Monday Menus

It is hard to believe, but Thanksgiving is next week, and for every New Englander, that means a wide variety of pies for that special day.  At my house we always have apple and chocolate cream pie, but when we arrive at my brother’s house, other family members have brought their favorites like pumpkin, squash, custard, and even pecan pie.   When I first spent a Thanksgiving in Utah, I was shocked that the only pie offered for dessert was pumpkin. How boring.  When I was little, my grandmother always made a big bowl of  Tapioca pudding in addition to  the pies.   It has always been a tradition in New England to have as many different desserts as possible.

My mother was never much of a cook, so my father would order special pies from Marelli’s in downtown Newmarket.  We always bought the  Table Talk pies which arrived in metal pie tins.   After we ate the pies, we would return the pie tins to the store and get five cents refund on each tin we returned.  Sometimes we kept the pie tins because they cooked the best pies, and once in a while, my mom would cook a pie.  Even though the Table Talk pies were almost as good as home made, I liked homemade better, so I started making my own pies.   The problem was the pie crust, though. Whenever my mother or I would make the crusts, they would crack as we rolled them out.   I guess that is why my parents always ordered the Table Talk.  But while I was working as a cook in a local restaurant, one of the waitresses shared with me and the other cooks  a fool proof recipe, and I have used it every since.   I have used it so often that I have it memorized.   Whenever I get lazy and buy a store bought shell, my kids complain.  So I decided that I would share my pie crust recipe and my apple pie recipe with you.

I shared this pie crust recipe during the springtime at a RS meeting, but there are so many new sisters in our ward, that I thought it would be appropriate to share it again.  This will be just about the best tasting pie crust you will ever make.

For two 2-crust  9″ pies

4 cups of white flour

2 t of salt

1 1/2 cups of Crisco butter flavored shortening (Don’t use any other brand than Crisco.  It makes a big difference.)

1 cup of cold water

Measure the flour and the salt into a large mixing bowl and mix together.   Combine the shortening, which should be at room temperature, with the flour and salt mixture.  When the shortening is completely mixed into the flour mixture, it should  look like pea sized crumbs.  Quickly add the cold water to the mixture and stir together until all of the mixture combines into a soft dough.  It might be a bit moist, but that is okay.   You can add a wee bit of flour to it when you get ready to roll it out.  Form the dough into a ball and cut into quarters.   Sprinkle your rolling surface with flour.  Take one of the quarters of dough and form into a ball.  Place it onto the floured surface and roll out with a rolling pin.  Roll from the center out at all times, rolling it out to the desired thickness and  to enough to fit into your pie pan and hang out about an inch over the edges. Be gentle with your dough.  If you are rough on it it will be tough when it cooks.  Fill your pie crust filled pan with your pie filling and then repeat the directions for rolling out the top crust.  Place the top crust over the pie filling, making sure that the crust hangs over about an inch from the edge of the pie pan, just as you did with the bottom crust.  Turn under both the top and bottom crusts so that the dough seals in the pie filling.  Flute the edges in a creative way, make slits in the crust to let steam escape, then bake in a 375 degree oven for about 50 minutes or how ever long your recipe requires.  This is a very flaky and tender, yummy crust.

Apple Pie from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book

1 recipe pastry for double crust pie ( see above)

6 cups thinly sliced, peeled cooking apples (I use Cortland.)

1 T lemon juice

3/4 cup sugar

2 T flour

1/2 t cinnamon

1/8 t nutmeg

1 t butter or margarine

1/8 cup of milk

Roll out your pie crust and prepare as above with the bottom crust.  Peel and slice the apples and place in a large bowl.  Add the lemon juice and toss to coat evenly. Mix the sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg together. Add the sugar mixture and toss  until coated evenly.  Pour apples into the pie plate.  Dot in the middle with the butter or margarine and top with the top crust.  Finish off as described above and then brush milk over the crust.  This will allow it to turn a nice golden brown.  Cover the outside edge of the crust with aluminum foil.  To make this cover, cut a sheet of aluminum foil equal to the size of the pie pan. Fold it in fours.  With scissors, cut out the center part of the fold. When you open up the foil, you should have a square piece with the center missing.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes and then remove the foil and bake for another 25-30 minutes or until the fruit is tender and the pie is bubbling.  Be sure to put another pan underneath the pie tin so that the drips can be caught by the pan and not the bottom of your oven.  Cool and enjoy.

Now, Thanksgiving is not complete at our house unless we take the leftover crust (sometimes I make extra just for this.) and make our “cinnamon rolls”.   Roll out the remaining or leftover crust into a thin rectangular layer.  Brush with water and then sprinkle with a cinnamon and sugar mixture.  Cut the crust into smaller rectangular strips and then roll up like a jelly roll.  Place in a well greased cake pan or a cookie sheet.  Cook at 375 for about 20- 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove immediately from the pan and cool on a plate.  These are so delicious that they won’t last long enough to cool, perhaps.

So this is what we Belangers look forward to when Thanksgiving rolls around.



2 Responses to “Monday Menus”

  1. Ginger J Says:

    I’m looking forward to making pies this year because of this recipe! It really is a perfect recipe. Thanks for sharing it, Pam.

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