Most of the time the way I eat makes me very happy. I like feeling healthy and light. I never feel deprived or like I am sacrificing until the Holidays come. It gets dark early, it’s cold and temptations abound! It is only human to want a little comfort! It doesn’t take long for me to start telling myself that I have been so good for so long that just “a little sugar/gluten/dairy/etc won’t hurt”. That is kinda true (or so I hear). My problem is once I start eating a little sugar, I want more. And a little sugar has a way of creeping up to a whole lot!
But it is important to reward myself for being “good” so last weekend as a reward for resisting cookies, pumpkin pie, chocolate and cake, we decided to make a healthy dessert and go ahead and indulge.
I hesitate to post the recipe because it is not exactly healthy. Sure, the filling is absolutely healthy; the crust – not so much! Unfortunately, there is no way we could think of to make an edible fat-free or even low-fat crust. On the bright side this crust is light and flaky and tastes great! Just be advised that too much of it will give your poor gall bladder a real workout, so eat sparingly.*
We elected to use a gluten-free flour and baking mix since getting a precise mix is a challenge and we were looking for quick gratification. I know it is a cheat, but very worth it! The pie was a joint venture. David is the baker and pastry chef. I am the filling creator. Here is how it worked.
David’s Pie Crust
- Place 3 1/2 cup Gluten-free Pamela’s Bread and Baking Mix in the food processor. (You can use others or make your own flour mix)
- Add 1 cup coconut oil and pulse 6-8 times
- Slowly add ice water one Tablespoon at a time — up to 1/2 cup water (use a little as possible). When you can pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together you have mixed enough
- Remove the dough from the food processor by turning it out on to a piece of parchment paper
- Scrunch the dough with your fingers to finish mixing the oil and flour
- Gently shape the dough into 2 mounds (you may need to use a little extra flour on your hands to keep it from sticking)
- Wrap each mound in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator overnight
- One hour before you want to use the dough, take it out of the refrigerator to warm up
- Once the dough is slightly cooled roll it out using a rolling pin. Put each mound between 2 pieces of parchment paper. Roll it out to make as close to a circle as you can. Each mound should create about a 12 inches circle that is about 1/8 of an inch thick
- Carefully transfer one circle into a 9 inch pie pan to use as the bottom crust
- The remaining crust should be rolled out the same way and used as the top crust either domed over the top or cut into strips to create a lattice
Genene’s Apple Pie Filling
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Core 8 Granny Smith apples (or other “sour” apples) do not peel
- Slice the apples thinly – I used the food processor; cut each apple in quarters and ran them through using the slicing blade
- Add lemon juice and toss the slices to prevent them from getting brown; you will have to use about 1/4 cup but this is very inexact!
- Chop 1/2 of the apples into small pieces – I used the food processor and pulsed the slices 6-8 times to get a well chopped mix
- Put 1/4 teaspoon (or less) coconut oil into a frying pan
- Add 1 Tablespoon Honey or Agave Syrup and when the honey/syrup and oil are liquid add the sliced apples
- Lightly sauté the apples and add your spices:
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Stir well and add 1 cup white grape juice and bring to a hard boil
- Cook for 5-10 minutes until the apples are soft; if there is still a lot of grape juice add 1 Tablespoon coconut flour and stir constantly to thicken
- Place cooked apples into bottom crust
- Place the remaining raw apples over the cooked apples – you want the raw apples to stick up over the pan by about an inch
- Place top crust over the apples
- Bake at 375 for 15 minutes and then turn the heat to 325 and bake 1 hour until crust is brown
Delicious all by itself or add some cashew sour cream for an extra treat. I took one to a potluck and it got great reviews! Go ahead and indulge once in awhile, I mean, after all it is the holidays. . .
*If you want a really healthy alternative forget the crust. You can make the filling and bake it in a ramkin; eat it warm out of the oven drizzled with a little hazelnut or almond milk.