pie for breakfast?

two years ago i bought the joy of cooking, all about pies and tarts. i am not even a sweets person, but i love baking, especially in the colder months. i easily made some very delicious key lime pie, banana cream pie, and pear streusel. easily because the crust was either pat in the pan butter crust or graham cracker. last summer i tried making peach pie with the standard flaky pastry dough, and although tasty, the crust left much to be desired. it certainly didn't look like the cover!

at our last grocery shop we bought a bagful of organic braeburn apples. they were unbelievably tart, like sour patch kids but without the benefit of being a sticky chewy candy. you couldn't eat them. left with 6 or 7 apples, we decided to bake my first apple pie last night.

as you can see, a year of not baking did nothing to improve my flaky pastry dough methods! i do the cutting part well, but i am so unsure about the moisture part. i'm always afraid i'm adding too much water, but it never seems to be the right consistency. i know that baking is a lot about how it feels, but since i've never felt it "right," i don't know what i should be striving for. at the same time, i know i am doing something wrong, as the dough is difficult to roll out and it bakes up definitely flaky, but not amazingly flaky. if any one is reading this and has any suggestions, please write a comment!

apple pie: one 9-inch pie, serves 6-8
from joy of cooking, all about pies and tarts (2002, p. 38)

flaky pastry dough
2 1/2 lb apples (about 5-6 medium)
3/4 cup sugar
2-3 tb all-purpose flour
1 tb lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
2 tb unsalted butter, small pieces

1. pre-heat oven to 425f with rack in lower third. peel, core, and slice apples 1/4 inch thick (for 6 cups). combine with sugar, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt. let stand for 15 minutes, gently stirring several times.

2. pour mixture into bottom crust and level. dot the top with butter. brush the edge of the bottom crust with cold water and cover with the top crust. seal the edge, trim, and cut steam vents. sprinkle top with sugar and cinnamon.

ready to put cover on

3. bake pie for 30 minutes. slip a baking sheet underneath, reduce heat to 350f, and bake until the fruit feels just tender when knife pokes through steam vent. juices should just begin to bubble out. it should take about 30-45 minutes.

4. cool on rack for 3-4 hours. eat to your heart's delight! we made it late last night, so it became breakfast this morning :)

sunday breakfast

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