CHEW THIS! Magic Crust Apple Pie

The following “Chew This!” column originally appeared in “The Courier-Times” and / or “The Shelbyville News”. Check their websites for further information and dates.

The Crust of this Pie is Magic!

Blaise Doubman

I remember growing up and watching my Great Grandma Flora make pies. The entire kitchen would be a mess with flour spilling over on countertops and in the sink, vegetable shortening being smeared on spoons and ice water sitting there waiting to be added into the dough. Years later I would watch my Grandma Barbra and Grandma Deloris make some of the same pies. Grandma Barbra would use my Great Grandma’s tip of sprinkling whatever crust pieces was left on top of the pie crust before baking, which is a technique I still use today. My Grandma Deloris’ Mom, my Great Grandma Viola, made pies for The Kennard Café that people still rave about today. Unfortunately, none of her original recipes still exist. After The Kennard Café closed, very little was left behind in terms of kitchen items or recipes. I have been on a pie quest for a few years now, trying to learn anything and everything I can about pies. 

A few years back, in one of my columns here, I wrote about “A Comedy of Errors Apple Pie”. It was a recipe that my Grandma Barbra and I came up with that turned out to be a delicious disaster! In that column I wrote about one of my pie secrets that people still find on my website and write to me about today. What is it? For my fruit pies, I sprinkle a layer of corn flakes into the bottom of the pie, before adding the filling. It creates a barrier between the fruit and the crust that works like magic to ensure that the crust never gets soggy! Nobody ever guesses what the magic trick is either because you can not see or taste the corn flakes! This recipe I am sharing here today is another “magic trick”. This pie recipe literally makes its own crust! No worrying about rolling out the dough or worrying about transferring the crust from the counter into the pie dish. You pour in the batter, top with your favorite fruit filling and when it bakes in the oven, it creates a crust around and under the fruit. I am still amazed at this recipe! 

Magic Crust Apple Pie

Feel free to substitute the apple pie filling with whatever fruit pie filling you desire.

1 cup white all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons white granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

¾ cup cold water

2/3 cup solid vegetable shortening 

1 large egg, beaten

1 can apple pie filling

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 

Start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a 9- or 10-inch-deep dish pie pan with non-stick cooking spray containing flour. 

In a large bowl combine the white all-purpose flour, white granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, cold water, solid vegetable shortening and beaten egg. Combine this thoroughly. 

Pour this mixture into the prepared pie pan and smooth out the top.

In a bowl, combine the apple pie filling with the fresh lemon juice and the ground cinnamon. 

Dollop this mixture into the center of the batter. Do not stir! 

Bake, in preheated oven, 43 minutes. 

Remove, cool completely and serve. 

Ask and Answer: Linda B. of New Castle would like to know if I had heard of, or tried, the new trend of sprinkling ground cinnamon or yellow squirt mustard on sliced watermelon. I have heard of this, yes and have had several friends try it and say it is delicious. Have I personally tried it myself? Not yet but I will. I would also like to try maple syrup and watermelon.

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