MURPHYSBORO, IL (KFVS) - Folks are gearing up for the 2016 Murphysboro Apple Festival September 14 - 17 and that means baking perfect apple pies for the annual Apple Pie Contest. Heartland Cook Rosie Wece's pies have won the blue ribbon in years past. Now Rosie serves as the chairwoman for the contest.
Rosie taught nearly 40 local kids how to bake a perfect apple pie with no-fail pie crust at the University of Illinois Extension office two weeks ahead of the Apple Festival, and shared the step-by-step recipe.
This year's Apple Pie Contest will feature a brand new junior division with a grand prize of $50, and many of her students say they plan to enter.
For details on how to enter the junior or adult Murphysboro Apple Festival Apple Pie Contest, or the adult Apple Butter Contest on September 15, click here.
No-Fail Pie Crust
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 cup shortening (chilled)
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 7-10 tablespoons ice water
- 7-8 cups apples* peeled, cored and sliced to ¼ inch
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons butter (not margarine)
- *Granny Smith, Jonathan or Golden Delicious apples
Preheat oven and cookie sheet pan to 400 degrees.
Best baked in a glass 9-inch porcelain pie dish. This recipe makes a generous crust for a double-crust 9-inch pie.
Prepare crust. Mix flour and salt together in large bowl.
Cut in shortening with a pastry blender or your fingertips until texture of cornmeal.
In a separate bowl, mix egg, vinegar and 7 tablespoons of ice water.
Add liquid to flour mixture – fluffing flour as you add the liquid. If there is flour mixture not moistened and dough doesn't stay together when you squeeze a handful, add another tablespoon of ice water. Your dough needs to stay together but not be sticky.
Gently shape dough together with your hands.
Divide dough in half and form two round chunks of dough about 5 inches across. Wrap chunks in plastic wrap and refrigerate in the bottom of your refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Peel, core, and slice apples while pie dough is chilling. Place apples in a large bowl and add one tablespoon of lemon juice and gently stir the apples.
Mix dry ingredients for apple mixture and set aside.
Roll out one chunk of dough on a lightly floured surface or between two lightly floured pieces of wax paper. Roll from the center of the dough out to the edge and lift rolling pin at edge. Continue to roll and turn the dough to keep it's round shape. Roll out two inches larger than your pie dish. Place in your pie dish being careful not to stretch the dough.
Put equal amounts of flour and sugar on the bottom crust. This will help keep the bottom crust from becoming soggy.
Roll out the second chunk of pie dough one inch larger than pie plate. For a unique or more creative top crust, use a tiny cookie cutter and cut out designs in the top crust. Moisten the underneath sides of the dough cutouts and place them on the top crust. You may also cut a design or slits with a sharp knife. This is needed to allow the steam to escape.
Add the dry ingredients to the apples. Stir gently to coat all the apples.
Scoop the apple mixture into the prepared bottom pie crust.
Cut two tablespoons of butter into cubes and dot the top of the apple mixture.
Before you place the top crust on the apples, moisten the edge of the bottom crust on the rim of your pie dish with water or milk.
Place your top crust over the apples. Trim both crusts to one inch outside the rim of your pie plate.
Press crusts together and roll the top crust under the bottom crust.
Crimp the edge together by using your thumb and index finger of one hand and index finger of the other hand. Push the dough between the thumb and index finger to form a pretty U or V shape. Continue around the pie plate.
Cover the edge of the pie crust with aluminum foil so edges don't burn.
Bake in a 400 degree oven on a preheated cookie sheet pan for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove the foil from the edges and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Continue baking for another 30-40 minutes (check every five minutes) or until pie is bubbly, apples are tender and the crust is golden brown. If the apples aren't tender and crust is getting too brown, simply cover whole pie with a piece of aluminum foil.
Remove from the oven to cool. Best served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Use a freezer to oven safe pie plate.
Place pie in a zip lock freezer bag and freeze up to three months.
When you are ready to bake the pie, remove from the freezer (leave in the bag) and place in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours – do not thaw the pie completely.
Cover the edge of the pie crust with aluminum foil so the edges don't burn.
Bake in the oven on a preheated cookie sheet pan at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove the foil from the edges, and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Continue baking for another 30-40 minutes (check every five minutes) or until the pie is bubbly, apples are tender and the crust is golden brown. If the apples aren't tender and crust is getting too brown, simply cover the whole pie with a piece of aluminum foil.