Pie is one of my favourite desserts and now that I know how to make it from scratch, it’s very dangerous! This pie recipe was handed down from M’s grandmother to his mother, and then to us which makes it very special. Seriously, it’s so special M carries a copy of it in his wallet…
This recipe makes enough dough for three pie crusts and tops. If you don’t plan on eating three pies, you can freeze the pie either before or after cooking them. Just ensure that they are lying flat and level in the freezer!
- 1 block vegetable Crisco
- 7 cups pastry flour (and some more for rolling the dough)
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup water
- Approx. 2 cups of sugar
- 4 tbsp tapioca
- 4 tbsp cornstarch
- Fruit filling (options below)
- 7 apples (I’ve used Gala but Empire is apparently the way to go!)
- 9 peaches
- 500 – 750 grams of blueberries
For best results, this process should take about three days. Day 1 is for dough prep, day 2 for making the pies, and day 3 to eat them once they’ve set.
In a (very) large bowl, sift in 6.5 – 7 cups of pastry flour. Cut your block of crisco into chunks and add to the flour. I normally keep the Crisco in the fridge but it can be used at room temperature as well. Using a pastry blender, blend the mixture until it is similar to a crumble mixture. Cover your bowl and put it in the fridge for at least 4 hours. It works much better, though, if you leave it in the fridge overnight!
Preheat oven to 400F. Once your dough is done resting in the fridge, you can start to prepare your crust. In a small cup, mix 2 eggs with 1/4 cup of water. This will be your egg wash and binding agent for the crust. To make the bottom pastry, scoop 2 cups of dough mixture into a bowl and add 2 tbsp of the egg wash. Use your hands to blend the mixture and shape the dough into a flat, circular shape. Spread some pastry flour on your counter top and place down your dough. Sprinkle some flour on top of the dough and get ready to roll! When rolling out the dough, it is important to maintain an even thickness throughout the pastry. If you can, flip your dough and add flour to each side so that it does not stick when you want to lift it. When you are ready to lift the crust into the pie dish, use a regular dinner knife to help you lift the crust. If it cracks, don’t worry! You can always use a bit of egg wash to meld it back together once it is in the pie dish. Continue this process for the rest of the bottom layers.
Once you have the bottom layers complete, you can prepare the fruit!
If you are using apples, simply peel and core the apples then slice into 0.5 cm thick slices. Mix the apples with 2 tbsp of cinnamon and 1/2 cup of sugar. Once everything is mixed you can pie the apples into the pie dish. The pile should be like a mound (taller in the middle, lower on the sides).
For peaches, peel and slice the peaches. Mix the peaches with 1/2 cup of sugar (depending on the ripeness you may need more or less), 1tbsp of tapioca and 1 tbsp of cornstarch. Add the peach mixture into the pie dish.
For blueberries, follow the same directions as peaches (just without the peeling!).
Once you have fruit in you pie dishes, you are ready to make the top crust. Scoop 1.5 cups of dough mixture into a bowl and add 1 tbsp of the egg wash. Use your hands to blend the mixture and shape the dough into a flat, circular shape. Spread some pastry flour on your counter top and place down your dough. Sprinkle some flour on top of the dough and get ready to roll! When rolling out the dough, it is important to maintain an even thickness throughout the pastry. If you can, flip your dough and add flour to each side so that it does not stick when you want to lift it. Before placing the top layer of dough over the fruit, spread some of the egg wash on the outer edge of the bottom crust. This will create a seal with the top layer. Gently place the top layer over the fruit and use a knife to slice off any extra edges that hang over the pie dish. To create the classic pie crust edge, use your left thumb and pointer finger and right thumb to press the edges together.
Place pies in your oven (if you have space for all of them) on baking trays to catch any spills. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes then turn the oven down to 360 and continue to bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown.
Once the pies are done, I let them stand in a cool place overnight to let the fruit and pastry set. Then they are ready to serve with some classic vanilla ice cream!