Apple Pie – Cooking our way through Children’s Books

We are cooking our way through children’s
books.  It means that whenever we come
across some food in a book, we cook it. (You can read more about it on this page) Today we are taking on How to bake a pie and travel the world by
Marjorie Priceman.  In this book a young baker
comes to a store to buy ingredients for an apple pie and discovers that a town store
is closed.  But not to worry, she can hop around
the world in no time and gather just the right ingredients: semolina
wheat in Italy, chicken in France, cow in England, kurundu bark (for cinnamon) in Sri Lanka, sugar cane in Jamaica, apples in Vermont and salt right out of a sea.  Now all she has to do is mill the wheat into
flour, grind the kurundu bark into cinnamon, evaporate the seawater from the
salt, boil the sugar cane, persuade the chicken to lay an egg, milk the cow,
churn the milk into butter, slice the apples, mix the ingredients, and bake the
pie. While the pie is cooling, she invites some friends over to join the feast. The
illustrations in this book are so colorful and cheerful, we cannot get enough of
this book and of course, we had to bake an apple pie.  
Buttermilk Pastry
I have never done a buttermilk pastry before, but I have been eyeing a piece of paper with a recipe that my friend gave me for a while now and it’s time has come.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening
3 Tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup buttermilk
  1. In a medium bowl, mix flour and salt.  Cut in shortening and butter by pulling 2 knives through ingredients in opposite directions or use a pastry cutter. (I have finally decided that I bake pies often enough to justify purchasing the actual pastry cutter). 
  2. Mix in oil and buttermilk with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry leaves side of bowl.  Divide in half, shape each half into a ball.
  3. Roll one ball with a rolling pin on top of wax paper (makes it easier to transfer).  Roll pastry from center to outside edge in all directions, occasionally giving it a quarter turn. Try to reduce the pressure on the rolling pin as it approaches the edge at first (and later even lift the pin up as you approach the edge), it will provide for more even thickness. 
  4. Place the pastry into your pie plate. 
  5. You can flatten the second ball and put it in a fridge for now. (preparing the apples going to take some time, especially if kids are helping you)  Just let it warm a bit at room temperature before you start rolling it. 

Apple Pie

1/2 cup sugar + 1 Tablespoon
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
dash of salt
6 cups (about 6 medium) thinly sliced peeled apples
2 Tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons water
  1. Heat oven to 425F
  2. Prepare apples
  3. In a large bowl, mix 1/2 cup sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt.  Stir in apples.
  4. Spoon apple mixture into pastry-lined pie plate.
  5. Cut butter into small pieces and sprinkle over apples.

  6. Now it’s the time to roll out the second pastry (don’t forget wax paper).  Cut slits in it before you place it on top of your apples.  Let top pastry over-hang one inch beyond the edge of pie plate.  Fold and roll overhanging pastry under edge of bottom pastry, pressing to seal.  Form a stand-up rim on the edge of the pie plate while pinching the top and bottom edges together.  This seals pastry.  (One day I will master the art of fancy pie tops.  I have been reading tutorials for a diamond lattice top and I decided that it should be something I try without the kids first). 
    “Can it be ready now?”
  7. Brush top crust with 2 teaspoons water; sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon sugar.
  8. Cover edge with 2- to 3-inch strip of foil to prevent excessive browning; remove foil during the last 15 minutes of baking.
  9. Bake 40-50 minutes or until crust is golden brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust. Cool on wire rack. 

Some people like to eat it with vanilla ice-cream on top

You might also be interested in checking out Russian Apple Pie Sharlotka (gluten-free version).

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