Classic Apple Pie

I made pie for me, just me, last Thursday. It was delicious. I ate almost the whole thing, and I am not sorry.

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Filling made with 1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples and 2 pounds Golden Delicious apples, prepared according to the recipe in The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, by the editors at America’s Test Kitchen at Brookline, MA. Published in 2005.

Double-crust pastry made to author Marion Cunningham’s specifications in The Fanny Farmer Baking Book, published in 1984 by Alfred A. Knopf Inc., of New York. It’s my favorite recipe to use for both sweet and savory pies.

To make the pastry (directions adapted to my baking preferences): In a food processor fitted with a knife blade, whiz together 2 1/4 cups (10.15 oz) all-purpose flour and 1/2 teaspoon table salt. Add 3/4 cup (6 oz) vegetable shortening, cut into small chunks, and pulse several times, until the shortening is evenly distributed and the mixture looks like small pebbles. Pour 7 tablespoons cold water over all, and pulse again several times, just until the pastry forms a cohesive mass. Don’t overprocess, or the dough will be tough. Divide the dough in half, shape into flat discs, and wrap in sheets of waxed paper. Chill dough in the fridge for 30 minutes. (This step is critical for ease in rolling.) Roll out on a floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin. Line a pie pan with one part, and use the second as the top crust. 

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My mechanical apple peeler (top photo) is at least 20 years old, but identical versions are available for purchase online for $15-20. Mine is persnickety, and the wooden handle often falls off, but once you get it going, it makes short work of a pile of apples.

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