March 5, 2014

The Promise Pie


     Good Morning!  There are tons of things that go into my books and Piecrust Promise was no exception. I wanted to share a few more photographs and bits of information. Also last night I got to taste the beautiful apple crumb pie that is on the cover of the book. It was delicious! The pie was made by my daughter Jessica. She is an extraordinary pie maker, of all types and sizes, and has told me that when she bakes pies it's as if it takes her to another time and place. When she shared with me the kind of things that go through her mind while she's baking she inspired the description of Corrine and Lee at the beginning of Chapter Sixty-Six. When I needed a pie for the cover of the book I knew right where to go and I was thrilled that she shared her thoughts, I was looking for a pie but I got so much more.

      I have to say the same for all of the readers who visit here, everyone who messages me, emails me and takes the time to put their reviews up online. I love to write but it's much harder in a vacuum. When I hear from my readers I learn and I'm inspired. You, sitting right there, right now, reading this, you are the reason I will always want to keep writing. That's right, you. 

      I wanted to share a map I found online as part of my research for Piecrust and the Oklahoma Land Rush. I love a map, it always offers so much perspective. This piece is one I found really inspiring. The second map is more detailed and shows the major rivers in Oklahoma, rivers that would have had to be crossed during the Land Rush. Piecrust Promise takes place in April of 1889.

      The next picture is a very inspirational view of Fort Reno in an 1891 lithograph. If you look closely maybe you can see Lee Highland's quarters <wink>.

      And last, but certainly not at all least, here is the Promise Pie Recipe. I hope you try it, in your kitchen, or your imagination. Again thank you so much for visiting!!!

The Promise Pie
From the kitchen of Jessie Ramsey ©2014

Promise Apple Crumb Pie

1 unbaked Basic Flaky Pie Crust
Pie Filling
Crumb Crust

 Jessie’s Basic Flaky Pie Crust:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup cold, unsalted butter cut into pieces
½ cup cold water
½ cup cold vegetable shortening cut into pieces

Mix the flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Drop the cut pieces of butter into flour mixture. Toss to coat butter. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it is broken into pieces the size of small peas. Add the vegetable shortening. With pastry blender, cut shortening into the mixture the same as with the butter. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of water over the flour mixture and toss it with your hands. Continue to add water one teaspoon at a time, mixing it with your hands, until the pastry packs into a semi-sticky ball. Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight. Remove pastry from plastic wrap and flatten with hands until it is about 1 inch thick. Roll out on a floured surface into desired thickness and size. Press into a lightly oiled and floured pie dish. 

Pie Filling :
3 Medium Granny Smith Apples
4 Macintosh Apples
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup light brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
¾ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons instant flour
Filling Directions:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Wash, peel and core the apples. Slice the apples into ½ inch thick pieces (thin pieces tend to get soggy). Mix the apples in a large bowl with the fresh lemon juice. Melt the butter in a large pot or skillet over medium heat. Add apples to melted butter and sauté apples until the edges begin to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. In a separate bowl, mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, and granulated sugar. Add sugar mixture in with the apples until apples are completely coated. Sprinkle mixture with instant flour and allow mixture to cool to room temperature. For a thicker pie filling, add more instant flour if desired. While mixture cools, prepare crumb crust.

Crumb Crust :
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sliced almonds
6 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pieces
1 tablespoon milk
Optional: Replace 1 cup of sliced almonds with ½ cup of sliced almonds and ½ cup unsweetened flaked coconut

Crumb Crust: In a food processor, combine the flour, granulated sugar, salt, almonds and coconut (if using). Pulse until mixed. Pour mixture into a bowl and add butter. With a knife or a pastry cutter, cut butter into mixture until mixture forms small crumbs. Sprinkle with milk and mix with hands, pinching any leftover butter chunks until uniform.
Assemble Pie:
Once the apple filling is cooled, place pie crust into a lightly oiled and floured pie dish and fill with apple mixture. Place pie crust shield over exposed crust or wrap crust in aluminum foil. Place pie on the baking sheet to catch drips and avoid a soggy crust bottom. Place pie in center of oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove pie from oven and reduce temperature to 375°F. Carefully scoop crumb topping into the center of the pie slowly spreading it toward the outer crust. Press down gently on crumb crush to pack it down on top of apple mixture being careful not to burn hands on any apple mixture.  Place pie back into center rack of oven on baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil or baking shield. Continue baking for 15 minutes or until juices around the crust begin to bubble or crumb crust begins to darken. Remove from oven and cool on rack about an hour before serving.

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