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Apple Crumble Pie - How to Make Crust

Gary L. Baker, Esq. Patent Attorney

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About an Hours Work and Less Than $5.  Makes the Pie and 3 Extra Crusts

Crust Ingredients for One Pie Shell:

1-1/4 C All-Purpose Flour    1 Egg Yolk     1 tbs. Sugar

Pinch Salt    1/3 C softened Butter     1 tbs. Cold Water

crust1.jpg (305250 bytes) Add yolk to flour, sugar and salt.  Mix in.  I use my hands.  You can use a fork or one of those hand pastry tools with all the parallel blades.  One secret to making crust dough is not to over mix the ingredients, especially the butter. 

Add the butter (not soft - preferably at a temperature below room temperature).  Blend in until it is evenly distributed as small bits.  Key step - add a little cold water and blend.  See if the dough can be squeezed into a ball.  Does it seem moist enough to roll into a sheet of crust?  If it is still too dry and crumbly, add a little more cold water.  No need to blend the water completely, it will diffuse evenly into the mixture on standing.

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A very handy trick - roll the crust out on a sheet of wax paper that has been sprinkled with flour.  No more dough getting stuck to the board!  Place your greased pie pan over the rolled dough ...

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and turn over the whole rolling board (outside, in your yard).  With the wax paper still in place, use your fingers to press the dough in place inside the pie pan.  Carefully remove the wax paper and trim the edges of dough away.  Reuse the wax paper next time.

Notice I have three  balls of dough left over.  I actually tripled the recipe above to make extra dough for use in future desserts.  Form the spare dough into balls big enough to make a crust, tightly wrap the balls in plastic wrap and store in your freezer for up to 4 months.  A couple hours before you need the dough, place it out on the shelf at room temperature and it is ready to go.  The dough stores really well in the freezer and you don't have to start from scratch every time you want to make a pie.  

Pie Filling Ingredients:

5 Medium Sized Apples     1/2 C Brown Sugar    2 tsp. Corn Starch (and/or Pectin)

1/4 tsp. Salt      1/2 tsp. Cinnamon    1 tsp. Vanilla

2 tsp. Lemon Juice

crust6.jpg (140325 bytes) Peel, core and slice apples.  I like to slice them into about 16 wedges per apple so they will bake faster.  Mix in the remaining ingredients.  Pour the apple filling mixture into the pie pan and arrange the apples compactly.  The pie can be more interesting if you add some slices of another fruit, such as some plum, strawberry, cherry or pear; or maybe some nuts.
 

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Almond Crumble Ingredients:

crust7.jpg (112370 bytes) 1/3 C Ground Almonds    Pinch Salt

2 tbs. Brown Sugar     1/4 tsp. Cinnamon

1 tbs. Flour    1 tbs. Butter

Blend ingredients together with a fork to form a crummy crumble.  Distribute the crumble about the top of the apples in the pie.

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Bake the pie slightly above the center of your oven at 350ºF for 55 minutes to an hour.  Keep the pie in a little longer if the pie is not bubbling near the center or if you like softer cooked apples.  Cool the pie at least 10 minutes before trying to cut and serve - better to cool an hour.

Comments:

- Preferred apples are Fuji and Gala.

- Sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, to taste.  Almond extract or a favorite liquor can be added to the apple filling.

- Corn starch and pectin help thicken the apple juice for earlier serving without everything falling apart.

- Crumble can be omitted or replaced with a crust over the whole pie.

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