Flashback to September of 2001. The whole world was still in shock from the events of 9/11 and I was off to my freshman year of college at The Ohio State University. I remember those first few days in the dorm. Everything was new - new friends, new classes, a new bed to get used to, overall, a new way of life.
But it was also an emotional time. As if starting college wasn't nerve wracking enough, our entire country was going through one of the scariest, saddest times in our history. I remember going to a candle light vigil a few days after the events. As we stood there honoring the memory of those lost, the glow of thousands of candles filled our hearts with hope that America would persevere, that we would never forget, but that we would rise above the tragedies of that day when so many were lost...
Fast forward almost ten years to May 1, 2011. President Obama appeared on the screen with news we had all been waiting so long to hear - Osama bin Laden was dead. In the words of President Obama, "We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country."
So what better way to thank our military men and women for all that they do than with All-American Apple Pie? I just happened to buy this star pocket pie mold from Williams-Sonoma a couple summers ago and I thought it would add a special touch to this patriotic treat. I don't think this particular mold is still available but they do have a cute apple or you could try using large cookie cutters to make your own.
All-American Apple Pies
makes 7-8 small pies
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. shortening, cut into small pieces, chilled
1/4 c. butter, cut into small pieces, chilled
5-10 tbsp. ice water
1 heaping cup of diced apple (I used granny smith, check this post for a list of baking apples)
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp. water, for egg wash
Combine flour, sugar and salt in food processor. Using on/off turns, cut in shortening and butter until coarse meal forms. Blend in enough ice water, 1 tbsp. at a time, to form moist clumps (I used about 8). Gather dough and form into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, about an hour.
Combine sugars with cinnamon and toss to coat apple. Place in a strainer over a bowl for about 30 minutes to allow some of the juices to drain.
Roll out dough on a clean, floured work surface. Using the pie mold cut out 14-16 stars. If you don't have a pie mold you could simply cut into small squares or try using a cookie cutter.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating your pan halfway through, until crust is golden brown. Remove to a rack and cool completely (if you can wait!) before serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.