Autumn brings us bushels of apples, pumpkins and pears, perfect fruit to eat with plenty leftover to make into a pie. Pies have been around as long as there have been fruit trees. Everyone loves a warm freshly baked pie. For the beginner baker, this might be a good time to practice making your first pie in preparation for the holidays ahead.
This recipe is from one of my old pie cookbooks. As a young cook, I turned the page on this recipe to advance to the blended and rolled crust with the high fluted edge. A second look at it prompted me to share it with new bakers, those bakers who gave up making homemade pie crust and those who are just too busy to pull out the pastry blender and rolling pin. All the ingredients are probably stored in your pantry.
Testing it I decided it had a very tasty flaky crust and topping. I did decrease the salt by 1/2 teaspoon. The topping is supposed to similate a top crust but it is crumbly and not flat; which doesn't matter because it is a "short-cut". I went ahead and added 1/2 cup of brown sugar to make the topping sweeter. The result was more of a streusal crumb topping. For a savory quiche, reduce the sugar to 1 teaspoon.
One of the best features of this short-cut pastry is that it is lower in saturated fat putting it in a healthier-for-you category. It can easily be converted to a gluten-free recipe with the appropriate flour blend. Farm women were amazingly ahead of their times.
Have some extra apples? Why not give it a try.
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup cooking oil
3 tablespoons milk
Mix flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Add the oil and milk and stir with a fork until completely moistened. Save 1/3 of pastry for top.
Pat 2/3's of pastry into the pie pan and fill with fruit pie filling. Reserve the remaining 1/3 pastry for the topping. For a sweeter topping, add 1/2 cup brown sugar. Crumble topping over the fruit and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour in 400 degree oven. Makes one 8 or 9 inch crust with topping.
Cook’s Note: The topping melts down to form a crumbled top crust. Adding the brown sugar will form sturdier crumbs. To make crust dairy free use water instead of milk. For a gluten-free crust, use gluten-free all purpose flour.
Farm Women’s Basic Fruit Pie Recipe
For the filling
3 pounds of apples, peaches, pears peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
3 tablespoons flour (thickens the juices but can leave this out if you want)
2 tablespoons butter, cut into very small pieces
Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 425°.
Mix sugar with cinnamon and nutmeg. In a large bowl, toss the fruit of choice with sugar mixture and sprinkle with flour then toss to coat fruit evenly.
Place the fruit mixture into the pie shell and mound it slightly in the center; press down on fruit lightly to fill in any gaps. Dot with the butter. Top with the crumb topping, keeping it as clumpy (not sandy) as you can. Try to cover all the fruit with the crumbs.
Put the pie on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes and then reduce the heat to 375°. Bake until the fruit is tender (a skewer inserted into the center of the pie will meet slight resistance) and the juices are bubbling around the edges, another 30 to 35 minutes; if the top starts to brown too quickly after about 20 minutes, cover the pie lightly with foil.
Let cool on a rack for 3 to 4 hours to let the juices set.
Buon Appetito! from Amelia's Kitchen