Here is a timetested recipe that would bring the delicate flavour of cinnamon and baked apples to your home, making it even more festive.
Basic Pie Crust
The secret to flaky pie dough is not to overwork it. Avoid handling the dough or rolling it more than you have to. This recipe makes enough for two 10-inch piecrusts.
3 cups - sifted flour
1 egg - slightly beaten
1 1/4 cups - chilled solid shortening
2 teaspoon white vinegar
5-tablespoons cold water
Blend the flour and shortening with a fork or two knives or a pastry blender or your fingertips until the mixture is crumbly.
Add the salt, egg, white vinegar and cold water (Put several ice cubes into a cup. Fill the cup with water and spoon the 5 tbsp. cold water from the cup) to the flour-and-shortening mixture.
Use a fork to mix till everything blends well
Gather the dough into two balls, then refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Rolling the Crust
Flour a board lightly. Also flour the rolling pin.
Roll the dough into an 11- to 12- inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick, using light but firm pressure on the dough. Roll one stroke in each direction. Press the dough together to mend any cracks.
Transfer the dough to the pan by rolling it around the rolling pin, then unrolling it in the pie dish.
Rolling pie dough takes practice. Don`t be upset if your dough sticks and gets massacred on its way to the pie pan. You`ll do better next time.
You can also try folding the dough into fourths, and then unfolding it in the dish. Avoid stretching the dough into the pie dish. It will shrink when you bake it.
Trim the crust edges so there`s just a 1-inch overhang around the dish.
For a one-crust pie, crimp the edges together to make the pie look pretty. (Use your fingers to push the edges together, making a little scallop.)
For two-crust pies, place the top crust on the filling, using either the rolling pin or folding method.Trim the dough to a 1-inch overhang.
Fold the top crust under the bottom crust and pinch the edges together, then crimp as for a one-crust pie.
Score the top with a knife to let steam escape.
For the stuffing
2 tablespoon water
2 tablespoon flour
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
5 cups sliced cooking apples
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons diced butter
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 tablespoon cream
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Make the piecrust.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Peel and core the apples, then slice thinly.
Mix apples lightly with flour, sugar, lemon juice, spices and salt.
Add the filling to the piecrust in the pan. Top with diced pieces of butter.
Roll out the second ball of dough to 1/8-inch thickness.
Lay the dough over the pie and trim the edges, leaving a 1-inch overhang.
Fold the top edge of the upper crust over the lower crust and squeeze them together.
Crimp the edges by pinching small sections of dough with your fingers.
Use a sharp knife to put several small steam vents in the top.
Sprinkle the upper crust with sugar for sparkle.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the crust is golden.
Some helpful hints:
If apples are dry, add 2 tablespoons water or cream to the filling. Don`t be too quick to do this, though, because juice will come out as the apples cook.
If the crust gets dark too quickly, cover the pie with an aluminium foil during baking.
Good piecrust takes practice; don`t expect a flaky masterpiece the first time (although you might get lucky). Keep the dough cold, work it as little as possible, and develop a feel for it.