Deep in Pennsylvania Dutch country, an autumn supper is followed by a marvelous creation-the Dutch apple pie. Tart apples are baked in a single crust and topped with a crumb mixture that is simple to prepare and bakes up crisp and toasty. Topped with a scoop of old-fashioned vanilla ice cream, there is nothing like this wonderful treat.
This pie's name is a misnomer because it is actually a German style dessert. The Pennsylvania Dutch were German people who were mislabeled in early America because of the German word, "Deutsch', which refers to Germans. The confusion could have also had to do with the fact that these Mennonites came by way of Holland when they immigrated to America. Some call this pie a Schnitz pie-a "schnitz" being the German word for a slice of pie.
Look for a favorite baking apple the Cortland. This baking apple is one of the best pie apples to be had. Rome Beauty apples are also good pie apples. Granny Smith apples are tart and readily available in grocery stores across the country. They are a good choice for this pie too.
Prepare the crust for a nine-inch pie. There is no need to prick the crust, as it will be baked with the filling.
Mix the flour and salt.
Cut in the shortening until it resembles cornmeal.
Work the shortening in with your fingertips, and then rub the mixture between the palms of your hands to break it gently without mashing it or overworking it.
Add the cold water one tablespoon at a time.
Form the dough into a ball and chill for one hour.
Roll out with a rolling pin on a countertop or pastry board.
Fold dough in half and then again to a quarter.
Pick up and lay into a 9-inch pie plate.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Peel core and slice 8 or 9 medium sized apples.
Sprinkle over the apples a mixture of:
Sprinkle this over the apples and bake for 45 minutes or until the topping has browned.
Top with ice cream, whipped cream, a slice or two of a sharp cheddar cheese or an extra sharp Colby cheese like Pinconning.
Lots of home bakers are intimidated by the process of how to make pie crust, but with a bit of practice you can--and will--find it's easier than you think.With just a few key tips, you too can make a great pie crust. As long as you are able to master the proper combinations of ingredients, you only need to know how to chill the dough, roll out and shape the crust and bake it to perfection.