The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, July 27, 2001


OHD Pie Baking winners 'In Mom's Memory'

My mother, Isabel Porter Timney, who taught me all that I know about making pies, was born and raised in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. In her early life she taught first grade. However, she spent her most memorable year in a one-room schoolhouse. After marrying a country doctor, she settled into the traditional life of a woman of the time.

My mother was an excellent cook. Homemade soups and stews were part of her repertoire, along with meatloaf so loved by the family pooch that my father suggested she market it as "Mother Timney's Doggie Meatloaf." (That didn't happen.) For my New England kitchen, she cross-stitched the folksy reminder, "kissin' wears out; cookin' don't."

Aside from the canine delight, her crowning culinary achievement was, hands down, her apple pie. How well I recall the routine of her creations. I would "assist" her as she mixed and rolled the dough, taking care to limit its handling. I watched as she peeled and cored the fruit over an aluminum bowl; sometimes she used Macs grown on our tree, but most often, Cortlands were the preferred choice. After she placed the crust on the pie plate, my job was to make air holes in it with the tines of a fork. She then filled the shell with uniformly sliced apples, coated with cinnamon sugar and little chunks of butter. Three gashes were added to the top crust before Mom placed it over the apples and crimped the edges with a fork. Soon the aroma of baking pie filled the kitchen, a mere precursor to the real thing: two layers of thin, flaky crust filled with sweet, spicy apples­pure heaven.

In Mom's memory, this year I took the plunge and offered her magical creation to the Old Home Day celebration. The result: a blue ribbon. Mom would have been so pleased.

Mom's Magic Apple Pie


2 cup flour 1/4 cup cold water

1 tsp. salt 2/3 cup Crisco

1. Sift together two level cups of flour with one tsp. salt.

2. Make a paste with 1/3 c. of this flour and 1/4 c. cold water.

3. Cut 2/3 c. Crisco into the dry flour with a pastry blender.

4. Add flour paste to dry flour. Mix with fork then, briefly, with hands. Shape into two balls. Roll out between sheets of waxed paper.

Pie filling:

6­8 apples 1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/2­3/4 c. sugar 2 tbsp. butter

1/8 tsp. salt lemon juice

1 tsp. cinnamon

1. Peel, core, and slice apples onto crust-lined pie plate.

2. Mix dry ingredients and pour over apples.

3. Sprinkle lemon juice (2 tsp. for sweet apples, 1 tsp. for sour) over the top and add butter cut into tiny chunks Place crust on top.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately one hour or until crust is lightly browned and filling is bubbly.

Chocolate Pecan Pie

Elizabeth Cheever, first place winner in the Junior division

From The All New, All Purpose Joy of Cooking

This recipe makes a 9-inch pie (8 servings)

Note: Using white sugar and light corn syrup, you get a mild, sweet, buttery flavor. To get a dark pie with a caramel-like taste, substitute light or dark brown sugar and/or dark corn syrup.

One pie crust, unbaked with a high fluted rim

2 c. pecans, coarsely chopped

3 large eggs

1 c. sugar

1/2 c. light corn syrup

1 tsp. vanilla or 1 T. dark rum

1/2 tsp. salt

6 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate

whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat to 375 degrees. Spread pecans on a baking sheet. Toast them in the oven, stirring occasionally, until golden and fragrant, 6 to 10 minutes.

2. Whisk eggs, sugar, corn syrup, butter, vanilla or rum and salt until blended.

3. Melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water or microwave on medium (50% power) for 1.5 to 2 minutes.

4. Whisk one quarter of the mixture into the chocolate and then blend in the rest.

5. Stir in the toasted nuts.

6. Warm the pie crust in the oven until hot to the touch. Pour in the filling.

7. Bake until the edges of the pie are slightly puffed and the center seems set but soft, 25-35 minutes. Cool for at least 1.5 hours. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

This pie can be made up to two days ahead. Store in the refrigerator, but let it warm to room temperature or warm in a 275 degree oven for 15 minutes before serving.

+YEAR+ The Carlisle Mosquito