Sunday, May 25, 2014

Pie Times Two!

Yesterday I made two pies.  One apple and one cherry.  It may sound like a lot of work but my thinking is the kitchen was already going to be a mess and the simple vintage recipes I used don't require too many ingredients so why not?

First the crust.  I used my 1950 edition of Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook.  When I picked it up at an estate sale three older ladies stopped me on the way to the register and shared that they each had received this cookbook as a shower gift back in the 60's and it was their favorite.  They were darling and had been friends since high school.  So sweet!  Anyway, here's what you need:

Just 4 ingredients!

I followed the original recipe to a T except I had to use more water.  When you're working with 60 year old recipes and using new ingredients like non-hydrogenated shortening things may need to be altered.  Pie crust can be tricky too.  You don't want to handle it too much so add more water as soon as you see you need it and keep the mixing to a minimum.  This isn't like kneading bread.  Work it until it comes together and then s-t-o-p.

Here's the recipe:

Click to enlarge.

Mix the flour and salt.  Then cut in the shortening.  Here's a video showing how to cut in the shortening with a whisk.  If you have a pastry blender use it.  You can also use a fork.

Add the iced water to the starting with 4 tablespoons if making the 9 inch crust recipe and 3 tablespoons if making the 8 inch crust recipe.  Then add more water 2 tablespoons at a time until the dough holds together.  (DO NOT even think about using a mixer!!!  See the note above about pie crust.) Wrap it in plastic or use immediately.

Next I made the filling for the cherry pie.  It's from my mother's 1962 Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook.  There aren't many notes in the book so I'm not sure if my mom used it a lot but it was always in the kitchen.  Until I took it of course!  Anyhoo here's the recipe:

I followed the recipe as it was written except I added another can of cherries (6 cups total) while keeping the sauce the same and I omitted the almond extract and the red food coloring.  You'll also notice how in the instructions it says to add salt to the flour and cherry juice.  Well I just noticed this now so I left that out too.  I tasted the sauce before I mixed in the cherries and it tasted good so I say the salt's optional.  Here's a picture of my ingredients:

Yes, that's it.  FOUR ingredients!
Follow the instructions above.  Here's a video showing how thick the sauce should be:

You may notice a few cherries in the sauce.  This is because I decided the syrup wasn't thick enough and had to take them out to heat it a bit more.  I was afraid the cherries would fall apart if I left them in for the second heating.  It was simple to remove the cherries with a fine mesh strainer, in case you have the same problem!

Pour the cherries and syrup into your crust lined pie pan and top with a second crust.**  Either use small cookie cutters to make holes for steam to escape or cut slits with a knife.

**Woah, girl!  How do I do that?  Ok here's how you roll out pie dough.  Sprinkle a little flour on your clean counter.  Cut the ball of dough in half.  Flatten one half with your fingers and then flatten more with a rolling pin or a hard plastic cup.  Try to get the thickness even.  You may need to turn the dough to get a round shape.  Use a flat metal spatula if necessary to loosen the dough from the counter without breaking.  If it does break just pinch it back together.  When it's the right size carefully lift one side off the counter, using the spatula if you need to unstick it, and fold it on top of the other side.  Then loosen the second side.  You should then be able to lift the entire pie crust and lay it in the pie pan.  Unfold.  Gently flatten the dough and trim the sides.  Then roll out the the top crust roll out the same way, pour in your filling,  lay it on top, and pinch both crusts together.  There are tools you can buy to make pretty fluted pie trim or just use the tips of your thumbs.

I didn't get to take a picture of the cherry pie before my son stuck his little finger in it (little stinker!) but you'll see it in the background in the video below where I talk about filling the apple pie.

Now it's time for apple pie!  I found this recipe in the 1962 Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook too.  I think it's pretty perfect!  Ha ha...

And here's what I used:

I followed the directions in the original recipe (not the Red-Hot Apple Pie!) so just click on the recipe picture to enlarge.  Here's a video before the top crust is added.  Note the cherry pie before it was mauled by a naughty little boy.

Here's the yummy apple pie!  I used colored red and blue sugar for the top for a festive touch.

I had some extra apples and pie crust so I made a mini one.  Yummmm…..  I came down this morning to see one of my daughters eating a little slice for breakfast.  "It's like fruit, Mom!"  I suppose she could have chosen a worse breakfast.  ;)

While I had the time to spend in the kitchen making both pies at once you may not.  You can always divide up the tasks by making the dough for the crust the day before.  Or you could buy a ready-made crust in the dough section of your dairy aisle.  I prefer homemade pie crust but the Immaculate Baking Company's pie crust is pretty good when I just don't have the time.  Another time saver is to mix all of the dry ingredients (like the sugar mixture for the apple pie) beforehand.

So, what do you think?  Is it pie time in your house?!?!

I hope everyone has a fun and relaxing holiday weekend.  And for all our military service men and women, THANK YOU!!



  1. My husband appreciates your thanks on Memorial Day. : )

    Your pie looks so good and festive, too. I rarely make pie but baked or cooked apples with maple syrup is a favorite of mine; kind of like pie filling without the crust, I guess!

    1. I like baked apples too. Even without sugar they're pretty good.

      I hope you and your hubby had a nice holiday!

  2. Just out of curiosity, why did you omit the almond extract? It is delish with cherries.

    Thanks doll,
    The Glamorous Housewife

    1. I made it once with the almond extract and the kids didn't like it. I like it either way though.

      Thanks for coming over and taking a peek!