Sunday, November 6, 2011

Marianna Davison's Pie Crust from the Jarvis House Recipe Book

Making a holiday Apple Pie from scratch is often considered a daunting chore.
It's making the pie crust that puts people off.  Buying a store ready pie crust in a pan, or worse, a stick of pie crust dough, to me seems yucky!
A wonderful lady from Old First Presbyterian Church, Huntington,  Marianna Davison, used this recipe to make "tops" for huge pans of Apply Pie desserts for their Fall Fair.  I asked her to write it down for me and I have in her original hand the ingredients.
 I assemble the necessary things for pie crust making.
 The original recipe is doubled in order to make three pie's worth, one top and one botom for each pie.  I unwrap seven sticks of margarine, for three and one half cups, and two tablespoons of sugar.
 I add four teaspoons of salt.
Then eight cups of flour.
 I found a beautiful chrome plated pie crust blender, by Ekco, made in the U.S.A.
 The blades of this fine tool, blend the flour mixture with the shortening, so that little "pea"  sized lumps are formed. 
 Next the recipe says to combine in  a small dish one cup of water,
  two tablespoons of white vinegar, and two eggs. 
 I use a whisk to blend the wet ingredients.
 Next I poured that into the bowl with the flour mixture.
 Marianna recommends mixing the dough with your hands.
 I also used the blender.
As in the opening photo I gathered the dough in the bowl into one large ball.  Then I turned it out onto a piece of waxed paper and cut it into six equal wedges.
 Each wedge becomes one pie crust as I shape the wedge into a smaller ball.
 Each ball gets wrapped in waxed paper,
 then I put two balls of dough into a plastic bag, and seal with a twist tie.  This will make one pie.
 So, now here we have  enough for three pies, two for Thanksgiving, and one for Christmas!. 
 I place the bags of pie crust into the freezer.  Since this is something you can do ahead of time, it takes the stress off part of making an Apple Pie.  In another post I will roll out the dough and ready the apples.  Having ready to use home made pie crusts in the freezer, is like having money in the bank.
By the way.  I was given these two books by my daughter and son-in-law.  The first, World Made by Hand, by James Howard Kunsler, is a story about people in a town, up state from New York City, and how they cope in a postapocalypic world.   The first book I was finishing up when we had a power out after Hurricane Irene, this Fall.  The second book, the sequel, The Witch of Hebron, 2010, continued the saga.  There are interesting accounts of "back to basics" living which greatly appeal to me.  Living in the Jarvis House has inspired me to approach some tasks in a rather "low tech"  way.  These stories by Kunstler detail many such activities, and "apples" are one of the subjects that seem to repeat throughout both books.  Like I have said, "back to basics."

Marianna Davison's Apple Pie Crust Recipe (double this)
 4 cups flour
1 3/4 cups shortening  ( I used margarine)
1 TBS sugar
2 tsp. salt 
1 TBS white vinegar
1 egg
1/2 cup water

Makes 3 tops for 9" x 13" x 2" pans or makes two 9" tops and one bottom
Chill 15 minutes before rolling
Apple Pie Filling
1/2 cup sugar mixed with 2 tsp. Cinnamon
2 Tsp. lemon juice
Sprinkle over apples and dot with 1/4 stick of butter or margerine.  Brush the top of the pie crust with one egg mixed with 1 tsp. water, and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for fifteen minutes at 425 degrees F. and then continue baking at  a reduced 350  F. for another 35-45 minutes,  until done. For the large pan Apple pie, Marianna used 3 pounds of apples.  I prefer to combine all sorts of apples, which makes for the best pies ever.

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