Recipe of the Week: It's still October. Bake an Apple Pie!


image: Martha Stewart's Pies and Tarts

I was reading an apple pie recipe by Food Network chef Michael Smith in my newspaper the other day. I've made a few of Smith's recipes before and I've liked them. The recipe for the crust intrigued me because it was completely unlike any apple pie I've ever made before. When I was discussing this with my mother, she thought it would taste like apple crumble rather than pie. So I tried it. Of course, my mother was right. My mother is pretty much always right about baking matters.

I would certainly make this recipe again because the crust is tasty, but not in this form. I would make it as a flan and crumble the rest of the crust mixture over top of the apples rather than having a closed top. The crust is very dense and quite heavy and it seemed to overpower the apple because there was just too much of it. There is no question it is healthier for you than a traditional pie crust as there is no butter or shortening and it is made with whole grain and oat meal, but sometimes you just want a slice of mom's apple pie. So, to that end I'm going to give you two crust recipes and you can decide which to try on this crisp autumn weekend.

Whole-Grain Crusted Apple Pie

For the crust:
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup or so of water

For the pie:
10 or 12 of your favourite pie apples, peeled cored and cut into even pieces
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon or tablespoon of cinnamon depending on how much you like (my son substitutes Chinese Five Spice powder for the cinnamon and it's good)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. Whisk the flour, rolled oats, brown sugar and salt together in a large bowl. Add the oil and mix well with a wooden spoon until the mixture is evenly combined. Add the water and stir again until the mixture comes together. Knead it once or twice to gather up any extra dry ingredients. Add a few more drops of water if needed. Divide in half and form into 2 almost equally sized flattened discs. Use immediately or chill until ready.
3. Toss the apples with the sugar, flour and cinnamon.
4. Flour your hands, the work surface, roller and dough, then roll the slightly larger pastry disc into an even circle and fit into a standard pie pan. You may find if easier to fold the disc into quarters, then pick it up and fold it over the pie plate.
5. Add the apples.
6. Roll out the other disc and place over top of the apples. Trim and seal edges of pie, then poke 3 or 4 vent holes into the top so that steam will be released.
7. Place onto the bottom rake of the oven and bake for 1 hour, until the crust is golden and juices are bubbling.

Serves 8

This recipe is by Chef Michael Smith from The Globe and Mail, Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Basic Pie Crust

2/12 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 - 1/2 cup ice water

1. Put the flour, and salt into the bowl of a food processor. All ingredients should be cold. Add the pieces of butter and process for approximately 10 seconds or just until the mixture resembles coarse meal. (To mix by hand combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender or two table knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal)
2. Add ice water, drop by drop, through the feed tube with the machine running, just until the dough holds together without being wet or sticky; do no process more than 30 seconds. est the dough at this point by squeezing a small amount together. If it is crumbly, add a bit more water.
3. Follow the rest of the instructions above from number 3 to the end.

Bake at 400 F for 45 minutes.

This recipe is from Martha Stewart's Pies and Tarts

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