My kids had a great time making homemade apple pies at the homeschool coop! They love to see friends and play games, but baking has a special place in their heart. They absolutely love to cook (not clean up dishes though), and I think baking is their favorite. When they heard we were going to bake apple pies, the were so excited, it is all they talked about for days.
They washed and peeled lots of apples. They peeled the apples with both a hand peeled, and a machine peeler. For the hand peeler, they stood over the sink and their peelings dropped away as they scraped the peeler against the skin of the apple. This was a lot of work, and fun to do with one apple, but their arms quickly became tired to do very many this way. The machine peeler does three actions all at once as the children turn the handle. It peels, cores, and slices the apple into long spiral slices and is called an Appel Peeler Corer Slicer. It gets right to the point! It seriously cuts the work of preparing apples into an easy task of just putting the apple on and turning the handle!
The kids learned to make homemade pie crust from flour, water, and shortening. They blended these together with a hand-held cutter. As they pressed the cutter into the flour mixture, it broke it down into itty bitty pieces like small crumbs. Eventually the whole thing works into a soft ball of dough almost like play dough.
Next the kids rolled the dough out on the counter with a rolling-pin. They placed extra flour on the surface of the counter so the dough would not stick and was easy to flip and turn to roll again.
When the dough was thin enough, they placed the dough over their pie pan and cut away the excess that hung past the edge of the pan. Then they learned to crimp the edge of the crust to make it look pretty and also to prevent shrinkage.
Next they filled their pie shells with sliced apples, cinnamon, sugar, vanilla, salt, and butter. They rolled out more pie dough, and cut it with a pizza cutter into strips. They topped the pies with strips of dough and made designs. Some made a lattice design, others made their initials of their name, or some made hearts and others made butterflies, and one also topped their crust with a crumb topping and more cinnamon and sugar. They could design the top however they wanted too.
The pies baked in a hot oven at 375 degrees for about 35 to 45 minutes until they were golden brown. All of the pies turned out beautiful. Each one had a unique personal touch made by the kids.
I loved seeing and smelling all of these pies baking at once. Thankfully we had two ovens available to bake all of these pies so they could finish about the same time.
While the pies baked, the kids got all hot and sweaty in the gym. They actually took turns peeling apples, making dough, making pies, etc and the kitchen adjoins the gym, it so the kids played in the gym off and on between turns in the kitchen. This worked out perfectly! Man I wish I had a gym at home adjoining the kitchen! Just imagine all the pies and exercise we could get done! Ha, ha! I could go for a double oven baking area too!