"It's your Choice"
By Melissa Spelts

One day Ryan came home saying he wanted to make a pie. He has always preferred pies to cakes (we usually put candles in a pie for his birthday) but I have only made crisps or pies after buying the pre-made crust from the grocery store. He surprised me by finding a crust recipe and throwing the needed ingredients into a bowl. The most impressive part of this was the end result. What a beautiful and delicious creation! I’m making him the official pie maker in our home. Try this recipe with fillings that are your family’s favorites, cherry and apple are our favorites. For the cherry pie we just used cans of cherry filling from the store and for the apple we picked apples from the tree in our back yard and made our own filling. Let us know your favorite filling, we would love to make something new for our Thanksgiving feast.    

Crust Recipe:
2 ½ c. All-purpose flour 
½ c. Butter
½ c. Shortening 
Pinch of salt
Ice cold water (add teaspoon by teaspoon until right consistency has formed) 

Drop flour, salt, butter and shortening in bowl. 
Use your hands to combine ingredients until small pebbles form.
Add cold water a teaspoon at a time until the dough begins to hold together and form a ball. 
Do not over handle the dough 
Divide dough in half
Place ball of dough onto wax paper and flatten. Place another piece of wax paper over the top and roll out the pastry into a circle. If your pie pan is 9 inches make sure your circle is bigger than 9 inches so you have enough for the edging. 
Remove the top layer of wax paper and place pastry into pie tin. Remove other piece of wax paper and press pastry into pan. Use your fingers to crimp the edge of the crust. 
Freeze for 30 minutes to firm up the pastry. This helps prevent pastry from shrinking during baking. 
Prick the bottom of crust to prevent bubbling during baking. 
If pie filling recipe calls for a baked crust bake at 400 degrees. For the first 10-12 minutes keep the edges of pie covered with foil and then remove for the last 15 minutes. Bake until golden brown. 
Fill with pie filling - apples, cherries and cook according to recipe. 
This recipe makes enough dough for two 9” crusts. We used the second crust for the top of our pie. 
On the top you can either create a lattice work like you see on the Cherry Pie (It was our first one, trial and error will help make it look better. On the apple pie we did a simple pie cover with a design cut out to allow breathing. 
For the perfect brown, stir an egg white until foamy and paint the top of the crust with the egg white. Then sprinkle white sugar over the top to give it that sugared texture. 
Serve with a scoop of ice cream and enjoy! 

Apple Filling:
You will need about 6-7 cups of sliced, peeled apples. Use tart apples for best result and coat in a small amount of lemon juice, which will keep the apples fresh as well as get the dry ingredients to stick to the apples better. 
Combine 1/2 cup each of brown and white sugar with 3 tablespoons of flour, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of ginger and nutmeg. Dump over the sliced apples and stir. Cook at 400º for about 50 minutes, watching for perfect brownness. We did not pre-cook the crust but we did put foil over the outer edge to avoid burning the edges.


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