This is a recipe for one of the pies made by Elsa and Mommers in Chop & Brew – Episode 15: Making Pie Scratch. When possible the measurements are accurate, but as with many hand-me-down recipes and family traditions, some of it requires eyeballing and guesswork. Your mileage may vary.
Note: Before you begin any of this process place a cookie sheet lined with foil on bottom rack of oven to catch any spills that will likely occur during baking your pie. If you don’t you will have a sticky, gooey mess to deal with. And that’s no fun.
Instructions for two-crust pie (bottom and top crusts)
1 stick vegetable shortening
2 cups flour – 5/6 white flour, 1/6 whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
Blend shortening , flour and salt in bowl, cutting it together with a knife or fork until pea-sized granules form. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes (or as long as overnight) prior to rolling out so dough doesn’t stick to rolling pin and rolling table.
Sugar & Spice Mix
1 cup sugar – half brown, half white
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp corn starch (helps thicken juice from fruit in filling, and keep the pie from being too soupy)
2 Tbsp butter cut into small pieces
Blend all ingredients together and side aside until ready to fill pie.
Fruit Filling: Apple & Pear
Peel, core and slice 3-4 medium apples (depending on size of pie pan). We used a mix of Granny Smith and Honeycrisp. Peel 1-2 medium sized pears. Toss apple and pear slices in large bowl with 1/2 cup of orange juice or o.j. concentrate to keep from browning.
Rolling Out Bottom Crust
Before starting, fill a glass with ice and water. Let this ice water rest and get chilly. On a flat table (rolling table), dust surface with just enough flour to prevent dough from sticking (1/8 cup?). Pour small amount of ice water into flour/shortening mixture and stir with spoon. Add a small amount of water at a time, stirring, until dough is strong enough to stick together, but before it gets gooey or sticky. Divide dough into two even-size balls. Place second ball back into fridge.
Take first ball of dough and place in center of floured surface. Flour rolling pin. Slowly start rolling out dough with rolling pin. Use even pressure and change rolling direction every few strokes to make dough even thickness (about 1/8-1/4 inch) and large enough to fit in your pie pan including the sides of the pan. If dough tears, patch with small leftover pieces of dough. Reflour rolling pin if necessary (if dough sticks to pin). Hold your pie pan upside-down over pie dough to make sure it will fit.
Using spatula, gently start to loosen dough from surface of table. Be careful not to rip or tear dough.
Once dough is loose, use rolling pin to roll, lift, then place dough/crust into pie pan. Press dough into pan and use knife to cut extra dough from around the pan’s edge. Poke dough with fork to prevent puffing when pre-baking.
Pre-back bottom crust in over for 7-9 minutes at 350°F. This helps make a firm and crispy crust that will not get soggy from filling.
Once crust is pre-baked, begin filling it with fruit. Start by sprinkling a thin layer of the sugar/spice/butter mixture over the crust. Place a layer of apples and pears in pie pan. Add another layer of the sugar & spice mix. Then more fruit. Continue until pie pan is full.
Roll out top crust using same method as for the bottom crust. Fold edge of top crust under and press with fingers to seal the two crusts together. Use knife to cut 4-5 slits in the top of pie for venting.
Bake pie in over at 415°F for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F for 45 minutes. Pie is done when fruit filling oozes slowly over the side of the pie pan.
Once pie is cooked, let cool at least one hour.
Serve with coffee and/or milk. Be sure and save some for breakfast.