Fruit pies for family use, are generally made with common paste, allowing three quarters of a pound of butter to a pound and a half of flour.
Peaches and plums, for pies, should be cut in half, and the stones taken out. Cherries also should be stoned, and red cherries only should be used for pies.
Apples should be cut into very thin slices, and are much improved by a little lemon-peel. Sweet apples are not good for pies, as they are very insipid when baked, and seldom get thoroughly done. If green apples are used, they should first be slewed in as little water as possible, and made very sweet.
Apples, stewed previous to baking, should not be done till they break, but only till they are tender. They should then be drained in a cullender, and chopped fine with a knife or the edge of a spoon.
In making pies of juicy fruit, it is a good way to set a small tea-cup on the bottom crust, and lay the fruit all round it. The juice will collect under the cup, and not run out at the edges or top of the pie. The fruit should be mixed with a sufficient quantity of sugar, and piled up in the middle, so as to make the pie highest in the centre. The upper crust should be pricked with a fork,or have a slit cut in the middle. The edges should be nicely crimped with a knife.
Dried peaches, dried apples, and cranberries should be stewed with a very little water, and allowed to get quite cold before they are put into the pie. If slewed fruit is put in warm, it will make the paste heavy.
If your pies are made in the form of shells, or without lids, the fruit should always be stewed first, or it will not be sufficiently done, as the shells (which should be of puff-paste) must not bake so long as covered pies.
Shells intended fur sweetmeats, must be baked empty, and the fruit put into them before they go to table.
Fruit pies with lids, should have loaf-sugar grated over them. If they have been baked the day before, they should be warmed in the stove, or near the fire, before they are sent to table, to soften the crust, and make them taste fresh.
Raspberry and apple-pies are much improved by taking off the lid, and pouring in a little cream, just before they go to table. Replace the lid very carefully.