and crimped it all together nicely.  (I would not have been able to patch the crust before.  The parchment paper method definitely made a difference to the texture!)  A little more frilly work, a splash of sugar, and the pie was ready for the oven!
One thing to note when making an apple pie...  My husband likes them nice and full, so occasionally it will bubble over.  I always put an aluminum pizza pan underneath to catch any pie filling that bubbles out.
It baked for 15 minutes at 425 F and then I turned it down to 375 F for another 35 minutes.  In the meantime I needed to find something to do. 
Coming up empty, I grabbed a book and enjoyed it for a little while.  A couple chapters later - Voila!  A beautiful apple pie!
See!  Even when you mess up and are out of ingredients, you can still make some scrumptious!

Wanda’s Apple Pie

3 large tart apples (granny smith)
3 large sweet apples (Mac’s)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp water

Preheat oven to 425°F
Roll out and place one crust in pie shell.
Peel, core and slice apples – ¼” thick. Sprinkle with lemon juice as you go.
Add sugars, flour, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Toss lightly.
Mound mixture in pie crust. Dot with butter.  
Moisten rim of pie crust with water and place top pastry on pie. Seal edges and crimp.
Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. Lower to 375°F and bake for 35 minutes more.


  1. This pie looks amazing Wanda. I have to confess that at first I thought the picture of the lard was a picture of vanilla ice cream!

    I am curious on your thoughts of how the lard affected the outcome of the crust?

  2. It's a little unfair to compare to previous pies I've made since it was an entirely different method and recipe. That being said, the pastry absolutely DID NOT taste like pork. I was a little worried as I mixed it up because I could smell a hint of pork in it, but once it cooked and mixed with the filling it was amazing. Definitely the flakiest pie I've ever made!