Monica's Apple Pie
¾ cup shortening (I shop for the healthier non-hydrogenated, non trans-fat
versions at Trader Joes)
¼ cup boiling water
1 tbs milk (soy milk ok)
1 tsp salt
2 cups flour (try whole grain flour for a healthier recipe)
* mix in ¼ cup finely ground pecans or almonds for a nuttier flavor
* a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg for a spicier curst
6 cups sliced apples (pealed or not, your choice… mix a few types together for
richer flavor texture)
2 tbs flour
1/3 - ¾ cup sugar (depending on your sweetness needs, brown sugar ok too)
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
2-4 tbs butter, thinly sliced
* a pinch of ground cloves or nutmeg if you want a little spice
*1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/3 block butter
To make crust: In a food processor (if you use a hand mixer, you’ll want to soften the shortening a little in the microwave first), combine hot water, shortening, milk and salt. Once that is creamy, add flour, *almonds or pecans (if you choose to use them) and *spices. Pulse or blend until mixture solidifies. Remove dough from machine/or bowl and shape into 2 balls of dough, one disc should be a tad larger (for the bottom crust). Wrap both in plastic wrap or wax paper and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
To make filling: In a large bowl, after slicing all the apples into it, add a combined mixture of the sugar, flour, cinnamon, *spice (if you choose) and salt. Gently toss to combine.
Preheat oven to 425°. Place dough on a floured board (or smooth, cleaned counter space) and allow dough to stand, unwrapped, until just pliable, about 10 minutes. With a floured rolling pin, roll out the larger disc into a circle large enough to fit the bottom and sides of your pie dish (about 13-inches depending on the dish). Move dough a quarter turn with every roll, making sure it is not sticking to the board underneath. The dough should be about 1/8- 1/5 inch thick. Line a 9-inch pie dish with dough. Lightly dust board with more flour and roll out smaller disc into a 10-inch (or big enough to fit over the pie) circle; set aside for top.
Place filling in crust-lined pie dish and dot with butter slices on top. Cover with large dough circle and cut a large X into the top; gently pull back the corners of X to allow steam to escape.
Place pie on a baking sheet lined with foil and bake 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375° and continue baking until filling bubbles in the center and crust turns golden brown, about 1 hour.
Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour; serve with vanilla ice cream for a la mode lip-smacking mmmmm mmmmm smiles!
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
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