Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Apple Pie with Oil Crust and a History of (my) Pie Making

   During my pie making frenzy (which started sometime in August) I made nearly or maybe even over 30 pies up to the last pie. I've lost count! It started with failures especially in the crust department, but I persevered (which is a dignified way of saying sweating and biting my lips to keep myself from saying anything particularly offensive to the pie dough while rolling and re-rolling it) and Alhamdulillah, after a number of attempts my efforts started to produce better and better results. I had never made my crust (or any pie for that matter) on my own, and the last time I'd made them was years and years ago, when I was shorter and skinnier (though most of my friends would disagree) and ahhem with more pimples. Ahhh pimples and acne and whatever you call them. Such wonderful times we had together! (Coughs). Anyhow, I digress. Back to pie talk.

   That being said, I did a lot of research and studying (another dignified way of describing enjoying myself while browsing the internet looking at food). I made y first apple pie. Epic failure. I used shortening for the crust, and it would NOT brown. I baked it for so long, the apples dried  up. I despaired and gave up on ever making pie again. My second attempt was this lovely pie from the Homesick Texan (which is a lovely, original blog), but though the chocolate part was quite lovely, the crust was a flop. However, it gave me a little spark of hope and I thought that i'd try once again.

   Next, I made this lovely Chocolate Marvel Pie. I used the basic pie crust recipe from Betty Crocker's Pie & Pastry Cookbook, but I used butter instead of lard (which we don't take because from my understanding it's made from pig fat) and shortening (which I used in the Epic Fail pie crust and, yes, how did you guess? FAILED.) I'd watch a video by Joy the Baker & Jill Donenfield, looked at some step-by step tutorials (one such being this) and devoured the BCP&P Cookbook, and at the same time, I happened to come across some deep dish thingy in my Mum's kitchen store which I figured I could use to bake a pie. So I did. And though the crust slipped down the slippery slope of the deep dish, leaving barely an inch deepness of a pie crust-ness for me to pour my chocolate filling-ness, it was delicious and most importantly, the pie crust browned quite beautifully (though with lots of air bubbles because I hadn't pricked it enough). 

   And that, was the beginning of my pie-making frenzy. Some of the pies I wrote about and posted on this blog, but most of them were quickly finished before i could take any photos. There was also, ahhem, the matter of not having a camera until Big Sister lent hers (and it's still in my hand.... laughs an evil and witchy laugh). Below are some of the pies that I remember having made in the last 4 months:

Chocolate Marvel Pie (around 3? Or 4?)
Apple Pie (I've lost count of the numbers. Maybe around 10? Or more?)

   And that's all I can remember. With practice, my efforts in making the crusts got easier produced better results, and I started experimenting with different types of crusts. In this post, I'll share the Oil Pie crust I made, the recipe taken from the BCP&PC. I won't say it was a complete success (details to follow) but it was another step in my pie making adventure so it was pretty good. I made a 10-inch crust, but as usual here are the measurements for both 8 or 9-inch and 10-inch crusts.


1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup salad oil (I used corn oil)
2-3 tablespoons cold water

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup salad oil (I used corn oil)
3-4 tablespoons cold water

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup salad oil (I used corn oil)
4-5 tablespoons cold water

1. Mix flour and salt in a mixing bowl.
2. Add oil and using a fork, mix until particles are the size of small peas (which takes some time and didn't exactly result in p's in the s of sp's, but I got a crumbly mixture which I think is okay)
3. Sprinkle water over mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix using fork until flour is thoroughly moistened and dough almost cleans the side of the bowl (you may add 1-2 tbsp oil id needed).
4. Gather dough into hands to form a ball.
5. For one-crust pies, shape dough into a flattened round. For two-crust pies, divide dough in half, place each half cut side down and flatten into a round.
6. Place flattened rounds between two pieces of waxed paper (which I didn't have- i used greaseproof paper and it worked).
7. Wipe table with a damp cloth to prevent the paper from slipping. Roll pastry 2 inches larger than your inverted pie pan. Like so:

8. Peel off top paper:
and transfer the pastry by placing the pastry paper side up in the pan.
9. Peel  of the paper and carefully ease the pastry into the pan.

   And there you have it. Next, do one of the following steps and bake your oil crust pie:
(a) FOR 2-CRUST FRUIT or MEAT PIE: Fill the pie with your pie chosen filling (for this pie I used the filling from this pie). Roll top crust the same way as bottom crust. Cut slits on top (I punched in a few apple-shaped patterns using a cookie cutter, like so:
Trim pastry and bake according to the recipe for your pie.

(b) FOR BAKED PIE SHELL: Bake pie crust for 12 to 15 minutes at 475F or 245C. (Mine usually takes longer. Like 20-25 minutes). 

   Now, though the crust was quite easy to handle... until the time came to transfer it into the pie pan. I probably need more practice. The top crust tore a bit, and I patched it up, but basically it looked like this:
(Excuse the chunks of margarine, I forgot to dot the filling with them before  putting the top crust on)
   I was a bit doubtful, but into the oven it went:

   And it stayed there for so long, the filling dripped out of the torn parts of the crust and onto the bottom of the oven. Yikes. The reason? The crust would NOT brown. If it did, it took a very, very long time to do it, nearly 1 1/2 hours I think. I was afraid the filling would dry out, but fortunately it didn't. Instead, it turned out into this thick, gooey caramel-ly goodness. Pheeww!

   Mum said it was okay, but that she preferred the usual pie crust I made. The oil recipe resulted in this crumbly, semi-crisp, semi-soft crust. It was quite delicious, and a change from the ordinary butter crust and I liked it. This spoonful says: "Here's to more pies in the future!"
p.s. Yup, the dates on the photos tells you that I made this nearly 3 months ago. Then again, I'm no sure when I'll try making an oil crust again, so here  they are. I should probably start cropping my photos and learn to do a bit of editing, bu I'm too lazy!


  1. wow! you have made A LOT of pies!!! hahaah im sure you are an expert on it now! i haven't made pies in a long time.. i think its more of a winter thing for me =p
    the little apple cutouts look cute ^_^ and it looks delicious =D
    keep pie baking!!! :)

  2. Hey Tray! Hehe yeah, I made quite A LOT I guess. But nope, I'm definitely not an expert! Why do you only make pies in winter? :)


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