No pain, no gain, right? This pie was definitely one of the worst aesthetic disasters to come out of my kitchen in a long time ;] However, I think you have to know just as much about what doesn't work as you know what does to be a successful cook. Besides, the thing TASTED great! I present, for your viewing pleasure, how to make a very ugly but very tasty apple pie.
2c flour (I used cake flour)
6-8tbsp very cold water
5 tart apples, peeled and chopped
1/2tsp clove powder
1tbsp lemon juice
Combine the dry ingredients for the crust in a large bowl. You're supposed to use a pastry cutter to combine the butter and shortening, which I didn't do. I used the whisk on my countertop mixer -- instead of the crumbly, dry mixture you want for a pie crust, I wound up with a creamy schmaltzy yellow mixture. Either way, let it chill in the fridge for 10-45 minutes.
As you're working on the crust, if your apples are pre-sliced and peeled, let them rest in water combined with the lemon juice so they don't discolor. Drain them when the time comes to make filling. Most people don't cook theirs beforehand; I didn't think it was necessary, and I was right. Anywho. Mix the filling ingredients and set aside.
I brought my crust mixture out of the fridge and it was nowhere near wanting to roll out. So I scooped some in my hand and smeared it all around the bottom of the pan and up the sides, about an inch thick. Put the apple filling into the crust. I still had some left over for the top though, so I decided to attempt a streusel. To do a streusel, you pinch sugar and flour into butter until it turns into crumbs. Instead, after about 1/2c of sugar and 1c flour, I wound up with a mixture that was roll-able. I flattened it and draped it over the apple mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 50-60 minutes.
My primary issue was the crust -- while it tasted heavenly and turned out quite nicely when cooked, the bottom layer was way too soft to work with. Definitely combine your crust using a pastry cutter, you want something crumbly that will stick together when rolled out.
The top was a bit too sweet. Since it was basically a sheet of streusel, this is to be expected. Again, this problem can be avoided by making the crust right ;]
Although this pie was delicious, it's incredibly rich. When I come by a recipe that works and has that magic to it I'll make sure to post it. Otherwise, I'll need to find someone who doesn't mind ugly pies to eat the test batch!