Saturday, September 21, 2013

Apple Pie Patterns

September is apple season in Washington State, and though I no longer live there, I miss the fall trips to the Greenbluff Orchard north of Spokane. They had this variety of apple called Elstar that was just the right blend of sweet and tart, and perfect for baking.

Well Washington exports apples everywhere, so I picked up some Golden Delicious apples at the grocery store. I also took Joy of Cooking's suggestion to make a lard crust to go with this pie. I've never baked with it before, but they say it makes a flakey crust. If you have the book, I made "Apple Pie I" with the lard crust.

apples and lard

bin of peeled apples

uncovered, unbaked apple pie

Here's the pattern bit: I used some small sakura cutters from my bento supplies to make holes for the top.

cutting a pattern into the top crust with bento cutters

So pretty. It stretched out a wee bit when I moved it to the top of the pie.

decorative sakura flower pattern pie crust

But the end result is still cool. And delicious.

assembled pie with sakura blossom pattern

 The end result:

baked pie with flower pattern

This is definitely the flakiest crust I've ever seen, and the pie tastes fantastic. The only downside is it definitely tastes like animal fat. Mixed with the sweetness of the apples it's nice, but on it's own it's a bit strong. I might try subbing half butter or shortening next time to get the best of both worlds.