Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Months ago I promised this recipe to several friends and I'm a little late getting it to them.  For those that have not tasted it, it is a very special apple pie.  I wish I could take credit for it, but to be honest I found the recipe in a 20 year old cookbook, "Feasts of Eden" by Ruby C. Thomas.
Mrs. Thomas and her husband founded the Red Apple Inn, at one time one of two 5 star restaurants in the state of Arkansas. 

Apple Pie

2 cups unbleached white flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
1/3 cup butter
Ice water

Have all materials ice cold.  Shift flour and salt into bowl.  cut in the shortening and butter until shortening is evenly mixed in bits no larger than peas.  Add ice water to hold the dough together.  Pat gently into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill thoroughly.
Turn out on a smooth cold board.  Cut with knife into a square ball, flatten with rolling pin.  Roll in an ablong shape 1/2" thick.  Fold in thirds and roll again, repeat and after third rolling roll into round shape to fit the pie pan.  return to refrigerator for 1/2 hour.  Makes two 9" shells or 1 double crust pie.

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Juice of 1 orange
Zest of 1 orange
Juice of 1 lemon
5 tablespoons butter
6 tart apples, peeled and sliced*
*I have used 3 Granny Smith and 3 Gala or similar type, I'm sure 6 Granny Smith would be fine.

Mix all ingredients except apples in saucepan and bring to a boil.  Place layer of apples in pan lined with uncooked pastry.  Pour some of the mixture over apples, continue layers until pan is rounded.  Place thin strips of pastry in latticework pattern on top.  Brush with cream and bake at 325 degrees until brown.*  Turn temperture down to 300 degrees and bake until done.  About 30 minutes longer.
I always put a sheet pan or heavy foil on the self below the pie to catch any boil over.
* Baking can take a while.  I have found it can take 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

I took this pie on a trip to Virginia and also to St. Louis for Thanksgiving.  I made the pie at home and baked about 45 minutes to 1 hour, then wrapped loosely in foil and put in freezer.  We drove to Virginia with pie in a cooler, it was still mostly frozen 2 1/2 days later, to St. Louis, a 6 hour drive, I placed in the floor of car and when we arrived I continued baking the pie.  Since the pie is so cold, it takes longer to bake, but the results turned out very good.
I know there is nothing better than a warm pie fresh from the oven, but that is not always practical, so some times we have to improvise.

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