Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pecan Pie and Apple Pie

Slowly I am getting ready for Thanksgiving.  I figure I would start with the desserts.

Here is my favorite recipe for pecan pie.  It isn't super sweet like most pecan pies.  I also have to admit that for the pecan pie I used a pre-made crust.  It is from a company that uses organic ingredients.  I actually wanted to shorten my time in the kitchen just by a little bit.  However, the crust for the apple pie I did make from scratch.

Pecan Pie
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup molasses (I use a full flavor unsulphured made by Brier Rabbit)
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup pecans
1 - 8 inch unbaked pie shell

Cream butter, sugar and eggs.  Add molasses, flour, vanilla, and salt.  Stir in water and pecans.  Pour into unbaked pie shell.  Bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes; then at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes.

Here is my favorite apple pie.  I have been using this recipe for years and just love it.

Apple Pie
6 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples (I use a mixture of different kinds of apples)
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
dash of ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon butter

If apples lack tartness add 1 tablespoon lemon juice.  Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Add sugar mixture to apples and mix together.  Pour into bottom crust and top with butter.  Add top crust and seal edges.  Brush crust with an egg wash of egg white beaten with 1 teaspoon of water.  Sprinkle of with sugar.  Cover edge of pie with foil.  Bake at 375 degree Fahrenheit for 25 minutes.  Remove foil; bake for 20-25 minutes or until crust is golden.

Pie crust
2-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup chilled lard or non-hydrogenated solid vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
5 tablespoons or more of ice water

Place flour, sugar in salt into food processor.  Add butter and lard using on/off turns, until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture is moist and forms a ball.  Transfer to a bowl and mix together by hand.  Add more water if needed.  Divide dough in half.  Wrap each half in saran wrap and flatten into a disk.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.  This makes 2 pie crusts.

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