American Pie

Pie Crust

1 2/3 cup cake flour

½ cup unsalted sweet cream butter, cubed into 1/2 inch pieces, and chilled

½ tsp salt

½ tsp sugar

ice cold water (prepare a little over 1/4 cup…only you will be able to judge how much is actually needed)

Using a stand mixer, mix flour, salt and sugar together on slow speed with a paddle attachment. Add chilled butter cubes and paddle it on low speed until butter is the size of peas. Don’t worry if you see one or two larger pieces. You can break them by hand later if they are still there. The point is, you do not want to over mix or make butter too small.  Next, add ice water a tablespoon at a time while mixing. You want dough to be wet but not formed itself into a ball. Remove mixture onto a floured work surface and check texture by hand. The crumbly mixture should form clumps when pressed with your hand. If you think it is too dry, sprinkle hands with cold water and work dough. This way you won’t accidentally add too much moisture. Do not knead too much, just enough to be able to wrap up dough in plastic. You will see streaks and spots of butter. This is good! Chill dough for at least an hour or overnight. Longer is better as this allows gluten to relax and butter to firm up. On a floured work surface, roll out dough to fit your pie pan.  Grease pie pan and place crust in pan.  Chill again for 20-30 minutes. Your crust should always go straight from refrigerator to oven for best results.—this last step is only to ensure a super flaky crust.  It is not absolutely necessary.  The colder butter is in dough the flakier the crust will be as it melts in the oven.  This makes a single pie crust.  If you are wanting a top crust for your pie, make this recipe twice.

 

Cherry Pie

I had to include this one. It is after all still Cherry Month as well!

5 cups stemmed and pitted fresh dark sweet cherries (that's about 2 pounds whole unpitted cherries)

¾ cup granulated sugar

3 Tbsps. cornstarch

¼ tsp salt

2 Tbsps. freshly squeezed lemon juice 

½ tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp Kirsch-a cherry flavored liqueur, optional

2 Tbsps. unsalted sweet cream butter, cut into mini cubes

Cream or milk, for brushing the top crust

Coarse or granulated sugar, for sprinkling

Note: If making a traditional cherry pie with a top crust, you will need two batches of the dough above. 

Take one batch of dough out of fridge and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes to soften slightly for easy rolling. On a floured surface, roll dough out into a 12-inch circle. Place the dough gently into a 9-inch pie pan; you can do this by flouring a rolling pin and rolling the dough loosely around it, then unrolling it into the pan. Brush away any excess flour on the surface. With a sharp knife, trim edges of pastry to fit pie pan. Cover pan with plastic wrap and place in fridge. Roll out other disc in the same fashion, then transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge.  In a medium bowl, mix together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in cherries. Add lemon juice, vanilla extract, and Kirsch and mix to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes.  Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place in the lower third of the oven.  Spread cherry filling in an even layer onto pie crust, and dot with butter on top.  Otherwise, place second crust over filling. Tuck any excess overhang pastry under bottom crust, then crimp edges using your fingers or a fork. Make 4 slits in the center to let steam escape while baking. Brush crust with a thin coating of milk or cream, then sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 375°F and continue baking until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling through slits, about 40-50 minutes longer. Cover edges of pie loosely with foil if it starts browning too much while baking.  Allow pie to cool at least 4 hours before serving so filling can set. Store pie in fridge for up to 3 days.

Recipe adapted from prettysimplesweet.com.

 

Shoofly Pie

1 cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 Tbsp. cold butter

Pinch of salt

1 egg

1 cup light molasses

¾ cup cold water

¼ cup hot water

1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll out pie dough and place in a 9-inch pie pan and set aside.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, butter, and salt.  Remove 1/2 cup of mixture and set aside. In a small bowl, beat egg lightly. Add molasses and cold water, and blend but do not beat.  You don’t want bubbles in the batter. Set aside.  In a small bowl, mix hot water with baking soda and blend into molasses mixture. Add molasses mixture to flour mixture and blend well to combine. Pour into pie shell and top with reserved crumbs. Bake for 35 minutes. Pie will appear quivery but will firm up as it cools. Transfer to a rack to cool completely before cutting.

Recipe adapted from splendidtable.org

 

Blueberry Cream Pie

FILLING:

¼ cup sugar

3 Tbsps. all-purpose flour

Pinch salt

1 cup half-and-half 

3 large egg yolks, beaten

3 Tbsps. unsalted sweet cream butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp. powdered sugar

TOPPING:

5 cups fresh blueberries, divided

2/3 cup sugar

1 Tbsp cornstarch

1 9” graham cracker crust

In a saucepan, combine sugar, flour and salt. Gradually whisk in cream.  Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Gradually whisk half heated mixture into egg yolks.  Return all to pan. Bring to a gentle boil.  Cook and stir 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla until butter is melted. Cool 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour into crust; sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Chill 30 minutes or until set.  Meanwhile, crush 2 cups of blueberries in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil. Boil 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Press berries through sieve; set aside 1 cup juice (add water if necessary). Discard pulp.  In a saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Gradually stir in blueberry juice and bring to a boil. Boil 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool 15 minutes. Gently stir in remaining berries and carefully spoon over filling. Chill 3 hours or until set. Store pie in refrigerator. 

Note: Feel free to double the filling or if you prefer the blueberry topping double it instead.  I do frequently as it just doesn’t seem to fill the pan very well as is.  

Recipe adapted from tasteofhome.com

 

Apple Pie

2 pie crust 

1 egg white

2 tsps. coarse granulated sugar

6-7 cups apples peeled and sliced thin

1 Tbsp lemon juice

½ cup granulated sugar

3 Tbsps. flour

½ tsp ground cinnamon

tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 425°F.  In a large bowl, combine all filling ingredients and toss well. Set aside.  Line a 9" pie plate with pastry dough. Fill with apple filling.  Roll out top crust, place over the top of pie. Seal edges and remove any excess dough.  Beat egg white and 2 teaspoons water. Cut 4-5 slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape. Brush with egg mixture and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 375°F and bake an additional 35-40 minutes or until crust is golden and apples are tender.

 

Recipe adapted from spendwithpennies.com.