Growing up, the only way to get any sugar in my body was to sneak the Tang bottle out to the back yard and pour the powder right into my mouth (which I did) or pray that a bite of the previous Sunday’s dessert, always provided by Aunt Janet, was still covered in tinfoil on the counter.
Another secret that we learned together, this week while we baked, is that using baker's sugar (which is sugar that has very small granules, but not as small as powdered sugar) made a difference in the overall sweetness and texture of the pie. Also, this pie is better if you sprinkle flour over the bottom crust before you add the apples.
Thanks to Aunt Janet's precision, this pie is nearly perfect. And thanks to her generosity and sweetness, I was able to make such a wonderful pie as my last one this year.
Aunt Janet's Apple Pie
1 generous cup lard cut into cubes
1/2 cup boiling water
Pour boiling water over lard and whip up together until lard is melted. Chill in the fridge until lard has hardened (about 30 minutes) stiring occassionally to check the progress.
3 cups sifted flour (go lightly on the flour; cups should be slightly rounded but not heaping)
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
After flour has been sifted several times, sift the salt and the sugar with the flour a few times to mix completely.
Once lard has chilled, mix flour mixture into lard until just combined. Roll into two balls. Cover each ball in waxed paper and tin foil and store in refrigerator overnight or until ready to use.
(Makes one 2-crust pie or 100 tarts)
5 to 7 tart apples (Golden Delicious)
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons enriched flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
Pare apples and slice thin, Mix sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and add to apples. If apples aren't tart, add 1 teaspoon lemon juice--or grated lemon peel, if desired.
Fill 9-inch pastry lined pie pan. Dot apples with butter. Cover apples with the top crust. Bake in hot oven (400 degrees) 40 to 45 minutes.