Mama's Apple Pie

by Alice Carter

Math by Jim Carter
  • 3 cups general purpose flour
  • 1 cups cooking oil (canola or similar)
  • A little water. More water makes a harder crust.
  • Waxed paper (to roll it on) and rolling pin
  • Pie pan, 12 inch diameter
  • 2 lb apples: 4 big ones or 5 small ones. Granny Smith is the best kind; Pippin is also good; Delicious is useless for pies.
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • butter

If two people are working together, peeling the apples and making the crust can well be done in parallel.

  1. Wash and peel the apples. Cut them into cubes, about 1/4 the apple's diameter on the square sides. Some people say these pieces are too big.
  2. Mix the flour, oil and water in a large bowl. Knead until the flour particles are evenly coated with oil and/or water.
  3. Divide the dough in two equal parts. For each, place it between two big squares of waxed paper and roll it, keeping the thickness uniform, so it is round and a bit bigger than the pie pan (outer diameter of pan plus height times (sqrt(2)-1); the latter term is 0.41). You can turn the pan over to gauge the size. Help the cracks in the perimeter to seal together.
  4. Smear the pie pan with oil to discourage sticking.
  5. From the bottom crust, remove one sheet of paper. Set the crust on a cutting board, then invert the pan on top of it, and re-invert the sandwich. (Or flip the crust into the pan.) Peel off the other paper and help the crust to settle evenly into the pan without tearing. Press out air bubbles. Weld tears and cracks together, if any.
  6. It's about time to preheat the oven to 450F. Arrange the racks so the pie (top rack) will be in the middle of the oven. On the lower rack put a baking pan or a square of aluminum foil with the edges turned up, to catch the drips. But don't block air circulation in the oven.
  7. Mix the sugar, cornstarch and spices.
  8. Put 1/3 of the apples into the pie, then sprinkle 1/3 of the sugar mixture over them. Repeat twice.
  9. Add vanilla evenly, dropwise, on top.
  10. Put little bits of butter on top.
  11. From the top crust, remove one paper, flip it onto the pie, and peel off the other paper. Press the edges of the crust together making a decorative pattern. Martha Stewart would be proud of you.
  12. With a knife, poke about 5 holes various places in the top to let out steam.
  13. Nuke it until steam and maybe a little juice come out. This would be about 8.5e5 joules (neglecting conversion efficiency), or 12 minutes on high in a 1200 watt microwave oven.
  14. Bake at 450F for 12 to 14 minutes to cook the crust. Take it out when the crust begins to turn brown.
  15. Let stand for an hour before serving; it's uncomfortably hot when just out of the oven.