Text, recipe and photo by Chef Joey
Chef Joey (pictured above) made these yummy “pies in a pan”!!!
Why is it that in the fall seems to be the time to make a plethora of pies? Albeit Pumpkin, Apple, Blueberry or America’s favorite Strawberry Rhubarb.
Pies have existed since the Ancient Egyptians started making them and drawing them. Romans also make pies…maybe Cleopatra’s chef gave out the recipe, but the Greeks also made pies or as we now call them Pitas. The first actual published pie recipe was a Roman rye-crusted goat cheese and honey pie.
Old England pies or Pyes as they wrote appeared around the 12th century and predominantly meat filled and had very thick crusts that were called “coffyn”. Then in the 1500’s along came and fruit pies or tarts and pastries were born and the British take credit for the 1st cherry pie to Queen Elizabeth the 1st.
Pies came to the States with the settlers and the crust was seldom eaten and just the filling was consumed. It was around the time of the American Revolution that the word coffin was changed to “crust” – we sure showed them who means business. Pies nowadays are “the most traditional American dessert”. Pie has become so much a part of American culture throughout the years, that we now often use the term “as American as apple pie.”
Now that the trivia part let’s get to the basics, everyone has a pie recipe and quite frankly they are as easy to make as toast – weather it is an open pie like the Skillet Blueberry in the picture, lattice top or crusted on top – it’s an inexpensive and wonderful desert that goes with everything. Here is my favorite and easiest crust recipe – they are basically all the same – I only use butter in my crusts as I am not a fan of shortening.
For 1 crust combine 1 ¼ cup flour – add ¼ tsp salt then take ½ yes ½ pound of butter and cut it into tiny pieces and mix (cut) it in with the flour until it is sandy like – add up to ¼ cup COLD water form into a ball and refrigerate until ready to use – roll it out and fill it up! Double the recipe for 2 crusts.
Any fruit will do for the filling or even puddings – bake the shell first – a couple other things you can do – substitute orange juice for the water to add a zing to your pie – and for the flakiest crust – whip up some egg whites and paint the top shell of your pie then sprinkle a little sugar to the wet surface – it comes out awesome!!!
For a regular apple pie – peel and core 8 or so apples and cut into small pieces (the smaller the pieces the faster they cook) toss 3 tbsp sugar and 4 tbsp flour (you can add raisins too- Just soak them first so they don’t dry up and stay plump) put the apples in the shell – dot with butter – place the top crust seal it and bake 375 for about 30 mins depending how you cut your apples – use a long thin skewer to test the pie – if you feel chunks it is not done – it should go in smooth. You can substitute just about any fruit for the apples – ENJOY!