PASTE for pies should be one-fourth inch thick and rolled a little larger than the plate to allow for shrinking. In dividing paste for pies, allow more for upper than under crusts. Always perforate upper crusts that steam may escape. Some make a design, others pierce with a large fork.
Flat rims for pies should be cut in strips three-fourths inch wide. Under crusts should be brushed with cold water before putting on rims, and rims slightly fulled, otherwise they will shrink from edge of plate. The pastry-jagger, a simple device for cutting paste, makes rims with fluted edges.
Pies requiring two crusts sometimes have a rim between the crusts. This is mostly confined to mince pieces, where there is little danger of juice escaping. Sometimes a rim is placed over upper crust. Where two pieces of paste are put together, the under piece should always be brushed with cold water, the upper piece placed over, and the two pressed lightly together; otherwise they will separate during baking.
When juicy fruit is used for filling pies, some of the juices are apt to escape during baking. As a precaution, bind with a strip of cotton cloth wrung out of cold water and cut one inch wide and long enough to encircle the plate. Squash, pumpkin, and custard pies are much less care during baking when bound. Where cooked fruits are used for filling, it is desirable to bake crusts separately. This is best accomplished by covering an inverted deep pie plate with paste and baking for under crust. Prick with a fork before baking. Slip from plate, and fill. For upper crusts, roll a piece of paste a little larger than the pie plate, prick, and bake on a tin sheet.
For baking pies, eight inch perforated tin plates are used. They may be bought shallow or deep. By the use of such plates the under crust is well cooked. Pastry should be thoroughly baked and well browned. Pies require from thirty-five to forty-five minutes for baking. Never grease a pie plate; good pastry greases its own tin. Slip pies, when slightly cooled, to earthen plates.
Line pie plate with paste. Pare, core, and cut the apples into eighths, put row around plate one-half inch from edge, and work towards centre until plate is covered; then pile on remainder. Mix sugar, nutmeg, salt, lemon juice, and grated rind, and sprinkle over apples. Dot over with butter. Wet edges of under crust, cover with upper crust, and press edges together.
Bake forty to forty-five minutes in moderate oven. A very good pie may be made without butter, lemon juice, and grated rind. Cinnamon may be substituted for nutmeg. Evaporated apples may be used in place of fresh fruit. If used, they should be soaked over night in cold water.
Use same ingredients as for Apple Pie I. Place in small earthen baking-dish and add hot water to prevent apples from burning. Cover closely, and bake three hours in very slow oven, when apples will be a dark red color. Brown sugar may be used instead of white sugar, a little more being required. Cool, and bake between two crusts.
Pick over and wash one and one-half cups berries. Stew until soft with enough water to prevent burning. Add sugar to taste, and one-eighth teaspoon salt. Line plate with paste, put on a rim, fill with berries (which have been cooled); arrange six strips pastry across the top, cut same width as rim; put on an upper rim. Bake thirty minutes in moderate oven.
Line a deep plate with Plain Paste, fill with berries slightly dredged with flour; sprinkle with sugar and salt, cover, and bake forty-five to fifty minutes in a moderate oven. For sweetening, some prefer to use one-third molasses, the remaining two-thirds to be sugar. Six green grapes (from which seeds have been removed) cut in small pieces much improve the flavor, particularly where huckleberries are used in place of blueberries.
Mix flour and sugar, add yolks of eggs slightly beaten and diluted with water. Wash currants, drain, remove stems, then measure; add to first mixture and bake in one crust; cool, and cover with Meringue I. Cook in slow oven until delicately browned.
Beat eggs slightly, add sugar, salt, and milk. Line plate with paste, and build up a fluted rim. Strain in the mixture and sprinkle with few gratings nutmeg. Bake in quick oven at first to set rim, decrease the heat afterwards, as egg and milk in combination need to be cooked at low temperature.
Mix corn-starch, flour, and sugar, add boiling water, stirring constantly. Cook two minutes, add butter, egg yolks, and rind and juice of lemon. Line plate with paste same as for Custard Pie. Turn in mixture which has been cooled, and bake until pastry is well browned. Cool slightly, and cover with Meringue I; then return to oven and bake meringue.
Beat yolks of eggs slightly, add sugar, salt, grated rind of lemon, and milk. Line plate with paste as for Custard Pie. Pour in mixture. Bake in moderate oven until set. Remove from oven, cool slightly, and cover with Meringue III made of whites of eggs, powdered sugar, and lemon juice.
Cover meat and suet with boiling water and cook until tender, cool in water in which they are cooked; the suet will rise to top, forming a cake of fat, which may be easily removed. Finely chop meat, and add it to twice the amount of finely chopped apples. The apples should be quartered, cored, and pared, previous to chopping, or skins may be left on, which is not an objection if apples are finely chopped. Add quinces finely chopped, sugar, molasses, cider, raisins, currants, and citron; also suet, and stock in which meat and suet were cooked, reduced to one and one-half cups. Heat gradually, stir occasionally, and cook slowly two hours; then add brandy and spices.
Mix together one cup chopped apple, one-half cup raisins seeded and chopped, one-half cup currants, one-fourth cup butter, one tablespoon molasses, one tablespoon boiled cider, one cup sugar, one teaspoon cinnamon, one-half teaspoon cloves, one-half nutmeg grated, one salt-spoon of mace, and one teaspoon salt. Add enough stock in which meat was cooked to moisten; heat gradually to boiling-point, and simmer one hour; then add one cup chopped meat and two tablespoons Barberry Jelly. Cook fifteen minutes.
Remove skins from peaches. This may be done easily after allowing peaches to stand in boiling water one minute. Cut in eighths, cook until soft with enough water to prevent burning; sweeten to taste. Cool, and fill crust previously baked. Cover with whipped cream, sweetened and flavored. Fresh strawberries, cut in halves, slightly mashed and sweetened, are attractively served in a pastry case.
Wash prunes and soak in enough cold water to cover. Cook in same water until soft. Remove stones, cut prunes in quarters, and mix with sugar and lemon juice. Reduce liquor to one and one-half tablespoons. Line plate with paste, cover with prunes, pour over liquor, dot over with butter, and dredge with flour. Put on an upper crust and bake in a moderate oven.
Skin and cut stalks of rhubarb in half-inch pieces before measuring. Mix sugar, flour, and egg; add to rhubarb and bake between crusts. Many prefer to scald rhubarb before using; if so prepared, losing some of its acidity, less sugar is required.
Mix sugar, salt, and spice or extract, add squash, egg slightly beaten, and milk gradually. Bake in one crust, following directions for Custard Pie. If a richer pie is desired, use one cup squash, one-half cup each of milk and cream, and an additional egg yolk.