Saturday, October 20, 2012

Apples of Gold


Proverbs 25:11 says, "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver."

For seven weeks in the Fall, I assist the Cooking Team as part of a program called "Apples of Gold," where older women mentor younger women. This year, 17 young women signed up to attend the weekly dinners that include teaching designed to help them as wives and mothers with practical cooking skills, entertaining and character development. The church I attend has been doing this for 8 years, and this is my second year to help.

The Cooking Team prepares the meals and each week demos a "how to." This past week, my daughter and I showed how to make Aunt Doshie's pie crust, so I thought I would share with the rest of the cooking world instructions and pictures because Fall is the perfect time to make up this pie mix. The mix does not require refrigeration. And it makes enough for 12 single crust pies, or quiches, cobblers or tarts aplenty. Following these steps makes pie-making a cinch instead of a stomp-that-crust-on-the-floor, as my mother did the first time she tried to make a pie.

Aunt Doshie's Pie Crust, see also Pie-Making 101

Ingredients:

5 lb. bag Gold Medal flour (No substitutes)
3lb. can Crisco shortening (No substitutes)
1 ½ T. salt


Making a batch of pie crust all at once



In very large bowl, dump bag of flour. Add salt and mix slightly to disperse the salt. Start adding Crisco in big chunks, but not the whole can at once. Using a pastry blender or two knives (or both) start cutting shortening into flour.

IMPORTANT: DO NOT USE HANDS TO MIX






Continue to cut in shortening until entire can is mixed with the flour. Use a spatula or a large spoon to bring flour up from bottom of bowl. Mixture should resemble course meal without large pieces of shortening unmixed. 





 



To make a single pie crust:

Measure 2 c. mixture into glass or stainless bowl.
Add 2–2½ T. ice cold water, 1 T. at a time, stirring with fork after adding water
Gather dough with hands, gently. Do not handle too much.
 
Tear 2 sheets of wax paper and place dough ball in center of one, and the other on top.
Flatten slightly and begin to roll out from center to make piecrust to 1/8” thickness.

Carefully lift up wax paper from topside of dough. Take your time because you should only roll out pie dough one time. Handling pie dough too much makes it tough.

Then with wax paper still in place, turn over and lift up underneath side of wax paper. Remove this and then transfer piecrust to 9” pie plate, dough side down. Carefully remove the other wax paper, which was loosened before.



For filling, I used 1 1/2 cans of cherry pie filling, plus 3/4–1 t. almond extract for added flavor.
I usually make pies from scratch, but in this case, I was going for fast and easy.


Dot the top of filling with butter (about 2 tablespoons) …


…and sprinkle on top of filling and butter about 1/4 c. sugar.



To make a lattice top crust, roll out pie mixture the same as for bottom crust, cut in strips and basket-weave the strips. Then flute the edges of crust and again sprinkle with sugar.


Before placing on baking sheet to bake at 375 degrees for 35–45 minutes, tear a sheet of foil to make a square.


Fold that foil square into fourths.


Then cut a semi-circle from the center.



Open the folded foil and place over the edge of pie crust. Remove this foil about half-way through cooking. This keeps the crust from browning too much on the edges. :) Much easier than crimping strips of foil and then burning yourself when you try to remove the foil when it's hot!



Storing Aunt Doshie's Pie Crust



Use empty Crisco can to store some of the mixture. Store the rest in Tupperware or Ziploc storage bags (freezer bags work best, but do not freeze). 

You can, however, make up pie crust as directed and freeze in pie plates or aluminum tins, if you have room in the freezer to store.



This is a baked crust, used for cream pies. Be sure to prick holes with a fork in the unbaked crust before baking in 400 degree over for 15–20 minutes, until lightly browned. You can also use pie weights or dried beans on top of a piece of aluminum foil gently pressed on top of the unbaked pie shell.

Ta-dah! Mama Bear made 3 pies



Fudge pie, the recipe from the Bluebonnet Cafe in Marble Falls, TX. Yummy!


And I baked a lemon meringue for my son-in-law's birthday this week. Another recipe from Bluebonnet Cafe, this was probably the best-tasting lemon pie I ever made.


The meringue, however, split because I debated between 2 recipes. One said to spread the meringue over hot filling and the other said to spread over cooled filling. I chose poorly.

Leave a comment and I will tell which way works best.

But I was ecstatic that my meringue did not "weep." That comes from under-beating meringue. I read in the cookbook from the Peachtree Tea Room in Fredericksburg, TX that the test for whether you have beaten the egg white/sugar mixture enough is to hold the bowl over your head. If the meringue doesn't plop out, it's just right.

Baby Bear porridge

Pies don't have to be perfect-looking. Aunt Doshie's pie crust recipe, besides being almost fool-proof, is light and flaky.

Although not as sturdy as crusts made with butter, refrigerated before rolling and about a half-dozen other things you need to learn by doing, heading into the holidays, Aunt Doshie's is the one to have on hand. I use a couple of other recipes when I need only to make 1 or 2 pies.



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