So I wanted to learn how to make homemade pie purely because my mom has made homemade pie since I can remember, therefore creating a "pie snob" as I call it. I never had store-bought pie growing up, except at gatherings outside of my parents' house--Mom never outsourced the pie making, she always did it herself. It was usually apple, because that's what she liked, and it was my Dad's favorite, and we all grew to love homemade apple pie. Mom sometimes added cranberries for holidays, and sometimes just did it plain. Here is the fantastic recipe she (and now I) use. (warning, this one is a bit long, but its worth it)
Homemade Apple Pie
2 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c cold shortening
3 tsp cold butter
6 tbsp ICE COLD water, plus 1 tbsp if needed
Sift or whisk together dry ingredients. Add shortening and butter and GENTLY cut in with pastry blender. Add water, and with a fork lightly mix til dry ingredients and butter form a ball. DO NOT OVER MIX. form into disk, kind of like a large hockey puck. Divide disk in half, shape each half into a disk, and wrap each tightly with plastic wrap, then refrigerate at least 2 hours. I usually do this a day ahead and refrigerate 24 hours.
The next day, on a floured board, roll out each disk to a 9 inch diameter round. It should be pretty thin. Lay one crust into pie dish and trim edges with paring knife. DO NOT USE SCRAPS TO RE ROLL--THIS OVER HANDLES THE CRUST AND MAKES IT TOUGH. After trimming the edges, I take the scraps and lay them on a cookie sheet and sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top and bake for about 8 minutes. The second crust will be the top of the pie.
**NOTE**The secret to a great pie crust is handling it as little as possible. The second secret is to use COLD ingredients--cold butter, cold shortening and cold water. Make sure once you add your butter and shortening, you are very careful and dont cut it in too much, and when adding water, don't over mix. Only mix long enough for the ingredients to come together. If it's too crumbly, add a tbsp of water and mix again, but just til it forms the ball. This creates the nice flaky texture you want once its baked.
6 large granny smith apples
3/4 c sugar (I actually use brown sugar, and only about 3-4 tbsp, up to 1/4 c)
2-3 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
Slice and peel apples (I use one of those nifty peeler/corer/slicer things, but Mom likes thicker slices, so you can also hand-cut them). Toss sliced apples with lemon juice, and then stir in sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt.
Fill prepared pie dish with filling, and then lay top crust over the filling. Cut slits in top crust to vent, and then add small pieces of butter to the top to keep pie moist. Bake pie for 30 minutes at 425 degrees, then reduce temp to 350 and bake another 30 minutes.
Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream on top, or like my family does with thin slices of extra sharp cheddar cheese melted on top.