Pie Therapy

Recipes and ruminations on pie.

Friday, November 09, 2007

3rd Times a Charm - Apple Streusel Pie (lard too)

I thought I could not go wrong with Apple Streusel pie; boy was I wrong. I took what should be a relatively straightforward pie and buckled under pressure. One recent Saturday morning I needed to make 2 pies. One for a memorial and one for a dinner party. Both of the recipients are definitely connoisseurs so I felt a certain need to perform. That Friday I had stayed out too late with girlfriends so I woke up a bit foggy and got to baking. Then I went to the service, came home a baked the pies. Both pies were delivered and I only tried one late that evening.

What a pie disaster. First of all there was burnt remnant of former pies in the oven. For the first 30 minutes of baking the oven smoked. The pie had a acrid aftertaste, yum The oven was smoking but I had to deliver the pie - so I just kept it in. Wrong. Second the apples weren't cooked through. They were still kinda crunchy. I had baked it at 425 for an hour - I thought it was enough and the crust was going too crunchy. So it just had to come out. Honestly it was just bad. I felt pretty awful and have it my mind to make it up to both parties....

So, a week or so later I started out again. And this time I wanted to try lard. So here is the recipe:

Single Crust:
  • 1/2 c lard
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 6 T apple cider (iced)
  • 1/2 t salt

  • 6 mixed cooking apples (stayman, winesap, etc - no granny smith)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • cinnamon sugar
  • 6 T butter
  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 2/3 c flour
  • 1/2 c rolled oats
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 3/4 t grated nutmeg
Make the crust by cutting the lard into the flour + salt. Then add in the apple cider. Start with 5 T. Mix with a fork. Add more as necessary. Lard mixes in MUCH easier then butter, but still don't overmix. Then ball it together and set in fridge.

Peel and slice apples into slim wedges. Squirt lemon and mix over it. Sprinkle with cinnimon sugar, maybe 2 T. Mix the streusel and pour on top.

Cook at 375 for approximately an hour or until the apples are cooked through.

This pie was seriously the best apple pie my husband or I had ever had. WOW. The lard taste wasn't porky. It was lovely. And the apples were perfect! I had squirted lemon usually (but not in the previous encounter) to keep the apples from going brown. But I learned in my Cooks Illustrated baking book that it helps break down the apples. Well, I'll never leave that out again!


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