For long years after they stopped going north, Mom wondered if she would ever taste those treats again. Then, in 1964, while we were living in Madison, WI, ourselves, she stumbled across this recipe in -- of all places -- the Chicago Tribune. At first glance, she wasn't convinced the recipe was anything even remotely like what she remembered, but after baking it once, she was transported to her own youth. It has been a favorite for our family ever since.
One warning -- a single batch may not be enough. Mom usually triples this (with a little extra fruit to give it a boost), and fills a jelly roll pan, to keep Pop happy.
2 c. sifted flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. lard
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1/2 c. ice water
1 1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. corn starch
1 1/4 c. water
3 lbs. apples, pared, cored, and cut into 16 equal pieces
Preheat over to 450ºF.
Sift together flour, baking powder, salt for crust. Cut in lard until coarse crumbs. Mix lemon juice, egg yolks & ice water. Add to flour mixture. Blend gently with a fork or pastry blender. Mixture is very moist. Turn out onto waxed paper or plastic, wrap tightly & securely. Chill for at least six (6) hours or overnight.
To prepare filling: mix sugar, cinnamon, salt & corn starch in a medium to large saucepan. Add water. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Add apples, cook 10 minutes more on low heat.
Divide dough in half. Roll first half on a generously-floured pastry cloth, into a rectangle about 11"x 15" using cloth-covered rolling pin. Roll dough up on rolling pin gently, turn out onto a 13"x 9"x 2" pan. Bring dough up against the sides of the pan about 1 inch. Scoop apple mixture and ladle into pan [note: Mom usually drains most of the liquid away from the spoon & puts just the tasty apples in the crust, saving the syrupy solution for other uses, such as an ice cream topping or pancake syrup]. Roll remaining dough to fit top of pan. Cut steam vents, then lay crust over apples. Pinch edges together to seal well. (If you like, at this time you should sprinkle sugar over the top, for a glistening, glittery, crispy crust.)
Bake in oven at 450º for 20 minutes, reduce to 350ºF, continue to bake for another 30 minutes. Cool in pan on cooling rack. You may wish to drizzle a light confectioner's sugar icing over the top [note: Mom has used a little of the syrup from the apples as a substitute for milk or water, mixing it with the confectioner's sugar for a tasty, cinnamony, thicker drizzled icing. Our favorite topping, though, is large-crystal decorative sugar she knows as "hagelzucker", but is available via any Wilton's cake decoration supplier, if you don't have an Amish/German community nearby from whom to buy baking goods. Of course, they really need no embellishment].