Monday, March 14, 2011

My First From-Scratch Pie Crust

My Apple Pie!
Last night, after making a meal for Cerinthus that unfortunately looked a lot better than it tasted, I decided to comfort myself by making an apple pie-- completely from scratch. A few nights ago we went to the nearest local/organic food store--  a little establishment famed for it's over 700 spices-- and bought some apples and a little bit of salt (Cerinthus had the rest of the ingredients).

I wanted to make an all-butter recipe for pie crust because I do not like the idea of lard and I hear that crisco has very little flavor. Although crisco makes the crust very flaky, it also makes it bland. I took this recipe from All Recipes, doubled it, and added a tablespoon of vodka in instead of some of the water. It made approximately three full pie crusts, so I made a pie and an apple crisp. According to Cerinthus' mother, substituting vodka for about half of the allows for increases flakiness of the dough because the vodka evaporates faster than the water and allows the crust to dry and flake more effectively. I also read somewhere that not entirely combining the butter, but allowing patches of butter allows it to liquidate and expand and creates flakiness. I guess I will find out.

As I mentioned in my "Simple Family Recipe for Apple Pie," I do not actually like pie. I will have to wait for Cerinthus to try some at lunch to find out.
The Apple Crisp
Update 03/15/11: The pie crust was a success! It was lovely, flavorful, and flaky. However, it needed more salt. When I arrived, Cerinthus did not have any salt (can you believe that?) and he did not want to buy a gigantic container he would rarely use, so I bought a little $0.75 baggy of Sel Gris (gray sea salt) at the local organic food mart (that has a rack of 700 spices you can purchase by weight instead of in jars). The Sel Gris is a courser grain, and I did not compensate for this by increasing the volume of the salt in the crust. Oh well. Anyway, Cerinthus claims the pie is a 9 out of 10, so I am pretty happy.

Update 03/18/11: The pie (crust et al) got rave reviews from other quarters. Ponticus even said didn't need more salt. Anyway, I am very glad it was such a success but have no idea how I can replicate it.


  1. You're going to be an expert on flour pretty soon. What kind of apples did you use? When I made an apple crisp a while ago, my apples turned a little mushy.

  2. I usually use Granny Smiths, but I sometimes use Pippins or other apples. This set was local organic Granny Smiths.