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KPBS Midday Edition

San Diego Food Writer Shares Thanksgiving Pie Recipes, Tips

Lattice Crust Apple Pie
Caron Golden
Lattice Crust Apple Pie
San Diego Food Writer Shares Thanksgiving Pie Recipes, Tips
San Diego Food Writer Caron Golden Shares 3 Pie Recipes To Try This Thanksgiving GUEST Caron Golden, San Diego Foodstuff

San Diego food writer Caron Golden's grandmother taught her how to make pies and she's been making them for decades. But she admits, there's no one way to bake a pie. Over the years, she's picked up new techniques from some of San Diego's top pastry chefs.

On Wednesday's episode of KPBS Midday Edition, Golden shares three of her favorite recipes plus some tips and tricks for making the perfect pie this holiday season.

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Michele Coulon's Apple Pie

1 pound, 5 ounces apples (weigh after peeling and coring)

1 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 ounce butter

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1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon (optional)

2 tablespoons flour

3 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup cream

1 egg

Pre-heat conventional oven to 450°.

Make pastry and set aside.

Peel and core apples, placing in a big bowl. Sift dry ingredients together and add to apples, mixing well. Add 3 tablespoons cream and mix with apples.

Roll out pastry and put in pie tin, having edges hanging over the sides loosely. Fill with apples. Dot apples with butter. Put lattice on top. Using a fork, pinch edges but do not go all the way through the dough with the fork.

Mix together 1/2 cup cream and the egg. Brush egg wash onto lattice and any dough decorations.

Put on a tray and put in the oven for 10 minutes. Turn down the temperature to 350° and bake until apples are cooked -- 30 minutes at first, then probably another 15 minutes. Use the tip of a sharp knife to check. If the tip goes into apple slices easily, they're done cooking.

Southern Pastry from Michele Coulon

Yield: 2 pie crusts, top and bottom. Cut recipe in half for 1 pie.

4 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 pound cold European-style butter, cut into 1-inch chunky pieces

Mix ingredients until coarse crumbs form. Then add 12 tablespoons or 160 grams of ice water. Mix until just blended.

Rachel Caygill's Apple Pie

Pie Crust Ingredients

(for two crusts)

15 ounces flour (half all purpose, half cake)

10 ounces fat (7.5 ounces butter, 2.5 ounces lard)

5 ounces water

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons milk

1/4 cup superfine sugar

Combine the flour and salt. Spread the flour mixture on the counter or a cold marble tile and cut the butter into it. Then roll the butter into the flour. Use a scraper to chop up some of the flour and roll a little more to incorporate. Then cut the lard into the mixture

Make a well in the flour/fat mixture and add the water into the middle. Scrape the flour/fat into the water to create loose dough. When the dough is formed, roll it out into an rectangle, then fold into thirds and roll again. Repeat once more if necessary and shape into a loaf. Refrigerate for 20 minutes and make pie filling.

Preheat the oven to 375˚. Cut the dough roughly in half -- one part should be a little larger for the bottom crust. Roll out that piece large enough to fill the pie plate with a couple of inches overhang. Gently place the dough into the pie plate, then add filling. Roll out the top crust large enough to hang over the the filling and bottom crust overhang. Trim the edges of the crust to even out. Then holding the edges of both crusts, fold under together and tuck into the pie plate. Crimp the edges between two fingers.

Make the eggwash by mixing together the yolk and milk. Brush onto the top crust. Sprinkle the sugar on top. Then slice vents into the top crust and spread the edges slightly. Bake at 375˚ for half an hour, then lower the temperature to 325˚ and bake for another hour until the crust is brown and thick juices run out.

Apple Filling Ingredients

2 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (use a combination of sweet and tart varieties)

6 ounces sour cream

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks

3 tablespoons cornstarch

8 ounces dark brown sugar

4 ounces granulated sugar

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped -- or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

zest from half an orange

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoon cardamom

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon clove

1/8 teaspoon allspice

Combine all ingredients in large bowl, then add on top of bottom crust.

Tina Luu's Chocolate Cream Pie

Flaky Pie Dough

Tina Luu

Yield: 6 patons

Ingredients

1 pound, 8 ounces all purpose flour

10 ounces pastry flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tablespoon salt

1 pound cold butter, cut into big chunks

7 ounces Crisco

1 3/4 cup ice water

Sift together dry ingredients. By hand, cut in cold butter and shortening until they are a mix of fava bean and pea size.

Add water, starting with 1 1/2 cups and only adding more as necessary. Add too much water and you'll have dense dough that won't rise and will look a little gray. Mix until the dough just comes together. It should be rough with striations of butter.

Scale (measure each piece so it weighs 10 ounces) and form patons into a short square that will make it easier to roll out later. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and chill at least two hours but preferably overnight. Or put them in the freezer.

When you're ready to make the pie, flour your surface and roll out the paton until it's 1/6th of an inch thick. If you're making a cream pie, you'll do a blind bake--meaning you'll place the dough into the pie tin and add weights like beans. Bake at 350˚ for 15 minutes or until golden. Remove the weights and bake for another 10 minutes. Let cool, then fill with the pastry cream.

Tina's Crème Patissiere/Pastry Cream

Tina Luu

Yield: 2 pies

We're adding unsweetened chocolate here to make a chocolate cream pie, but you can leave out the chocolate for a basic pastry cream that you can use for all sorts of applications, including fruit tarts.

Ingredients

1 quart whole milk

12 ounces granulated sugar

1/4 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (use both seeds and bean)

6 eggs

3.5 ounces granulated sugar

3.5 ounces cornstarch

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3.5 ounces cold butter

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate

Create a slurry by combining eggs, 3.5 ounces sugar, 1 cup of milk, and cornstarch. Bring to a boil remaining milk, sugar, and vanilla bean, then lower the heat. Temper in egg mixture by adding five ladle fulls of the hot liquid to the cold and then adding the now warmed up mixture to the hot liquid, constantly stirring. This prevents the eggs from curdling.

Bring the mixture back to a boil, stirring constantly but gently as the mixture thickens to a cream. Be sure the bottom doesn't burn. You'll feel it coagulating. Keep stirring to smooth it out. Once it first bubbles (at 212˚), cook for an additional three minutes. Add butter, vanilla extract, and chocolate and mix well. Strain through a sieve. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

To put the pie together, gently fill the baked crust with the pastry cream. You can then pipe whipped cream on top and garnish with shaved chocolate. To make whipped cream, whip together two cups heavy cream, 1/4 cup powder sugar, and 1 tablespoon vanilla.