Recipes for single-crust fruit pies
Enjoy a delicious single-crust fruit pie.Single-crust fruit pies need a topping to keep fruit from becoming tough or burnt-looking in the oven. These recipes feature apples but can be used as easily for peaches, plums or pears.
Single Pie Crust
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup shortening
- Pinch of salt
- 2-3 Tbsp. cold water
Prepare and mound in prepared crust:
- 6 cups thinly sliced apples (peaches, pears or plums)
- ¾ cup white or brown sugar
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp. nutmeg
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- Dash of salt
- 2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
Crumb/Streusel Topping for One-Crust Pie
- 6 Tbsp. butter or margarine (cold)
- 1 cup cake or cookie crumbs
- or ¾ cup all-purpose flour plus 6 Tbsp. white or brown sugar
- Optional: ½ chopped walnuts or pecans
Combine with knife/fork/pastry knife till resulting crumbs are pea-sized. Pour over apple filling, pressing down very lightly, to cover completely.
Sour Cream Variation: When you prepare apple-filling, use brown sugar instead of white. Omit butter to dot; instead, spread filling with 1 cup sour cream (full-fat, low-fat, or fat-free).
Additions to Filling
These will help you turn your single-crust fruit pies into personal classics:
- 1 Tbsp. grated lemon peel and a squeeze of lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. grated orange peel and a squeeze of juice
- ½ cup broken walnut or pecan meats
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup chopped dried, pitted prunes or dried apricots.
For a spicier pie, increase cinnamon to 1 tsp. or add ½ tsp. powdered ginger to nutmeg and cinnamon.
Deep Dish Single-Crust Fruit Pies
- Lightly grease 2-quart casserole (almost any shape will do, although a deep - 1 ½ to 2 inches deep - casserole will work better than a shallow one).
- Put fruit filling into prepared casserole.
- Roll out crust to fit (plus an extra half-inch for crimping).
- Cut steam-vent slashes in crust, fold in quarters, unfold on top of filling. It's fun to practice fancy garnishes on this since assembly is so simple.
- Roll pie-crust scraps and use a knife to cut an apple-shape, leaves, or any other decorations that appeal.
- Add 1 Tbsp. water and 1 tsp. sugar to a beaten egg-white. Use it to 'glue' your decorations on the crust (don't block all your steam-vent cuts).
- Fifteen minutes before pie is ready to remove from the oven, use a pastry brush to glaze the entire crust with egg-white mixture.
Free-Form Fruit Pie
Now that we've tried fruit pies upside down, it's time to change the shape. A free-form pie can be baked on a foil-covered cookie sheet or a pizza pan. You don't crimp the pie crust but may want to crimp the foil (juicy pies can drip).
- Double the pastry recipe at the top of this page.
- Roll out as much pastry as you will need for a 16-inch circle on a waxed-paper-covered, flour-dusted surface. Dust your baking pan lightly with flour.
- Fold pastry into quarters, ease onto your cookie-sheet or pizza pan, unfold. (You are likely to have some pastry dough left, but see Uses for Leftover Pastry below.)
- Refrigerate dough on pan while you prepare:
- 4 cups thinly-sliced apples
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ scant cup all-purpose flour
- ¼-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- ¼-1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- Pinch of salt
- 2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
- Stir together all ingredients except butter.
- Remove crust from refrigerator; cover slightly more than half of crust with apple filling.
- Dot filling with butter or margarine.
- Bring edges of pastry toward center of pie. Feel free to trim out heavy folds or overlaps as you gather edges toward the center.
- Leave a space at least 2 inches in diameter in the center of the pie—no need for steam vents.
- Moisten any pastry edges that do not want to stick to each other. Trim as desired (or not); egg-white wash, if you like.
- Bake 10 minutes at 400 degrees to set the pastry; reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake another 30-40 minutes until crust is browned and apples are soft (test with fork).
- Loosen pie from foil, cool on a breadboard or rack, or serve warm from the oven.
Uses for Leftover Pastry
Make a ball of pastry scraps. Roll out into either a rectangle or circle. Cover dough with:
- Cinnamon sugar
- Parmesan cheese mixed with a little softened butter
- Grated cheddar cheese
- Roll up the rectangle and cut ½-inch slices to make 'snails.' (In German, these little 'snails' are called 'schnecken,' which means 'cut.')
- Cut circle into wedges and make a pastry-pizza. These tidbits can get children involved in baking.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes on a lightly-greased cookie sheet.