Episode 6: Easy As Pie

I think I made a mistake when talking about the shortening and the butter; it's the butter that makes it flaky, while the shortening makes it tender. Oops.

The dough is a lot easier to work with if it's been chilled for at least forty-five minutes. If you want, you can leave the dough out on the counter for a couple of minutes so it's a little easier to roll.

You can add a few tablespoons of sugar to the dough to make a sweet crust.

This dough can be used for just about any kind of pie: blueberry, pumpkin, apple, etc.

2.5 cups flour 1.5 sticks (12 tablespoons) butter, cut into small pieces 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup vegetable shortening (Crisco) 7 tablespoons water 3 Gala apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced 3/4 cup sugar 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 1/8 teaspoon allspice 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons flour
Large bowl Pie pan Wax paper

Mix first five ingredients in a bowl, with your hands, squeezing butter into pea-sized chunks. Continue to squeeze mixture together until it forms a dough. Split in half, flatten each half into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least forty-five minutes.

Spray the pie pan with non-stick spray and pre-heat oven to 400 F. Put a sheet of wax paper on the counter. Unwrap one dough disk and set it in the middle of the wax paper, then put another piece of wax paper on top. Roll with a rolling pin, turning the dough about 45 degrees after each roll. When the dough is flattened to the width of the wax paper, peel off top layer of wax paper, invert the pie pan on the dough, then flip everything over. Peel the remaining sheet of wax paper off, and tamp the dough into place in the pie pan.

Put apples in a bowl. Combine remaining ingredients in another bowl (so they're all evenly distributed), then add that to the apples. Stir until all slices are evenly coated. Dump apple mixture into pie pan. Bake until crust begins to brown (about 25 minutes), then turn the oven down to 350 and bake until juices bubble and the crust is a deep golden brown (about 25 minutes more).

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