Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My apple pies always SMILE! (Recipe)

Years ago, I was a big time reader Taste of Home magazines.  I read them cover to cover and gleaned many wonderful tips and recipes from them.  There were always cute and funny pictures, comments, and memories shared back in the day (before Taste of Home changed to its more recent, more professional format).  It was in one of those magazines that someone shared a picture of their apple pie smiling.  So, being a mom of two little girls, the next time I made an apple pie, I made cuts in the crust to make my own smiling apple pie.  I never made an apple pie after that without giving her a smile.

My girls are both now grown.  They can make their own pies in their own kitchens, but once in a while I get to spoil them.  A couple of weeks ago, my college daughter was home and I baked a whole smiling apple pie for her to take back to Kansas City and share with her boyfriend.  She was thrilled!  And just as it was coming out of the oven, my older daughter came in the house and said,  "MMMmmmmm!  I just LOVE apple pie!"  It was torturous because I was sending the whole pie home with Rachel LOL.  (Although, I never expected Rebecca to want to eat the pie.  Rarely does she eat sweets.)

Last night I was making a big pot of homemade spaghetti sauce and Rebecca was coming over for supper, so I surprised her with a smiling apple pie.   I decided to share the picture (because new traditions are always fun) and my basic recipe (for future reference) on the chance that your family might like a Smiling Apple Pie!  (My crusts are not beautiful but this pie is yummy!)

Here's how I make Smiling Apple Pies AT HOME MY WAY:

Smiling Apple Pie

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Crust (for double crust pie):

2 cups all purpose flour (not straight out of the bag - fluff it a little before measuring)
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cups shortening
6-8 Tablespoons ice cold water

Mix flour, salt well.  Add shortening and use a fork to blend well until shorting is crumbly the size of peas.  Add water, stir to blend as well as possible.  Knead with hands-getting all the flour in - until if will form a round/disc.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.

After refrigerating, divide the disc so that one half is slightly larger than the other (larger half is the bottom crust).

Roll on floured surface and place in your pie plate.  Roll the other half so it is ready.  Trim the crust in the pie plate slightly larger than the plate.  Leave unbaked until you add the filling and the top crust.

(I sometimes cut these crusts to the right size and roll them with wax paper, and freeze in zip bags just like store bought crusts.  They work perfectly once thawed.  That way I don't have to make homemade crusts every time I decide to make a pie.)

Apple filling:

7 cups apples (peeled and sliced) (I use granny smith or jonathan apples)
1/2 cup white sugar 
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons flour
1 Tablespoon butter/margarine

Blend sugar, cinnamon, and flour, then stir in apples and pour into the crust that is already in your pie plate.  Place random small pieces of the margarine/butter on the apples.

Gently lift the top crust and place on the apples to top your pie.  Trim, leaving a little overlapping the bottom crust.  Seal the top and bottom crust together, and crimp edges.

Sprinkle with some cinnamon sugar.

CUT THE SMILE:  I use my knife and cut two upside down U shapes for the eyes and a nose and a big fat smile.

Sprinkle with Sugar.

Bake in preheated 425 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Then, turn oven down to 375 degrees and bake for another 40 minutes.  

You can cover the edges with foil if they seem to be browning too fast but I didn't need to do that.

TIP:  I place my pie on a cookie sheet in the oven so that any apple juices are caught instead of burning in the bottom of my oven.




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