Pie makes elegant treat


Iris Gerakios of St. Augustine, Fla., wrote requesting a recipe for French Cream Apple Pie. "It was a Betty Crocker or Pillsbury prize winner in the 1960s. It had a top crust with a slit and was baked the usual way. It was delicious warm or cold."

Jeanne Matheny of Bel Air responded with a copy of the recipe from Pillsbury's 14th Bake-Off Cookbook, copyright 1963.

French Apple Creme Pie

Makes 1 9-inch pie

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup shortening

6-7 tablespoons cold water

3/4-1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

5 cups peeled, sliced apples (about 5 medium)

2 tablespoons butter sugar, to sprinkle

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 (3-ounce) package softened

cream cheese

1/2 cup sour cream

Sift together flour and salt. Cut in shortening until particles are the size of small peas. Sprinkle water over mixture while tossing and stirring lightly with a fork. Add water to driest particles, pushing lumps to side, until dough is moist enough to hold together. Divide in half and form into balls. Flatten to 1/2-inch thickness. Roll out one portion on floured surface to a circle 1 1/2 inches larger than an inverted 9-inch pie pan. Fit into pan.

Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon zest. Add apples; stir to coat. Turn into pastry-lined pan. Dot with butter.

Roll out remaining dough. Cut 1 1/2- to 2-inch hole in center of pastry. (Sauce will be poured through.) Moisten rim of bottom crust. Place top crust over filling. Fold edges under bottom crust, pressing to seal. Flute. Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 375 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes until apples are tender and crust is browned.

Combine eggs, sugar and lemon juice in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add cream cheese and sour cream, and stir until smooth. Pour sauce through opening of pie while cooked pie is still warm. Cool completely before serving.

Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "Although it is somewhat vague on the 'cut' one is to make in the upper crust, I think a decorative cookie-cutter shape (heart or star) makes a nice-looking pie into which the sauce can be easily spooned. The sauce slowly melts into the juicy, cooked apples under the top crust, forming a kind of soft custard. This is an elegant dessert, especially when just slightly warm, and it requires no whipped cream or ice cream. I don't know how 'French' it is. It seems about as all-American as they come. If the upper crust begins to brown too much, cover it loosely with foil during the final minutes of baking."

Recipe requests

* Erma A. Freburger of Baltimore says she has been looking for a recipe for Rice Florentine Soup and has not had any luck. She asked: "Can you help?"

* Marie Kursave of Rapid City, S.D., writes that she wants a pumpkin-cookie recipe and a fruitcake recipe that she lost. The cake called for applesauce as the liquid and was more like an all-spice cake with candied fruit, she said.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278. If you send in more than one recipe, please put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letters may be edited for clarity.

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