pie

Roasted Vegetable Galette

Roasted Vegetable Galette

Roasted Vegetable Galette

Everyone who knows me or has read a few Mother’s Day posts on my blog knows we don’t celebrate the usual way. We don’t go out to a restaurant or club.

We stay home and have a cookoff.

Yes, we cook and it’s work and a mess but we have the best time ever. Everyone participates (except that some years I am just in charge of the beverages).

We choose a theme, form into teams and each team chooses a recipe. I buy the ingredients a couple of days before and then, on Sunday, my two daughters, their husbands, my husband and my grandkids all get cooking.

Last year our theme was dips. I prepared a tropical salsa.

One year it was chocolate chip cookies.

We’ve done tomato sauce, eggs and so on.

This year we decided on PIE. Each team will make some sort of pie.

There are no rules. They interpret the word (pie) however they wish.

So — apple pie? Sure!

Pizza pie? Of course!

Pot pie? Yes!

The only limit: this will be a vegetarian/dairy meal. So, no beef pot pie.

But — quiche? Why not — it’s a type of open face pie, right?

How about a potato/olive/onion empanada? YUM!

Cabbage pastie? ok!

I am thinking of this though: roasted vegetable galette. I make it with pie dough so it qualifies, doesn’t it?

A good Meatless Monday (or any other day) choice.

 

Roasted Vegetable Galette

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives or scallion tops

  • 6 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks

  • 2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening

  • 3-4 tablespoons milk

  • 2 medium yellow squash, sliced

  • 4-5 plum tomatoes, sliced

  • 1 large Portobello mushroom, sliced

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

  • salt to taste

  • 1 bunch spinach, washed and dried

  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil

  • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Mozzarella cheese

  • 2-3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 egg, beaten, optional

For the crust: mix the flour, salt and chives together in a bowl or food processor. Add the butter and shortening and cut the fat into the flour mixture with your hands or a pastry blender or by processing on pulse until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Gradually add 3 tablespoons milk and mix to form a soft dough, adding more milk as needed. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the dough on a lightly floured board into a circle about 12-13 inches in diameter (about 1/8-inch thick) and transfer the circle to the prepared baking sheet.

For the filling: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the squash, tomato and Portobello slices on the baking sheet and brush on both sides with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Roast for 20-22 minutes or until tender. Remove from the oven. Heat the remaining tablespoon olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the spinach and cook for 2-3 minutes until softened. Drain any liquid, chop the spinach coarsely and set aside.

Reduce the oven heat to 400 degrees. Scatter the circle of dough with 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, leaving a border of about 1-1/2 inches. Mix the vegetables together with the basil and place over the cheese. Scatter the remaining mozzarella cheese and the Parmesan cheese on top. Fold the dough over the vegetables but not completely; leave the center open, with 7-8 inches of the vegetables showing. Pleat the dough at the edge to give the galette a rustic look. Beat the egg and brush it onto the dough for a glazed look, if desired. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

Makes 8 servings

Cranberry Pie with Dried Figs and Cashews

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There’s more to Thanksgiving than the turkey. It’s cranberry season too! And the folks at Squaremealroundtable.com are featuring a recipe collaboration that showcases all sorts of recipes using cranberries.

Here’s mine, a riff on pecan pie. Because of allergies I can’t cook with pecans, so over the years I’ve learn to develop recipes using substitutions. This pie, which is on my Thanksgiving menu, has cashews. And because cashews are sweeter than pecans, I wanted something tart for some balance.

Cranberries!

I also added some dried figs because why not! I’ve also made this pie using dates. Cut up dried plums would work too.

Thanks to Squaremealroundtable and Whatannieseating for organizing this fun and festive cranberry collaboration.

After the recipe you can find a list of some of the other recipes people submitted.

Cranberry Pie with Dried Figs and Cashews

  • 2/3 cup honey

  • 1/3 cup sugar

  • 3 large eggs

  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil, butter or margarine

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries

  • 1 cup halved cashews

  • 1/2 cup chopped dried figs or dates

  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust

Preheat the oven the 350 degrees. Combine the honey, sugar, eggs and coconut oil in a bowl and whisk the ingredients until well blended. Stir in the flour, cinnamon, salt and vanilla extract and blend in thoroughly. Stir in the cranberries, cashews and dates. Pour the mixture into the pie crust. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the top is richly brown and crunchy.

Makes one pie

Here are some of the other recipes:

LaLaLunchbox Cranberry Orzo Salad

SquareMealRoundTable: http://www.squaremealroundtable.com/recipes/cranberry-orange-streusel-pie

WhatAnniesEating: WhatAnniesEating.Com

RonnieVFein: http://www.ronniefein.com/blog/on-hanukkah-lets-not-forget-that-a-woman-played-a?rq=Cranberries

rumblyinmytumbly:_www.rumblytumbly.com

shortgirltallorder: https://shortgirltallorder.com/vegan-cranberry-orange-sweet-buns

aforkfulofyum: www.aforkfulofyum.com/http://aforkfulofyum.com/chocolate-cranberry-almond-bars/

siftandsimmer: https://www.siftandsimmer.com/white-chocolate-cranberry-cookies/

fufuinthekitchen: https://fufuskitchen.com/cranberry-orange-biscotti/bavettemeat.com

joyosity: https://the-cooking-of-joy.blogspot.com/2016/12/cranberry-curd-tart.html

jessiesheehanbakes: https://www.jessiesheehanbakes.com/2017/12/06/cranberry-buckle/

wildflourchi:www.wildflourchi.com

Ciao Chow Bambina: https://www.ciaochowbambina.com/cranberry-pecan-cracker-spread/

bakingthegoods: http://bakingthegoods.com/2017/11/13/cranberry-apple-brown-butter-crumble-pie/

katiebirdbakes: https://www.katiebirdbakes.com/cranberry-sauce-breakfast-rolls/

crumbtopbaking: https://www.crumbtopbaking.com/cranberry-orange-overnight-oatmeal-muffins/

tinykitchencapers: http://www.tinykitchencapers.com/white-chocolate-cranberry-oatmeal-cookies/

pieladybakes: https:/youcanliverichonless.com/cranberry-tarts/


Green Tomato Pie

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After weeks of enjoying red, ripe summer tomatoes in sandwiches, all sorts of tomato salads, side dishes and puff pastry pizzas, the weather and sunlight have changed and I realized that the remaining tomatoes on the vine would not ripen properly.

So, I picked all the green tomatoes.

In the past when I’ve had green tomatoes, I’ve used them for chutney a few different ways. And I’ve made Fried Green Tomato sandwiches too.

This year I was determined to make a pie. Except that green tomato pie usually calls for slices of tomatoes and my vines were loaded with little ones.

No problem. I cut them in halves and quarters, depending on how small they were, and used them that way.

In addition, many recipes for green tomato pie are layered — tomato slices and dried fruit, usually raisins.

I mixed it all up.

Perfecto! This was delicious.

I made two. Froze one for Thanksgiving.

Can be either dairy or parve.

Green Tomato Pie

  • 2 pounds green tomatoes

  • 1/2 cup raisins

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 3 tablespoon all purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh lemon peel

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • Pastry for 2-crust pie

  • 2 tablespoons butter or solid coconut oil

  • 1 tablespoon milk, optional

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Chop tomatoes if they are large; for mini tomatoes, cut them into halves or quarters. Place the pieces in a bowl. Add the raisins, brown sugar, flour, salt, lemon peel, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice. Toss the ingredients to distribute them evenly and to be sure the fruit is coated completely. Roll our half the dough and fit it into a 9-inch pie dish. Spoon the filling into the dish. Cut the butter into small pieces and place the pieces around the top of the fruit. Roll the remaining dough, place it on top of the filling, crimp the edges to seal in the filling. Pierce the top crust in 2-3 places to allow steam to escape. For a dairy pie, dab some milk onto the top crust and crimped edge here and there, for a golden finish. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees. Bake for another 40-45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

    Makes one pie serving 8-10 people

Peach (or Nectarine) Galette

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At the end of every September I buy a bushel of Rhode Island Greening apples and bake at least a dozen pies over the course of a few days. It's a ritual for me, as constant as making mujadarah for my annual break-the-fast or makfrying latkes on Hanukkah.

But right now, it's the height of stone-fruit season and I bought so many peaches and nectarines! Way too many to have just as a snack. So of course I could make pies.

But I don't feel like baking pies.

I might make a crisp or two. Or maybe some chutney or barbecue sauce. Maybe make a roasted dessert or soaked fruit for weekend company.

Or maybe a pie-like but much easier galette. Yep, that's it! 

Nectarine or Peach Galette

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 8 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 4 cups sliced nectarines or peeled peaches
  • 6 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

For the crust: mix the flour, sugar, salt and lemon peel together in a bowl or food processor. Add the butter and shortening and cut the fat into the flour mixture with your hands or a pastry blender or by processing on pulse until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Add 5 tablespoons milk and mix to form a soft dough. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the dough on a lightly floured board into a circle about 14-inches in diameter (about 1/8-inch thick) and transfer the circle to the prepared baking sheet.

For the filling: slice the fruit into a large bowl. Add 6 tablespoons of the sugar, salt, lemon juice and flour and toss the ingredients to completely coat the fruit. Place the fruit on top of the dough circle, leaving a border of about 1-1/2-inches. Fold the dough over the fruit but not completely; leave a circle of fruit showing, about 7-8-inches. Pleat the dough to give it a rustic look. Brush the dough with the remaining tablespoon milk. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Let cool for at least 15 minutes. Best when served warm.

Makes 8 servings

Blueberry Yogurt Pie

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When life gives you blueberries you make pie. Also crisp, cake, muffins, jam, soup, tea bread.

The possibilities are awesome.

So recently, when I had lots of extra blueberries hanging around I decided to make cream pie. Sort of. There's no cream in it. This dessert actually began with an old recipe of my Mom's. Her version was made with dairy sour cream. I used plain (non-fat) yogurt. Hers had raspberries, mine was to be blueberries, which are sweeter than raspberries so I cut down on the sugar.

It is still mighty sweet! Enough to satisfy anyone with a sweet tooth. But also cool, creamy and refreshing and nice for anytime you want a rich dairy dessert.

Blueberry Yogurt Pie

Crust:

  • 1-1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons chilled shortening
  • milk (about 3 tablespoons) orange juice, or water

Mix the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Work the butter and shortening into the flour mixture until the ingredients resemble crumbs (use your hands, a pastry blender or the pulse feature of a food processor). Add the liquid and gather the pastry into a soft ball of dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it stand at least 30 minutes. Roll the dough on a floured pastry board and fit into a 9-inch pie pan. 

Filling:

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter and set it aside to cool. Beat the eggs and sugar in a mixer set at medium speed for 3-4 minutes or until thick, well blended and pale yellow. Add the cooled melted butter and yogurt and mix briefly to blend them into the batter. Add the flour, orange peel and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly. Place the blueberries inside the unbaked pie crust. Pour the batter over the berries. Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until the surface is golden brown and the filling set.

 Makes 8 servings

 

 

 

Blueberry Streusel Pie

Recently I bought a load of blueberries because they were on sale (Fairway: $1.00 per pint carton!) and I couldn't resist.

So then of course I had to use them.

Pie came to mind first. It's always pie first for me.

My mother, who was a master pie baker, never baked blueberry pie because she said the insides were either too thick and gloppy or too runny. I experimented with the fruit, sweetener and thickening agent a few times before the filling consistency was right.

Here it is: 

Blueberry Crumb Pie

Crumb crust:

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter, margarine, shortening, coconut oil or a mixture

Combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter in chunks and work it into the dry ingredients with fingertips or a pastry blender until the mixture looks like coarse meal. If you use a food processor, add the ingredients to the work bowl and mix using 18-24 quick, short pulses (enough for the mixture to resemble coarse meal). Set aside.

 Filling:

  •  6 cups blueberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 unbaked pie crust bottom

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix the blueberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and lemon juice in a large bowl. Pour the filling into the pie crust. Cover the top with the crumbs. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until  golden brown.

Note: you can use almost 3 “1-pint” boxes of blueberries. Although a liquid pint equals 2 cups, a dry pint of blueberries from most markets is about 2-1/2 cups.

Makes 8 servings

Dried Fruit Pie with Port Wine

My daughter Gillian and son-in-law Jesse gave me this unusual Hanukkah gift: a rolling pin carved with the words “handmade by Ronnie Fein.” The words are mirror-image backwards, of course, so that when you roll the pastry it comes out right.

I couldn’t wait to use this thing so I decided to make a pie to freeze and then serve on New Year’s weekend. I rolled out the dough using this new device.

Problem. 

With pie dough, you have to keep rolling until you get the proper thickness. That meant I had to go over the words several times and so they got all jumbled and on top of each other.

Okay, so I used the mixed up piece of dough for the bottom crust and rolled the top crust using a regular rolling pin, then gave it a final flourish with the carved one, to get the words onto the pastry.

The result: really cute, but I have to say, this thing has limited value. In addition to its use for the final roll only, you really couldn’t see the words on the finished, baked pie.

Sorry kids. 

Maybe it will work better on sugar cookie dough. I’ll try that next.

Meantime, the pie itself is worth making. It’s a riff on old-fashioned Prune and Apricot Pie, but no prunes. I used dates and raisins instead, and since dried fruit goes so magnificently with port wine, I included some in the filling. It’s a rich, sumptuous pie, perfect a New Year celebration and throughout the cold days of winter. 

Dried Fruit Pie with Port Wine

Pie Dough:

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 1/3 cup cold vegetable shortening
  • 4-6 tablespoons cold milk, juice, water or melted ice cream

To make the dough: Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut the butter and shortening into chunks and add the chunks to the flour mixture. Work the fat into the flour mixture until the ingredients resemble crumbs (use your hands, a pastry blender or the pulse feature of a food processor). Add the liquid, using only enough to gather pastry into a soft ball of dough (start with 4 tablespoons). Cut the dough in half and flatten each half to make a disk shape. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it stand at least 30 minutes.

Filling:

  • 1 cup dried apricots (preferably California apricots)
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup pitted, halved dates
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup port wine
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare the pie dough. Let the dough rest while you prepare the filling. Cut the dough in half and roll out one of the halves on a floured board. Fit the dough into a 9-inch pie pan. Spoon the filling into the dough-lined pan. Cut the butter into smaller pieces and place the pieces over the filling. Roll out the second piece of dough. Place it over the filling. Crimp the edges to seal the bottom and top pieces of dough. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. 

To make the filling: Place the apricots, dates and raisins in a saucepan. Pour in the water and port wine. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10-12 minutes, or until the fruit is soft. Strain the fruit into a bowl, pressing down to extract as much liquid as possible. RESERVE the cooking liquid (about 1/2 cup). Place the sugar, cornstarch, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a small saucepan and whisk to combine ingredients completely. Add the reserved 1/2 cup liquid (add water if you don’t have enough but only add 1/2 cup if you have more). Cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until the mixture has thickened. Spoon the liquid over the fruit and mix ingredients thoroughly. Stir in the lemon juice. 

Makes 8-10 servings 

Strawberry-Rhubarb-Blackberry Pie

Is there any food more “American” than pie?  Okay, maybe. Hot dogs, hamburgers and stuff. Cole Slaw. Potato salad. And lots of others.  Actually, none of the ones I mentioned were “American” at the start. Hot dogs, burgers and potato salad are German foods, Cole Slaw is Dutch and Pie began as British.  No matter. They’re American now, all terrific summer foods also. And all perfect for any Fourth of July celebration.  So, when our local Hadassah decided that our biweekly Tea (for cancer patients and their caregivers at Stamford Hospital) should have a Fourth of July theme, I decided to bake a pie to give.   This one is red (sort of), white (beige crust/white sugar) and blue: a riff on Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie. It includes blackberries because I had some in the house and figured why not. You can leave out the blackberries and add more rhubarb and/or strawberries.  Also, I used orange peel as flavor, but you can switch to lemon peel. And I used orange juice for the crust. First because orange goes really well with berries and rhubarb and also, my mother, a consummate pie baker, always told me that the liquid you use to make pie dough can be just about anything. She frequently used juice for fruit pie (the juice depended on the pie). Juice not only gives the crust more flavor, it helps the dough bake into a lovely brown color crust too.   Strawberry-Rhubarb-Blackberry Pie   dough:  2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour  3/4 teaspoon salt  1 teaspoon grated orange peel  1/2 cup unsalted butter  1/3 cup chilled vegetable shortening  4-5 tablespoons orange juice  filling:  3 cups sliced (1/2-inch pieces) rhubarb, about one pound  2 cups strawberries cut in half  1 cup blackberries  2/3 cup sugar (or to taste)  1/4 teaspoon salt  5 tablespoons flour  1 teaspoon grated orange peel  1/4 teaspoon cinnamon  1 tablespoon butter     Combine the flour, salt and orange peel in a food processor. Add the butter and shortening in chunks and process on pulse about 24 times, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually add as much of the juice as is needed to make a soft, but not sticky dough. Cut the dough in half, flatten into disks and let the dough rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll the dough into circles to fit a 9” pie pan. Place one circle inside the pie pan.  To make the filling, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, blackberries, sugar, salt, flour, orange peel and cinnamon. Add the filling to the pie pan. Cut the butter into chunks and place on top of the filling. Cut strips from the second dough circle and place them in a lattice design on top of the fruit. Seal the edges where the strips meet the bottom crust. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until golden brown.  Makes one 9-inch pie

Is there any food more “American” than pie?

Okay, maybe. Hot dogs, hamburgers and stuff. Cole Slaw. Potato salad. And lots of others.

Actually, none of the ones I mentioned were “American” at the start. Hot dogs, burgers and potato salad are German foods, Cole Slaw is Dutch and Pie began as British.

No matter. They’re American now, all terrific summer foods also. And all perfect for any Fourth of July celebration.

So, when our local Hadassah decided that our biweekly Tea (for cancer patients and their caregivers at Stamford Hospital) should have a Fourth of July theme, I decided to bake a pie to give. 

This one is red (sort of), white (beige crust/white sugar) and blue: a riff on Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie. It includes blackberries because I had some in the house and figured why not. You can leave out the blackberries and add more rhubarb and/or strawberries.

Also, I used orange peel as flavor, but you can switch to lemon peel. And I used orange juice for the crust. First because orange goes really well with berries and rhubarb and also, my mother, a consummate pie baker, always told me that the liquid you use to make pie dough can be just about anything. She frequently used juice for fruit pie (the juice depended on the pie). Juice not only gives the crust more flavor, it helps the dough bake into a lovely brown color crust too.

Strawberry-Rhubarb-Blackberry Pie

dough:

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon grated orange peel

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/3 cup chilled vegetable shortening

4-5 tablespoons orange juice

filling:

3 cups sliced (1/2-inch pieces) rhubarb, about one pound

2 cups strawberries cut in half

1 cup blackberries

2/3 cup sugar (or to taste)

1/4 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon grated orange peel

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon butter

 

Combine the flour, salt and orange peel in a food processor. Add the butter and shortening in chunks and process on pulse about 24 times, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually add as much of the juice as is needed to make a soft, but not sticky dough. Cut the dough in half, flatten into disks and let the dough rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll the dough into circles to fit a 9” pie pan. Place one circle inside the pie pan.

To make the filling, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, blackberries, sugar, salt, flour, orange peel and cinnamon. Add the filling to the pie pan. Cut the butter into chunks and place on top of the filling. Cut strips from the second dough circle and place them in a lattice design on top of the fruit. Seal the edges where the strips meet the bottom crust. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes one 9-inch pie

Lily Vail's Apple Pie; Sibling Rivalry, part 1

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Sibling Rivalry, Part I

I timed last year’s apple pies perfectly. Every September I call Blue Jay Orchards in Bethel, Connecticut and order a bushel of Rhode Island Greening apples. They are one of the only orchards that I know who still grows this stupendously wonderful apple variety that is the absolutely best apple for pie no matter what anyone else, even the most expert of experts in the food business, says.

I make 12 apple pies every year and then, as the months go by, eat them down when company comes or my grandson Zev who eats almost nothing but likes my apple pie so of course there’s some for him when he visits.

So now I have one pie left, which we will have this week because I just called Blue Jay and put in my order for this year.

When I called them last week they weren’t sure they would have the apples this year because of all the rain and hurricanes, especially Hurricane Irene. Ohmyohmyohmy, that sounded like terrible news at the time and I actually began to think about other apples I could bake into a pie.

But they told me to call back in a day or so and sure enough, when I did they told me that they have some! So I am in luck.

I never did decide on what apples I would have used.

Anyway, my Mom made apple pie every year too. Her sister, my Aunt Beck, made apple cake. And, you know, sisters will be sisters. They loved each other lots but they had this kind of apple-baking rivalry come September, when the new apples came out. They each not-so-secretly let everyone in the family know that the pie or cake was much better than the cake or pie.

And so it went. I liked both, but, being daughter to the pie baker, I learned to bake the pie.

My mother was the one who clued me into the Rhode Island Greening apples. And she showed me how to make the dough and how to cut the butter and shortening into the flour so the crust would be crumbly and how not to add too much liquid because that makes the dough rubbery. She also taught me how to roll the dough gently, so it would be tender. “Don’t murder the dough!,” she used to caution.

Her apple pies were the best of the best and I use her recipe, so, well, I don’t want to brag but —- everyone says mine are the best of the best.

Here’s the recipe., You might not be able to find Rhode Island Greening apples. So you’re on your own here. If you use a sweeter apple, cut back on the sugar.

Apple Pie

crust:

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon peel, optional

  • 1/2 cup cold butter

  • 1/3 cup cold vegetable shortening

  • 4-6 tablespoons cold milk, juice, water or melted ice cream

  • apple filling

  • 1 tablespoon butter

To make the crust: Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and lemon peel, if used, in a large bowl. Cut the butter and shortening into chunks and add the chunks to the flour mixture. Work the fat into the flour mixture until the ingredients resemble crumbs (use your hands, a pastry blender or the pulse feature of a food processor). Add the liquid, using only enough to gather pastry into a soft ball of dough (start with 4 tablespoons). Cut the dough in half and flatten each half to make a disk shape. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it stand at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly flour a pastry board or clean work surface. With a rolling pin, roll one half of the dough on the floured surface into a circle about 1/8-inch thick, making sure the circle is larger than the pie pan by about 1 inch. Place the dough in a 9” or 10” pie pan. Pour the apple filling into the pastry-lined pan. Cut the butter into small pieces and place on top of the filling. Roll out the remaining dough and place it over the filling. Gently press the bottom and top crusts together along the flared edge of the pie pan. For a fluted rim, press your thumb and index finger against the outside of the rim, or crimp it with the tines of a fork or the blunt side of a knife. Cut steam vents in the top crust with the tip of a sharp knife or the tines of a fork. Bake the pie for 50-60 minutes or until golden brown.

Apple Filling:

  • 3 pounds pie apples (Rhode Island Greenings, Granny Smith, Gravenstein, Northern Spy, Golden Delicious, Idared, Stayman, Winesap, Baldwin, Jonagold, Braeburn

  • 1/2 cup sugar, approximately

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Peel and core the apples then cut them into slices. Place the slices in a bowl. Add the sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and flour and toss the ingredients to coat the apple slices evenly.