Our family is one full of pie lovers. My mum and gramma are pie makers. Pie for breakfast is quite a common thing...if there happen to be leftovers.
My grandpa would quite often, after supper, tell my gramma he wanted a piece of pie and she would whip one up in an hour.
I cannot count the number of pie varieties I have tried on account of my mum and gramma.
All that said, I don't fancy myself a pie maker. I have made my share of pies in different forms, sweet and savory. I'm not a master by any means.
"So Jess how's your pastry success been lately?" My gramma asked me today, which made me smile. Mostly because I know it makes her happy that I love to cook, like she loves to cook.
Honestly though, my pastry is pretty hit and miss.
I'm quite sure all cooks learn a lot by trial and error.
Gramma's first pie was a pumpkin, she had never made a pie before and thought she'd be a good (new) wife and make her husband a pie. She made her crust, dumped a can of pumpkin into it, smoothed it out and baked it. She proudly served it to my grandpa but, instead of gratitude, was met with gags and sputters.
Grandpa-"What did you put in this?"
Grandma-"Nothing just the pumpkin!"
Now she knows you have to add sugar, spices, cream and other such important ingredients.
Gramma has since totally redeemed herself.
Last night, after dinner, I thought I'd make an apple pie for Jimmy. This pie had caught my eye as a quick one to make during the week.
Breton Apple Pie is quick, and really won't feel like pie making, in the laborious, fiddly kind of way it can.
The crust is somewhere between a shortcrust and a shortbread cookie. It's easy to work with and shortcomings can easily be patched.
The apples are partially cooked before hand on top of the stove with applesauce, lemon and cinnamon. They will become soft and shiny and rich smelling.
Everyone loves this pie. I will be making this one over and over. Maybe it will become a favourite in your house too.
Breton Apple Pie
Originally in by Nick Malgieri and also in The Washington Post, September 17, 2008
2Tbsp unsalted butter
2 1/2 lbs apples, peeled, cored and sliced (6-8 apples)
1/4 C apple sauce
1/4 C sugar
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1C unsalted butter, room temp
4 large egg yolks (1 of the egg whites beaten with a pinch of salt for a wash)
2 3/4 C flour
Butter a deep 9 inch pie plate and set aside. Place oven rack at the lowest setting and preheat oven to 350*.
In a large saucepan, melt 2 Tbsp butter in a large saucepan, add apples, applesauce, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon. Cook, covered about 10 minutes or until swimming in liquid. Uncover and cook another 10 minutes.
Combine the butter, sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of a mixer.
Beat at medium speed for 5 minutes.
Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a large rubber spatula to incorporate the flour.
Place half of the dough in the bottom of the prepared pan.
Use your fingertips to press the dough evenly over the bottom of the pan and about 1 inch up the sides.
Spread the filling over the dough.
Roll out remaining dough on a board with lots of flour until the circle is the same size as the pie plate. Top the pie with the dough and press down around the outside to seal.
Brush the top of the pie with the egg wash. Use the tines of a fork to trace a lattice pattern on the top.
Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until the dough is nicely colored and baked through.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.
Slice and serve with ice cream, cheese or by itself.