the perfect pie crust

In the spirit of Thanksgiving being just a few weeks away, I thought I’d ask my sister-in-law, Lydia,  if she would share her delectable pie crust/apple pie filling recipe on the blog. I am so glad she agreed! Lydia is a Southern gal and she knows how to cook like one.

We had the best time when I went over to interview her for the pie. We needed some step by step photos for you guys, so, not only did I get to see how she works her magic, but we got to eat pie! Plus- you’ll notice that sweet baby belly of hers. She is due to have a baby girl November 12th. So things are getting very exciting! See her maternity session here. So try the recipe!  It is the best pie you will ever eat, my friends. I promise, your pie will be the talk of your Thanksgiving festivities this year.

*BONUS* I will regram your photo if you post your finished pie photo to Instagram. Just follow and tag me. my account is here. 

c r u s t   i n g r e d i e n t s:

 2 1/2 cups flour

1 tablespoon  sugar

1 teaspoon table salt

2 sticks (8 ounces or 1 cup) unsalted butter, very cold

d i r e c t i o n s:

Fill a one cup liquid measuring cup with water, and drop in a few ice cubes; set it aside.

In a large bowl – whisk together 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of salt. Dice two sticks (8 ounces or 1 cup) of very cold, unsalted butter into 1/2-inch pieces.

Sprinkle the butter cubes over the flour and begin working them in with the pastry blender. Scoop and redistribute the mixture as needed so all parts are worked evenly. When all of the butter pieces are the size of tiny peas — this won’t take long!

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Next- start by drizzling 1/2 cup of the ice-cold water (not the cubes!) over the butter and flour mixture. Using a rubber or silicon spatula, gather the dough together. You’ll probably need an additional 1/4 cup of cold water to bring it together, but add it a tablespoon as a time. Once you’re pulling large clumps with the spatula, take it out and use your hands. Gather the disparate damp clumps together into one mound, kneading them gently together.

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Divide the dough in half, and place each half on a large piece of plastic wrap. I like to use the sides to pull in the dough and shape it into a disk. Let the dough chill in the fridge for  1-2 hours before rolling it out.

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 **side note: Your dough will stay good in the fridge for about a week, and in the freezer longer. If you aren’t using it the day it was made, wrap it in additional layers of plastic wrap to protect it from fridge/freezer smells. To defrost your dough, move it to the fridge for one day before using it**

Now that your dough is nice and cold, get it out go the fridge, unwrap it, and place it on your floured surface. You my want to sprinkle your rolling pin and hands a bit too.

Roll out your dough. You’ll want to keep flipping it over and rolling on each side… roll, lift, turn, repeat. Do this until you have a 12″ circle.

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Now, roll it up around your rolling pin as pictured below.

20141027_0382Then, unroll it onto your pie pan. Got it?

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Next, poke center of your dough to death with a fork 😉 Unless you want to do some fancy work with the edges, just leave it there and we will trim it after the filling and top crust are added. put your crust in the fridge and continue to the filling.

 

f i l l i n g   i n g r e d i e n t s:

3 pounds peeled, cored, sliced apples  *Macintosh and Granny Smith are the best*

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons cinnamon

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Pinch nutmeg

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon water

1 egg

d i r e c t i o n s:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Throw your apples, sugar, cinnamon, flour, and nutmegtogether in a large mixing bowl.  Mix them all together.

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Pour the mixture into your pie crust. Cut the butter into small squares and scatter onto the mixture. Then set aside.

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Next is the tricky part… are you ready? Roll out your top crust. You will want it to be as thick as the bottom crust was.

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After that, grab a knife or pizza cutter and cut your strips about 1 – 1.5 ” wide. 

20141027_0444Next… we weave. Now, it is tricky, but it’s really much more  complicated looking than it actually is. Lydia showed me a simple way  of doing it. You will want to make your first layers of vertical rows across the entire pie. Be sure to leave about 1/2″ between each strip. Then lift up every other row about 3 inches. Place your horizontal strip on the vertical strips that are down then put the others back down. You will repeat this step.. only you will flip the alternate rows every other time.

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After the pie is covered, cut off the access crust hanging over the edge.

20141027_0470In a cup or small bowl, mix your egg and water to make an egg glaze. Brush the top of your pie with the glaze. This will give your pie that golden brown look.

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20141027_0480You’re almost finished! Put the pie in the oven and bake for 50-55 minutes. To be sure the apples are tender, just cut through with a knife to feel.

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20141027_0499Look at the “flakiness” of that crust. It was incredible. I literally could not believe how perfect this pie was. It looked like something you’d see in a magazine and it tasted…  better than pie should even taste 😉 Ha! I can’t even describe it.

Lydia, hats off to the chef. Your pie recipe is the best, and you are a gem for sharing it with us.

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