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A slice of Americana

Guests love the smell of warm, fresh apple pie

The purchase of a new apple peeler prompted Grace to break out an old family recipe for classic apple pie.
The purchase of a new apple peeler prompted Grace to break out an old family recipe for classic apple pie.

There is nothing like a fresh, warm pie baking in the oven to say “Welcome!” to family and friends. The aroma of a pie in the oven permeates every inch of the house and makes everyone there feel special. It doesn’t matter what kind of pie it is, as long as it smells good when you bake it. Of course, you absolutely can’t go wrong with apple pie for any occasion.

Today, I am giving you a family apple pie recipe. I don’t even know where it originated. Like many good recipes, it just kind of hangs around and often shows up on holidays. It is tender, delicious and good with ice cream.

You can add whatever you want to this recipe because nobody in our family (or any other     that I know of) has ever claimed ownership of it.

Here is what you will need:

Just Plain Old Apple Pie

6 apples, (more or less, any kind or a mixture of) peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (I use Delicious)   

½ cup of white sugar

½ cup brown sugar

2 ½  tablespoons flour

½ teaspoon real vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2  tablespoons butter or margarine

A little milk to brush over the crust for browning

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a 9-inch pie tin with half the pastry. In a large bowl, combine apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and vanilla. Toss well to blend. Transfer apple mixture to pastry-lined pie tin. Dot with butter. 

Cover apple pie filling with remaining pastry. 

Pinch together edges of top and bottom crust to seal.

With a pastry brush, apply a light coating of milk over the top crust of the pie.

Turn down the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 35 minutes or until done. Make sure the apples are done and soft, even if it takes longer. 

This is really good with ice cream.

I used this super-duper apple corer, peeler, slicer, that does everything at the same time in a circular motion. My high school granddaughter in Ohio had one and I loved playing with it when she visited. I found the apple peeler at a kitchen gadget store in Sterling. A little tip: Don’t try to peel potatoes with it.

Vanilla wafer apple crisp

Here’s a sweet little apple crisp, which is typically faster to make than a pie. This recipe is made with vanilla wafers, apples, and oatmeal.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 55 minutes

8 cups of sliced, peeled apples (about 4 large)

½ cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/3 cup old-fashioned oats

¼ cup cold margarine 

25 vanilla wafers, crushed to about 1 cup crumbs

1 ½ cups of thawed Cool Whip

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss apples with ¼ cup of the brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon. Spoon into a 8- or 9-inch square baking dish.

Combine the oats, ¼ cup brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, in a medium bowl. Cut in margarine with a pastry cutter until coarse crumbs. Add wafer crumbs and mix well. Spread crumb mixture evenly over the apples. 

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until apples are tender. Top with Cool Whip.

If you are like me when it comes to making pie crusts, you may need a little help. Here’s an easy recipe for pie crusts.

Pie Crusts

C&H sugar’s no-roll pie crust   

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

½ cup salad oil

2 tablespoons milk

Combine flour, sugar and salt in a 9-inch pie pan. Mix with fork. Beat oil and milk together with fork. Mix into flour mixture until evenly dampened. Press with fingers in even layers over bottom, up sides, partially covering rims. Flute edges.

Reliable Pie Crust

C&H sugar’s no-roll pie crust

1 cup lard

1 cup margarine

4 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup milk 

1 teaspoon salt

Use a pastry blender or fork to mix lard and margarine with flour and salt. Add milk and roll out for pies.

Makes 6 crusts.

Readers corner

Every place I look lately I see big, luscious strawberries, just waiting to be picked and turned into something wonderful.

There must be about a million strawberry dishes, and there are new ones created every day. I have already seen a dozen new strawberry concoctions this season. So, let's join them and flood Dash of Grace with ideas. Sweet recipes with sweet strawberries.

They can be new recipes, old ones, original or borrowed. I have one to start us off. It is my daughter's idea and she wants to call it "Strawberry Slider." I can't tell you any more yet, but it sounds good.

–From ‘’A Farm Cook”

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