FOR A 17TH CENTURY KITCHEN
“…yn take a quart of fine flower, & put ye rest of ye butter to it in little bits, with 4 or 5 spoonfulls of faire water, make ye paste of it & when it is well mingled beat it on a table & soe roule (2) it out.”
- Martha Washington’s Book of Cookery. Karen Hess, ed. pp130-1
A PIPPIN(3) TART
Take pippins of the fairest, and pare them, and then divide them just in the halves, and take out the cores clean: then, having rolled out the coffin (4) flat, and raised up a small verge of an inch or more high, lay in the pippins with the hollow side downward, as close to one another as may be: then lay here and there a clove, and here and there a whole stick of cinnamon, and a little bit of butter; then cover all clean over with sugar, and so cover the coffin, and bake it according to the manner of tarts; and, when it is baked, then draw it out, and, having boiled butter and rose-water together, anoint all the lid over therewith, and then scrape or strew on it a good store of sugar, and so set it in the oven again, and after serve it up.
 pastry;  roll;  A little apple;  the pastry case of the pie
- Markham, Gervase. The English Housewife.(1615/1623) Michael Best, ed. McGill-Queen’s Press: Montreal. 1986.
FOR A 21ST CENTURY KITCHEN
2 cups all purpose FLOUR
6 ounces (1 ½ sticks) BUTTER
½ teaspoon SALT
1 teaspoons SUGAR
6 tablespoon cold WATER
The high butter content in this pastry is going to make it rich and flavorful, and lets you handle it a much more then 21st century pie crust. This is fearless pie pastry! You really can’t handle it too much. It will be so meltingly tender instead of merely flaky.
Mix flour with salt and sugar. Work butter in until it’s crumbly. Add water and mix and mash until it holds together. Add a little more it it’s not holding together, but not too much. When it forms into a great big ball, divide into two parts, one larger then the other – one one-third and the other two-thirds.
Shape into 2 disks, cover with plastic wrap or put into a plastic bag so it doesn’t dry out and let it sit in the fridge for at least 10 minutes and up to overnight.
Meanwhile, make up the filling:
1 POUND APPLES (about 3 medium size one)
1 tablespoon SUGAR
½ – 1 ½ teaspoon CINNAMON
1 teaspoon BUTTER
1 teaspoon butter, melted and 1 teaspoon sugar for the topping
Cut the apples into quarter, peel and core.
Sprinkle a dusting of flour on your work surface. Take the pastry out of the fridge and remove the larger disk from it’s wrapping. This is going to be the bottom of your pie. Put some flour on your hands and dust your rolling pin. Swack the pastry disk with your rolling pin a few times. Roll it out to be and inch or two larger then your pie plate. Roll the pastry unto your rolling pin and transfer it to the pie plate. The high butter content in this pastry is going to make it rich and flavorful; it will be so meltingly tender
Put your cut apples in, round bumpy sided up. Sprinkle with cinnamon, sugar and dot with the butter. This is a flattest tart style pie, not one of the sky high variety.
Remove the smaller pastry disk from it’s plastic, put on your floured surface and swack and roll some more for the upper crust, or lid. Remember, the flour keeps things from sticking, so you should only need a dusting! Cut slits in the pastry, roll around your pin and transfer to the top of the apples.
Roll the edges of the bottom crust to meet the top crust and crimp and seal all around. The edges can be resting inside the pan, right on top of the apples.
Bake at 375 for 45-50 minutes – it’ll smell great and be a lovely golden color. Take out of the oven, brush on the melted butter, sprinkle with rest of the sugar and put back into the oven. SHUT THE OVEN OFF. Leave the pie in the warm oven for at least 10 minutes or through supper so you can eat it warm for dessert.
OR make the pie up, pastry and apples and spice and wrap tightly in a foil and then plastic. Freeze for up two months.
TO BAKE A FROZEN PIE
Heat your oven to 475.
Unwrap the pie. Put the frozen pie in the hot oven. Bake for 20 minutes and then lower the heat to 350 for another thirty minutes. Again, don’t the timer rule you – use your senses! Does it smell done, is the pastry golden brown, not pale? (Of course, if your oven’s hotter, take it out sooner) Then brush the top with melted butter, sprinkle with sugar and put back into the shut off but still warm oven…
Apple Pie is good alone (Apple Pie is GREAT alone) and good for breakfast but also good with ice cream or whipped cream or sharp cheddar or…what do you like with apple pie?