As American as Apple Pie

Posted by on February 1, 2011 in Baking, Food Facts

The on-set of a new month, also means a new food to celebrate. Welcome to February, Great American Pie Month.

The debate over the best pie variety is age-old. Is it pumpkin, cherry, key lime or peach? Some may even prefer a savory pies, rather than the sweeter versions. The actual definition of pie can include meat, fish, fruit or vegetables which are baked in a pastry crust, so the possibilities are almost endless.

By jakeleifer via Flickr

Everyone has their favorites, but it would be hard to deny that when it comes to an all-American treat, apple pie takes the cake (or the pie, as the case may be). Apple pie as we know it today, dates back to England in the 1500′s, when sugar was first introduced into the recipe. Prior to that, pies were not known to be sweet. When settlers arrived in North America in the 17th century, the only apples native to the area were crab apples. The English settlers brought the ‘colonial apple’ with them.

Regardless of your favorite pie, one aspect spans them all: the crust. Knowing how to make a good pie crust can serve you in many ways, not just when it comes to baking a pie. Below is a basic recipe for a classic pie crust, which is fairly universal to any recipe which calls for a crust.

Flaky Pastry Pie Crust Recipe

Makes two 9-inch pie crusts

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, chilled and diced
1/2 cup ice water

Directions:

1. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl.

2. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

3. Stir in the ice water, a Tablespoon at a time, until the crust mixture forms a ball.

4. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

5. Sprinkle flour onto rolling surface. Roll dough out, then divide in half. Roll each half to fit a 9-inch pie plate.

6. Place crust in pie plate, pressing evenly into the bottom and sides.