Category Archives: Cooking/Baking

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 — a perfect day for apple pie!

This will likely be the chilliest day until November!  A perfect day to think about making apple pies and other apple goodies!  Luckily, we still have a good supply of apples that make delicious pies!

A couple days ago we baked a couple apple pies using a new favorite pie crust recipe.  The recipe is a unique one because it utilizes hard apple cider as the combining liquid which results in a very tender and flaky crust.  You can find the recipe below and step by step photos on my daughter Bernadette’s blog, Taste of SunSugar.

Pie

Apple Pie with Hard Apple Cider Crust that we baked up a couple days ago!

THE RECIPE:

Apple Pie with Hard Apple Cider Crust

Ingredients
Hard Apple Cider Pie Crust:
    • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 1-1/2 sticks cold butter
    • 1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening
    • 1/4 cup cold water
    • Hard apple cider
Filling:
  • 6 medium to large apples of choice. I used Idared.
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Combine flour, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Cut up the butter into tablespoons and combine with flour mixture using pastry cutter. Add the shortening and combine using pastry cutter. Butter and flour mixture should resemble large curd cottage cheese.
  2. With the spoon or spatula combine the water with the dough mixture using a folding motion. Add healthy splash of hard apple cider, pressing down on the dough until it sticks together. Keep adding the apple cider until the dough is wet enough to form a ball. You can use your hands, but make sure not to overwork the dough or melt the butter with your hands.
  3. Divide dough into two pieces, roll into balls, flatten slightly and cover in plastic wrap. Place in freezer for about 45 min. I left my dough in there for the time it took me to prepare the filling.
  4. Peel, core, and chop the apples. I used an apple peeler for this job. I evenly distributed the sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon over the chopped apples. I set aside and began rolling out the dough.
  5. Preheat oven to 475°. I rolled out one disc of dough that was large enough to fit the 9-inch pie plate with a little over hang. Trim dough as needed.
  6. Dump the apples in and roll out the next ball of dough and place on top. Fold the overhanging dough over on itself and seal with fingers or fork. Use a knife or fork and pierce vent holes on the top of the dough.
  7. Bake pie until just golden brown. Remove and wash with egg whites or milk and then sprinkle sugar on top. Reduce oven temp to 350° and return pies to oven. Bake for an hour or until crust is a dark golden brown and apples are bubbling. Tip: Place a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil underneath the pie to catch the dripping apple juices.

 

Today we have the following up for sale:

Many varieties of the apples we are selling are still nice and crisp. We have 1/2 peck roadside bags of apples for $3 and many varieties are also available in 1/2 bushels at $6. Varieties include: Delicious, Empire, Idared, Granny Smith, Jonagold, Splendor, Crispin/Mutsu, Blushing Golden and Fuji. We also have our yellow onions for sale at $2.50 for a 3 pound bag and our red potatoes for $3 a half peck (about 7 pounds)

Also, potted Pawpaw trees, $6 and up.

Here is some information on pawpaws that I wrote:

 

Close relatives of the pawpaw (Asimina triloba) all come from tropical or semi-tropical areas of the world.  Despite this, many pawpaws are quite hardy and strains which are native to the northern part of their range, from Nebraska through Michigan and into southwestern Ontario, seem to be able to withstand -25 F with ease. Strains from the deep south are not as hardy as this and will not survive most winters in Michigan.

            Pawpaws do not do well in areas that have low humidity, strong winds or cool marine climates.  They do best when planted in rich well drained soil in a location protected from wind.  Pawpaws are normally found in wooded areas and often form dense thickets.  While pawpaw trees which get the most sun usually produce the most fruit, when the trees are small they should be protected from intense sunlight.  Planting them about 6 to 12 feet from the north side of a house, garage or similar building seems to be an ideal location.  Here they are protected from the sun when small and as they grow they receive more and more sun which they need to produce abundant crops.  If you plant them in the open, provide some means of protecting them from the direct sun for at least the first  two years.  Often even a large lawn chair placed next to the south side of the little tree will do. 

            Normally, pawpaw trees usually don’t start bearing until they are at least 7 years old.  However, with lots of TLC and a near perfect location and good soil, you can get them to bear earlier.   Keep in mind that pawpaws require cross pollination to get good crops which means it is recommended that you should plant at least two pawpaw trees.

            For details on planting pawpaws and subsequent care follow the normal recommendations for planting any tree or shrub but here are a few tips.

 Tip 1: Don’t neglect to prune it after you plant it.  Pruning always seems to help any tree or shrub survive its first year.  This is especially important with pawpaws.   The heavier you prune after planting the better are the chances the tree will survive the first year.

Tip 2: Water frequently the first two years.  Make sure the soil never dries out, but don’t waterlog the soil if it is heavy.  With real sandy soil it is nearly impossible to over water.  Tip 3: Watering frequently, with a bit of soluble fertilizer such as Miracle-Gro or a Miracle Gro wannabee,  will likely get your pawpaw trees growing faster and bearing earlier.

            While ripe pawpaws will only keep a few days at room temperature, which is something like a banana, they will keep several weeks in a  refrigerator as long as its temperature is above 40F.  Regular bananas, of course, shouldn’t be kept refrigerated.

Note: To read my article that was in Grit magazine go to the URL: grit.com/garden/fruit/pawpaws.aspx