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Let’s Cook: Pie Makes Everything Better

On a shelf in our kitchen resides a plaque that says: “Pie Makes Everything Better.” This is certainly one statement that is true! Maybe we could go as far to say that “Pie Fixes Everything.” We have generously been given plenty of beautiful apples this fall. Apples simmering on the stovetop creates a wonderful aroma in the kitchen. This week the aroma of apple pie baking has been delightful too.

Combining apple and cranberries into a pie is one of my favorite ways to use the apples of fall. The end result of blending these two is beautiful with contrasting deep red berries against white apples, and as the juices bubble, you can be guaranteed that shades of rosy pink will appear.

This past summer I purchased a wonderful cookbook at a rummage sale. I had been aware of this cookbook but did not have one. The cookbook has 235 pages and has the title of “Memories of The Good Doctor.” It is a cookbook created in tribute and honor to Dr. B. Z. Hordinsky and his wife, Irene, with recipes from their collections and from their admirers. It is an enjoyable read because the recipes are combined with reminiscences and testimonials to them from friends and a history of their remarkable and giving lives which started in Ukraine.

Bohdan and Irene were married in 1938, and their early lives involved many moves. As war swept across Europe and caused concern, they marked time in Vienna, Berlin, Salzburg, New York and finally true settlement came when they and their two sons and newborn daughter moved to Drake, North Dakota. Dr. Hordinsky’s vast medical knowledge and triumphs brought in patients from all over the state of North Dakota as well as the country.

Usually the first pages that I turn to in a new cookbook are pastry. In this cookbook on page 124, I discovered a fine recipe for pie crust. It is called Perfect Pie Crust and was submitted by Katerine Gatz, of Ashley, ND. I am always up to trying another pie crust recipe. This recipe does not disappoint. It is easy to make and uses vegetable shortening rather that lard. The way it rolls out after freezing is inspiring and makes it easy to create delicious pie with little effort.

This cookbook is filled with many tried and true recipes that were submitted from folks in North Dakota and other places, too. The beginning of the book features much of their thought-provoking family history along with recipes and several photographs from Dr. and Mrs. Hordinsky. It is a fascinating cookbook and one that offers many excellent recipes. Thank you to Drake Community Club for compiling this history-cookbook that honored “The Good Doctor and Irene.”

The cranberry apple pie recipe is one that I picked up when I lived in Massachusetts. It is easy and a favorite in our home. I have served this pie with vanilla ice cream and a fresh orange cranberry sauce. It is not only delicious, but beautiful.

Perfect Pie Crust

Katerine Galz, Ashley, ND

4 cups unsifted flour, lightly spooned into cup

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons salt

1 ¾ cup vegetable shortening

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 egg

½ cup water

Mix flour, sugar and salt well. Blend in shortening with fork or pastry blender. Mix together water, egg and vinegar. Combine both mixtures with fork. Divide according to the size of pie plates. Form into balls and wrap each in plastic wrap, chill at least ½ hour before rolling. This dough freezes well.

When rolling out the crust making one-eighth-inch thick and roll into a circle that is larger than your pie plate. Drape it over the rolling pin and transfer it to pie plate. A good rule for rolling out the bottom crust for a 9-inch pie plate would be to roll a 12-inch circle. This will allow for easy draping of the crust.

Cranberry Apple Pie

Use the above crust

Filling:

1 cup cranberries, which can be coarsely chopped or left whole.

4-5 large tart apples, such as Granny Smith

1 ½ cups sugar

1 tablespoon grated orange rind

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons flour

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Chop cranberries, if desired. Peel and core the apples and slice them into wedges.

Combine the cranberries, apples, sugar, orange rind and flour in a large mixing bowl and toss until the sugar is completely distributed. Sprinkle cinnamon on and stir again.

Transfer the mix to prepare pie shell, mounding it high in the center. Moisten the edges of the pie shell with water. Place top crust on top of cranberry apple mixture, trim off any excess dough and crimp the rim.

Brush the surface of the pie with the egg yolk beaten with one teaspoon of water. Pace the pie in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for 50 minutes longer. When baking for this long, it is good to cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil.

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