hi everyone, this being my first post on the little house blog i thought apple pie would be a delightful start! last sunday i felt the need for some women time, so my friend jo asked me if i wanted to go apple picking, and i politely said yes.
i love apple picking in michigan, because apple picking in michigan means drinking hot cider and eating fresh donuts. i don’t know where the tradition of cider and donuts at the orchard came from, but whomever you are thank you, thank you, thank you. these are not some stale chain store donuts either. these are apple cinnimon donuts that are deep fried so they are crunchy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside. you get your choice of plain, cinnamon and sugar or pumpkin glaze. this is the only time in your life you will ever crave a plain donut, but fresh, they are spectacular.
anyway, enough about donuts, apple picking is always fun and takes a total of half an hour, especially when the apples are big. apparently the apple crop this year was small due to a late season frost in the spring that damaged some flowers. i picked a half bushel of empire apples, which are tart, sweet and crisp. i had pie on the brain.
i have been experimenting with crust recently. i like to make a lard and butter combo. we have been fortunate to have been gifted with some home rendered leaf lard for the past couple years by our friend betsy. but i have been interested in perfecting an all butter crust, which works better for feeding vegetarians and those who do not eat the pig. this is the break through recipe for an all butter crust. it makes a fabulous crust, but i just bought a new cookbook called baked, which also features an all butter crust and a delectable looking apple pie recipe (it does include whiskey and butter!), so i decided to try it. i only had enough white flour for one quarter of the flour required, so it was mostly whole wheat. even though whole wheat is nutritionally superior i prefer white flour in pie crusts, as it makes a more delicate and flaky crust. whole wheat flour has a lot of gluten and makes a denser crust.
this was also the first time that i used an egg wash on the top crust. so the final verdict was; the apples were delicious, not too sweet, a little crunchy still and flavorful. but the crust was a little too dense. pa suggested that the bottom crust be precooked before the filling goes in. i think i may try a whole wheat pastry flour next time and see what happens. as always, suggestions and advice are welcome. the pie having a heavy crust has not stopped us from eating it.