A cooking and baking journal

Not My Best Showing

11/15/09: Pizza and Apple Pie from Scratch

Meal details: For the main course I made three different types of pizzas: Broccoli and Parmesan, BBQ Chicken, and Traditional. For dessert I made two apple pies, one with Gravenstein apples and the other using apples picked from a wild apple tree growing on our farm.

Defining moments: This would be my first time making apple pie! Can you believe that one?

Recipe sources: I came up with the pizza toppings but I used a recipe created by Cat Cora for the dough. Check it out here. I chose this recipe because I am part of the Food Network Chefs Cooking Challenge that is being hosted by the writer of the I Blame My Mother blog. (Learn more about this fun challenge by visiting this page.)
For the pie now. I made the pie crust using the following recipe that came from The New Antoinette Pope School Cookbook, but I did shorten the instructions significantly.


2 ½ cups all-purpose flour -- sifted
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup shortening (we use butter flavored Crisco)
7 tablespoons cold milk (about)

Sift together dry ingredients and with pastry blender, cut in shortening until mixture looks like coarse meal. Add enough milk until dough appears moist but not wet. Try not to use more than 7 tablespoons unless necessary to hold dough together. Turn dough out and knead for a few seconds to hold mixture together. Handle as little as possible. Roll out using your favorite technique.

I didn't follow a recipe for the apple pie filling, I just did what Annemarie usually does. Which is...

Apple Pie Filling:

2 tablespoons flour
8 cups of apple slices *
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter


Place bottom crust in pan and dust with the flour. Add the apple slices and sprinkle sugar on top, no need to mix. Dot apples with butter. That's all there is to it! No cooking whatsoever.

* I used Gravenstein and a wild apple for my pies this time. For those who are interested in making their own, I suggest using the following varieties: Northern Spy, Idared, Jonathan, and Empire.

What I learned: It was difficult for me to make six, 10" sized pizzas using Cat Cora's pizza dough recipe. There just was not enough dough to work with, and because of this I had to break out a box of pizza dough mix. So if you are going to do this recipe, expect four, 10" sized pizzas or six, 6" sized pizzas. The dough is lovely to work with by the way!
I learned something invaluable this week and that is to bake my apple pies for a longer time! I've only done one type of fruit pie before and that was peach. With a peach pie it is easy to tell when it is done because you just wait until the peach juice bubbles. But this is not so with apple pie. So I was having a hard time deciding when to grab my potholders and I ended up under baking. Oops! :( Next time I will bake them at 350 degrees for 45 minutes and no less.

Any modifications? No, I followed the pizza dough recipe exactly.

How it tasted? The pizza dough was delicious and I liked how thin I rolled it out. Everyone liked the Broccoli and Parmesan pizza the most; the BBQ Chicken came in second.
The pies were just OK namely because of me under baking them. I was really disappointed by that! The wild apple didn't impart enough flavor; won't be using them again.

How about a 2nd time? I will be using the pizza dough recipe again but will double the recipe or just make one large one.

The Broccoli and Parmesan Pizza. I simply brushed the dough with olive oil, pre-baked it for two minutes, added the vegetables and cheese, then placed it back into the oven for 20 minutes at 375.

This is the BBQ Chicken version. I pre-baked the crust for two minutes, added the BBQ sauce, chicken, and mozzarella, then placed it back into the oven.

This is the Traditional Pizza. It is larger than the others and the dough was made using a boxed mix and some of Cat Cora's dough. The toppings are store bought pizza sauce, chicken, and a Monterey Jack/Colby cheese mix.

Mr. Apple Pie, I hope our next meeting shall be more pleasant.


  1. I'm glad to know you liked her pizza dough recipe, it was one that I bookmarked but didn't get to. The chicken BBQ pizza sounds absolutely delicious right now!

  2. I love making my own dough. I have an OK recipe but will try out this one. I haven't found the *one* yet that I will use as my go-to pizza crust. The broccoli and parm pizza looks amazing! I love veggies on my pizza and could use one of those right now. Thanks for cooking along with us. Can't wait to see what recipe you find next.

  3. I just love making my own pizza dough, I have made several different recipes, I will have to give this one a go.