Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bring It On

I made my first pie crust tonight. Okay, probably not my first, but my first memorable one. The first one that made me excited to do it again.

Eric was mowing for the last time before next spring, and decided to salvage a few apples from our tree for a pie. I offered to make the crust.

I attended a convention for court reporters a few weeks ago, and one of the seminars was “Community Building”, or something similar. The speaker told us of her experiences organizing fund-raising activities for the Hood River, Oregon, Soroptimist Group. Specifically, their annual apple pie contest. As she told us how she got involved and what she does, she gave us detailed instructions on how to produce a beautiful, flaky pie crust.

Our convention organizers put together their own apple pie contest.

I’m not much of a pie person. I like cake. When asked whether I’d be willing to submit an entry, I declined, claiming, “I don’t do pie”.

Armed with tips from a contest winner, I decided it was time to tackle it. Thanksgiving is approaching, after all, and I've been informed that it just isn't Thanksgiving without apple pie. I usually make Marcy Goldman’s Fancy Apple Cake (from Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking) for Thanksgiving. (It's really more of a pie with a sugar-cookie crust.)

So to please the masses, I gave in. And of course I had to go all-out and attempt a lattice top.

With the leftover pie dough, I made cinnamon-sugar – what are these called?? My mom used to make them all the time, and they remind me of Thanksgivings growing up. Only her pies were usually blackberry.

Oh, wait – did you want the flaky crust tips? Basically:

COLD butter
COLD counter top (where you’ll roll out the dough)
Parchment paper (for sandwiching the dough when you roll it)

I used half shortening, half butter. I cut in the shortening with a pastry cutter –

-- then cut the cold butter into tiny squares and just tossed them into the flour.

So easy. Who knew?


  1. Your pie came out beautiful!!! I love the lattice top! I have done it before, but usually just place it on top as I make it. I also sugar that you used...nice touch! I used the same recipe/idea that came from the convention, but I used only butter. The parchment paper rolling method was awesome!! Never made an easier crust (unless you count Pillsbury ready-made..hehehe)!! I got the filling recipe online because I thought it would be good with the caramel, and it came out great. Making another one today...only difference is I put cinnamon-sugar on top for color. Making the pies the past few days has been great therapy for me...comfort food, yummy!!

  2. I couldn't find my convention recipe, so I used one from King Arthur. Did you use caramel candy squares?

  3. Juline,
    The little roll up's of leftover pie crust are called Ruhgeleh.
    A fond childhood memory of mine as well. That pie looks perfect!
    ~ Patiann

  4. Rugelach has sour cream and egg in it, though, doesn't it?? That's one on my to-make list.

  5. Looks great! See, you could've taken that whole competition!

    I've got to prep some dough and get it in the freezer, so Thanksgiving feast comes together easily in a few weeks.