Wannabe Martha

Still trying to figure out which Martha

Happy National Apple Pie Day

on May 13, 2014

I know some people are afraid to make pie crust.  That’s OK.  I used to be afraid of it, too.  And even though I’ve made hundreds of pies, I’m always reminded to be respectful of the dough – it has a will of its own and it’s not afraid to exert it.

So, what to do if you’re really not of a mind to pay deference to pastry?  Well, you can make this delicious Apple Shortbread Tart from the “Loaves and Fishes Cookbook” by Anna Pump.  I like making this in the summer, when the heat and humidity just add to the difficulties of rolling out pie crust.  Let’s face it, when its 90˚F outside, and you’re heating your oven to 375˚F – the kitchen is just not a suitable environment for dealing with something as pernickety as pie pastry.  It’s extremely versatile – you can use other fruit, vary the topping, etc.  It’s an all-around good recipe to have tucked away.  Plus you can have the entire thing done from start to finish in an hour –how’s that for last minute dessert?

For the Crust

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature, sliced into 8 Tablespoons
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp. heavy cream (you can use whole milk or half & half)

Heat the oven to 375˚F.

Make the crust by blending together the flour, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl.  Make a well in the center and add the butter, egg yolk, and heavy cream; use your hands to create a crumbly mixture.  Press the dough into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.

For the Filling/Topping

  • 7 medium apples, peeled, cored and quartered
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon

Place the apples over the dough in a circular pattern.  Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl until crumbly and sprinkle over the apples.  Bake for about 40 minutes or until the apples are soft when pricked with a knife.

So yummy warm with ice cream.  I often double the crumb topping and have also used apple crisp (oat-meal based) crumbs.  I’ve made this with pears, peaches and plums.  In fact, I might need to bake one today .



7 responses to “Happy National Apple Pie Day

  1. Mrs. C says:

    I’m definitely among those who doesn’t make pie crust. Not only do I think it wouldn’t turn out, it just seems like so much work compared to unrolling a Pillsbury Pie Crust (which tastes very good and is so easy.) However, along with learning to can foods, it’s on my list of things that I will eventually learn to do. This fall, I will be child free at home during the day for the first time in 15 years. I’m hoping to get around to some of these things I’d like to learn when I can concentrate better without interruption. In the meantime, a shortbread crust will surely do the trick when Pillsbury isn’t in the house!

    • Maeve says:

      Mrs. C. I have a very good recipe for pie crust (somewhere on this blog – I was baking a thank you apple pie for my best friend’s husband). It’s one of those things where once you have the real thing, you’ll wonder how you ate anything else, LOL (but yes, I do occasionally buy frozen pie crusts too – and you really can’t trust someone who has “never” bought something pre-made at the supermarket sometime!!!)

      Anyhoo, the real trick to it all is keep everything cold – as in, I’ve been known to measure out the dry ingredients and then put them in the freezer for a time. Also, Cook’s Illustrated has an excellent pie crust recipe, but it calls for vodka and I don’t ever have it in the house.

      It takes about 10 minutes to actually make the pastry, I’m sure you’re going to love it once you try – plus you can post pics for us to “ooohhh” and “ahhh” over (you know we will, too 🙂 )

      • Mrs. C says:

        LOL! I do love oooohhing and ahhing! I’ll look up your crust recipe and tuck it away for the fall. I look forward to trying it.

  2. FuzzieWuzzie says:

    The best that youtube could provide for “bear eats pie”.

  3. Elspeth says:

    It’s one of those things where once you have the real thing, you’ll wonder how you ate anything else

    Very true.

    My twins have a birthday next month and they have collaborated and said that in lieu of cake, they want me to bake them a mile high apple pie. With the best vanilla ice cream we can afford to buy, LOL.

    I’m looking forward to doing that. This is birthday season in our house (May-September, every month at least one, 3 in June). So making a pie instead of a cake will be fun.

    • Maeve says:

      Elspeth, I love birthday pie and I make a cherry pie every year for my MIL (because that’s her favorite dessert). Please share pics of yours when you bake it.

      Here’s a funny for you – I had a Home Ec. teacher who firmly believed that apple pie and ice cream was a perfectly fine breakfast – you had the fruit, the “bread” and the dairy. Was never quite able to convert my mother to that way of thinking, though LOL.

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