Hint: Relax. You are just making pie dough. Any pastry dough made with love is delicious with a little filling.
To begin, ice water in fridge or freezer. Chilled pie pastry is easier to roll out and transfer to a pie plate. Sometimes, I chill all of my pastry ingredients - water, flour, and shortening.
Stir flour and salt together. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender or two-knives in a criss-cross pattern until the mixture forms pea-sized crumbles.
Add ice water in droplets and toss with a fork to mix (don't over-work pastry dough).
Shape pastry into two rounds (larger round for bottom crust). Flatten like a pancake.
Wrap pastry rounds and chill while you prepare filling.
To roll out pastry, roll from center to edge evenly and until about 1/8-inch thick. Roll crust in a circle wider than the pie plate to simplify sealing edges.
Tips: Be patient. Dip fingers in flour if they start to stick to dough. If you have leftover dough, press into shapes such as leaves or an apple to decorate pie.
My mother made a pie-dough cookie with leftover dough. She patted it into a giant cookie and sprinkled on sugar and cinnamon. Bake to golden.
*Unsalted Butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 Cup
Important: must chill pastry 1-hour before rolling due to butter content which softens at room temperature.
Dough can be stored frozen up to one month if you are a do-ahead type of baker.
To begin, add chunks of chilled butter to flour/sugar. Cut butter into flour with the wire-wisk attachment on KitchenAid. (Cold butter is hard, and does not readily blend.)
Add ice water in portions and fluff in with fork. Add sufficient water so dough will shape into a ball. Divide dough into two equal rounds. Flatten into two disks and wrap in plastic. Chill at least 1-hour.
*Use unsalted butter for pastry. When heated, a cup of salted butter dispenses nearly 2-teaspoons of unwanted liquid into pastry during baking.
This pie crust recipe has a yummy, buttery taste, and bakes more firm than flaky.
I always have extra pastry for rolling into shapes and decorating top.
This is my favorite crust for making Apple Pie Slices.
Perfect Apple Pie
Bake in 9- or 10-inch pie plate at 400°
Tart apples: 5-1/2 to 6-cups apple slices
3/4 to 1-Cup
Peel, pare, and slice apples. Mix sugar and spices in a small bowl.
Preheat oven to 400°. When crust is complete, fill with apples and add sugar mixture. Top with slices of butter. Crimp and seal edges of the pie crust together. Slice vent holes and pierce upper crust with fork for even baking.
Bake at 400° for 50 minutes or until done. For the yummy butter-cream frosting glaze, remove pie from oven in the final 5-10 minutes of baking. Quickly drizzle frosting over top and return to oven to glaze.
I use a variety of apples. Some apples bake better than others. Some suggestions: Granny Smith, Greening, Jonathan, Golden Delicious, Rome, Cortland.
Every apple pie tastes good served warm from the oven with ice cream.
Glaze Your Apple Pie with Frosting
Whisk ingredients until smooth. This makes 1/2- to 2/3-cup of butter-cream frosting
Frosted Apple Pie Slices - Pie in a Cake Pan
Double the crust recipe for Favorite Buttery Pie Pastry to make a large, double crust to fit into a rectangular baking pan (remember to chill pastry at least 1-hour prior to rolling).
Prepare apples according to Apple Pie recipe for 9-inch pie.
Double the Butter-Cream Frosting.
I use a half-sheet baking pan, 12in x 17in x 1in. You can opt for other size pans, i.e., a 9x12-inch cake pan for deeper pie slices. Recipe serves 16-20.
To make Pie Slices, follow the Frosted Apple Pie recipe, but bake in a rectangular pan.
Pan options: Sometimes I grease and line my 1/2-sheet pan with Parchment Paper to make a cuff inside the pan to prevent spillover when the apples bubble and bake in case I over-fill as my half-sheet pan is shallow at 1-inch deep. I remove the parchment paper after pie slices cool for serving.
Remember when choosing pan and ingredient amount: Ingredients›Pan=Spills. Don't heap up apple filling unless your pan is larger than the filling.
Oven-time: Bake at 400°. Check pie slices after 35 minutes. Baking time for pie slices varies with thickness of apple filling and size/type of pan. Allow final 10-min baking for butter-cream glaze.