Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Working on my domestic skills

I am not a good cook. I'll be the first to admit it.  However, I can bake. Yes, cooking and baking are two completely different things. At least in my mind.  I can whip up my awesome chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, cheesecake or bread.  But can I cook a three course meal? No. At least not that well. When I do attempt bigger meals I am always bound to destroy a pan and set off the smoke alarm.  Baking has always come easy to me. 

Knowing I was going to be laid up for about a week after gallbladder surgery, I decided to bake something I have never done before. An apple pie.  Mmmm. If I may brag a tasted awesome!  I can't wait to make another one but this week is all about healing and making a birthday cake for my husband.

I couldn't help but share this recipe.  I swiped it from an ancient issue of Country Living magazine (May 2006).  Pardon my pictures. My camera is not liking me lately. Not to mention, when I am in a baking zone I do not like to stop and snap cutesy pictures. 

Grandma's Pie Dough (makes 4 crusts)
4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbl. sugar
1 3/4 cups cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 Tbl. white vinegar
1 egg (extra large)

Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl.  Cut in the butter using a pastry blender or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Whisk  the vinegar, egg and 1/2 cup of ice water together and mix into the flour mixture with your hands until just combined.  Transfer to a clean work surface, and gently press to form a dough.  Divide the dough into 4 equal parts. Shape each into a ball, flatten slightly to form a disk, and wrap in plastic.  Chill for at least 1 hour.  If only using some of the crusts, put the others in freezer bags and freeze until needed.  However, allow 2 days to thaw before using.

I used a pastry tool to mix in the butter

This is the dough before I took it out and formed it into a ball to divide into four pieces

This is the dough I didn't need at the time and now have stored in my freezer

Farmhouse Apple Pie (about 8 servings)
2 disks of Grandma's Pie Dough
2 1/2 pounds of mixed apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into 3/4 inch pieces
2 Tbl. all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar, plus 1 Tbl.
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbl. lemon juice  (although I had no lemon juice so I used vinegar instead)
(I also added a dash of Apple Pie Spice- found in the spice aisle at the grocery store)

Heat oven to 375* F.  Roll out one of the disks of dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness; transfer to a 9-inch pie pan.  Set aside and keep chilled.  Roll the remaining dough to 1/8/ inch thickness.  Set aside on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet (or just flour the sheet) and keep chilled. Toss the chopped apples, flour, 3/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and lemon juice (or vinegar) together and mix until combined. Pour apple mixture into the prepared pie pan and top with the remaining dough.  Trim, leaving 1/2 inch overhang, fold under, and crimp edges. Sprinkle top with remaining sugar. I forgot to rip out the last page of the recipe so the rest is completely my own--- Cut four little slits in the top crust toward the center. Place pie pan on a baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes or until dough in the center is slightly brown.  Halfway through I covered up the pie with tin foil to prevent the edges from browning too much or burning. Allow to cool. Enjoy!

Roll dough out to 1/8 inch thickness. Trial error procedure to be sure it fits in the pie pan.

After all the ingredients are mixed together and ready to be put into the pie pan.

Bottom crust in a 9 inch pie pan

Sugar is sprinkled on top and slits to allow venting.

Voila! And might I say, "Yummy"! Later I heat up the pieces so that I have warm pie.


  1. I understand what u mean by being a better baker than a cook. I bake better than I cook, in my opinion, too. Stopping by from MBC.