Monday, October 18, 2010

Oh my, Apple Pie!

Well- it's been a long day!  I wasn't feeling too good today... this past Friday evening I went into Urgent Care and walked out with 10 days of anitbiotics.  What do I have?  I don't know- not ear infection like I thought.  The  nurse practioner said she "did not trust my throat" followed by a long monologue on how she is dissatisfied with our nation's outdated higher education requirements.  Meanwhile- she struggled with the lab computer- eventrally she explained that she had been confusing the backspace with the enter key.  And out I walkd with amoxycillin sans throat swab or true diagnosis.  Weird. Also weird- not being able to hear much of anything because my my ears are all whaked out.  Humph:(

But anyway- I'll survive!  Here's what's cooking this last week:

Betty Crocker Scrumptious Apple Pie
2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening
4 to 6 tablespoons cold water

1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (8 medium)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine

In medium bowl, mix 2 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).

Gather pastry into a ball. Divide in half; shape into 2 flattened rounds on lightly floured surface. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable. This allows the shortening to become slightly firm, which helps make the baked pastry more flaky. If refrigerated longer, let pastry soften slightly before rolling.

Heat oven to 425°F. With floured rolling pin, roll one pastry round into round 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side.

In large bowl, mix sugar, 1/4 cup flour, the cinnamon, nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Stir in apples until well mixed. Spoon into pastry-lined pie plate. Cut butter into small pieces; sprinkle over filling. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1/2 inch from rim of plate.

Roll other round of pastry into 10-inch round. Fold into fourths and cut slits so steam can escape. Unfold top pastry over filling; trim overhanging edge 1 inch from rim of plate. Fold and roll top edge under lower edge, pressing on rim to seal; flute as desired. Cover edge with 2- to 3-inch strip of foil to prevent excessive browning.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust, removing foil for last 15 minutes of baking. Serve warm if desired.

Did I make my own pie crust?  Heck no, the world gives us these things in the grocery store.  However, I did use these to cut cute little leaf shapes into my pie:
They were a gift from Joe for... our anniversary maybe?  I think that was it- they have these shapes and more fun designs at Williams Sonoma. 

What else is new? Well... I am headed back to school for my Doctorate in Higher Ed Leadership.  Right now I am studying for the GRE (again- did you know your scores expire?) and pulling together all of my application materials.  The first two years will mean traveling for class on Wednesdays nights and taking the whole month of June off for class.  But- by age 30, I'll be done- woot!  I'm excited- I love to learn, so why not get back on the proverbial horse and get back to school?  But, I'm anxious as well- 2 years is a long time to devote all your vacation to educational pursuits. But, I think it will be a good invenstment and a valuable experience. So, here goes nothing- a deep breath and a leap. 

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