An easier crust

I work for a very small non-profit with  a personnel policy that is ad hoc at best.  After sitting at my desk alone for an hour and a half I realized that just maybe we recognized today as a holiday (we don’t recognize a lot of holidays, so it’s unusual at best to have the day off).  Once confirmed I headed home to spend this snowy day baking.

I have a bag of mealy apples sitting around, so I decided that an apple pie is in order.  Apple pie is pretty simple to make, aside from the crust.  If you can perfect the art of a good pie crust though, it is super brag worthy and impressive!  I have used the following recipe for a while now, it’s the easiest crust recipe I’ve encountered.  You can use a food processor or a good blender.  I have a Ninja blender, which I love.  If you’re in the market for a blender, I highly recommend it, and it’s less than $100 at Bed, Bath and Beyond if you use your giant blue 20% coupon, so it won’t break the bank.  My Ninja is different than the link above, I couldn’t find the model I have, but I assume they all work great.

This recipe is good for a 9 inch lattice pie.

Food Processor Pie Crust

  • 9 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Divide the butter into 6 tablespoons and 3 tablespoons and cut up into cubes.  Freeze the 3 tablespoons and refrigerate the 6 tablespoons for at least 30 minutes.  Combine the flour, salt and baking powder and freeze for 30 minutes.

Place flour mixture in food processor (I use my blender) and pulse to mix.  Add the 6 tablespoons refrigerated butter and pulse about 6 times, until it resembles a course meal.

I like to get all my ingredients ready and set up so I can quickly process the dough.

I like to get all my ingredients ready and set up so I can quickly process the dough.

This is what the dough looks like when I say "coarse meal."  This is before processing the frozen butter.

This is what the dough looks like when I say “coarse meal.” This is before processing the frozen butter.

Add the frozen butter and pulse briefly until frozen butter is the size of peas.

Add vinegar and ice water and pulse 6 times.  It will still be very crumbly but hold together when you pinch it.  Divide dough into 1/3 and 2/3, work into balls and flatten into discs, wrap in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for at least 45 minutes.  It’s important not to work the dough too much, you don’t want to melt the butter.  The chunks of butter is what makes the crust flakey.

This is the final dough, with the frozen butter processed.  Note how crumbly it still is.

This is the final dough, with the frozen butter processed. Note how crumbly it still is.

Work that crumbly dough into 1/3 and 2/3 discs and throw in the fridge.

Work that crumbly dough into 1/3 and 2/3 discs and throw in the fridge.

Prepare pie filling (recipe below) and preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Roll out the 2/3 dough disc to to fit the bottom of your pie plate and roll out the 1/3 disc and cut into strips. I usually have to smush together leftover bits and pieces, refrigerate and re-roll to get enough dough to make enough strips.  I’m sure there’s a more sophisticated way, but I make do.

If your dough cracks around the sides, just smush together with your fingers.

If your dough cracks around the sides, just smush together with your fingers.

Flour your work surface and rolling pin liberally, this stuff sticks!

Flour your work surface and rolling pin liberally, this stuff sticks!

Add pie mixture and and create your lattice over the top.  If your strips fall apart, wet your fingers a little and smush together.

Almost done!

Almost done!

Bake for 40-45 minutes.  Let it cool for a couple of hours.

Apple Pie Filling

  • 6-7 cups thinly sliced apples
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (I sometimes leave this out if I find I don’t have nutmeg)
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Combine all ingredients and place in prepared pie crust. Most apple pie recipes call for a mixture of tart and sweet apples.  I use whatever I have lying around, or in my backyard (I have an apple tree, no idea what type of apples, but they are pretty sweet).

Voila!  Maybe not the best looking pie, but man is it tasty!

Voila! Maybe not the best looking pie, but man is it tasty!

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