Baking educator award winner Marla Prusa has made it a goal to teach Howells-Dodge, Nebraska high school Family & Consumer Sciences students pie baking. Over many years they’ve baked hundreds of pies for community gatherings, fund-raisers and their own families.
Marla shares how she started baking pie and developed her pastry skills:
“I baked my first pie when I was about 11 years old. My grandma had given us some apricots and my mom said that she was going to town and that I should bake an apricot pie. She gave me a recipe and turned me loose. I had watched her make pies, but had never actually done it before! It actually turned out pretty well. My mom is a wonderful baker and I learned a lot about baking from her.”
Marla’s favorite pie? Apple Pie
Marla continues the tradition of baking pies with home-grown fruits.
“We have apple trees at our farm, so I bake this recipe every fall and as requested throughout the year. This recipe comes from a cookbook that I won when I was a 4-H member. The original recipe for this used nutmeg and less cinnamon, but I like cinnamon, so I added more. The original recipe did not brush the crust with milk and sprinkle the top with sugar, but I always do that.”
Marla’s Apple Pie
Pastry Ingredients (For 8- or 9-inch Two Crust Pie)
2⁄3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
4-5 tablespoons cold water
Fresh Apple Pie Filling (For 8-9-inch pie)
3⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
Dash of salt
6 cups thinly sliced tart apples (about 6 medium)
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine
1. Prepare pastry: Cut shortening into flour and salt until particles are the size of small peas. Sprinkle in water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork until all flour is moistened and pastry cleans the side of the bowl.
2. Gather pastry into a ball; divide pastry into halves and shape into 2 rounds. Roll pastry 2 inches larger than an inverted pie plate between two pieces of waxed or parchment paper. Ease pastry into the pie plate, pressing firmly against the bottom and side. Trim the overhanging edge of pastry 1⁄2 inch from the rim of the pie plate.
3. Prepare apple pie filling: Wash, core, peel (as desired) apples. Mix sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Stir with apples and spoon into the pastry-lined pie plate. Dot filling with butter or margarine.
4. Heat the oven to 425 degreesF. Roll the other round of pastry. Cover filling with top crust Trim the overhanging edge of the pastry 1 inch from the rim of the plate. Fold and roll top edge under lower edge, pressing on rim to seal. Flute edges.
5. Cut slits in the top of the pie. Brush top lightly with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Cover the edge with 2- to 3- inch strips of aluminum foil to prevent over-browning; remove foil during the last 15 minutes of baking.
6. Bake until the crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through the slits in the crust, 40-50 minutes. Cool pie on a wire rack before slicing.
Recipe Source: Betty Crocker Cookbook
Learn from a pro! Marla’s recorded Pie and Pastry how-to just for us!