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St. Patty's pie

I'm celebrating St. Patrick's Day this year with an apple pie. I know it's not traditional, or even remotely Irish, but it's been a while since St. Patty's Day involved a boozy late night out for me. With two small children at home, I don't usually make it much past 10 p.m. before falling in a heap on my pillow. So this year I'm celebrating quietly at home with a little green food colouring and a favourite kitchen activity: pie making.

Beyond the sweet delights of pie making - blending and rolling out pastry dough and dusting tart apples with sugar and cinnamon - pie decorating has long been a passion of mine. There's something about messing around in the kitchen with a sort of edible playdough that I love. One day I'll share some photos of some other pies I've decorated and share a little about the techniques I've developed to add colouring, shape leaves with the fingertips, and add detailing with a sharp knife. For now, I'll share an apple pie recipe.

I don't really have a go-to apple pie recipe. I try different ingredients and different amounts each time. But (because I have a blog now) I wrote down what I put into this one so I could share it with you.

Pastry dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
1 egg
1 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp cold water

Mix the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the shortening to the bowl in small pieces along with the butter cubes. Using a hand pastry blender, cut the shortening and butter into the flour until it is crumbly and mostly consistent. Beat the egg, vinegar, and water in a small bowl and add it to the dough, using a fork to stir. Separate the dough into two balls. Roll out one ball and lay it in the bottom of your pie plate.

5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces

In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Add the mixture to the apple slices in a big bowl and mix to coat the apples. Spread the filling into your pie bottom and dot with the butter. Then roll out the other ball of dough to cover your pie. Make a vent on your pie (I cut a shamrock shape on this one, but you can also just do a couple slashes with a knife). Flute the edges. Brush the pie with a beaten egg and sprinkle some sugar on it. Bake at 375 degrees (F) for 55 minutes.

Luck o' the Irish to ya!

How are you celebrating St. Patrick's Day? Are you passionate about pie making? Have you ever tried pie decorating? Leave a comment! I could talk pies all day!