What’s more American than apple pie? Well, with that being said, apple pie is actually from Western Europe but given that many of the settlers that came to the United States were from there, it makes perfect sense. Do you remember when your mama or gammy would bake apple pie, that aroma would fill the air and it seemed like forever until it was time for dessert after you smelled that sweet cinnamon all day long. Imagine the settlers, they came to America and all we had were tiny, tart crabapple trees so they had to plant apples and wait for the trees to mature and produce fruit, kind of dwarfs the few hours you had to endure to get your slice.
Typically apple pie crust is a flaky and buttery made with all purpose flour and either butter, lard or shortening. Well this recipe uses neither. I’ve replaced the processed all purpose flour with whole wheat flour and instead of butter or lard, I use healthy coconut oil. While this crust will not be the melt in your mouth, flaky crust it is a very hearty crust that stands up to the filling and doesn’t get soggy it also has a nice rustic look to it.
Most apple pies are made with Granny Smith apples. I watched a program once where they visited a city that was known for all their apple tree orchards. One of the best rated apple pies came from there and has been made the same for over 60 years. They said the trick was to not use the same variety of apples in your pie, use 2 to 3 different varieties. Pick one that is firm, tart, sweet and soft. This will give you the best flavor and texture inside your pie. I’ve been doing that for years and they knew what they were talking about.
Normally most people completely pare the apple, removing the peel. I leave the peel on, it is rich in nutrients; fiber, vitamins, antioxidants and apple skin is known to process a fat burning compound, ursolic acid. I slice the apples very thin and use agave nectar as a sweetener, a natural sweetener that is better for blood sugar than processed sugars. Next, delicious cinnamon is added to the apples and agave nectar. Cinnamon is known to have many healthy properties too, one being it can lower cholesterol.
Once the top crust goes on the pie, it goes into the oven to bake, just under an hour and fills the house with a delightful sweet apple and cinnamon aroma.
You can eat the pie just like it is or top with your favorite toppings. If you are keeping it healthy, a vanilla frozen yogurt would be a good option for à la mode. I mixed a vanilla yogurt with a sprinkling of cinnamon and dolloped it on top.
Indulgence and it is healthy = win, win.
- 1-1/2 cup whole wheat flour plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 3 tablespoons water (maybe a little more)
- nonstick cooking spray
- 2 large Granny Smith apples
- 2 large apples, different varieties (Fuji, Gala, Honeycrisp, etc.)
- 1-1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup agave nectar
- Preheat oven 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine whole wheat flour and salt.
- Stir in melted coconut oil until mixture is wet, dark in color and little pebbles form.
- Add water a tablespoon at a time until mixture forms into dough, and can easily be formed into a ball. Be careful not to add too much water or dough will become sticky. It may be necessary to add more than 3 tablespoons.
- A standing mixer with paddle can also be used to make the pie crust.
- Divide dough into two equal portions.
- Place one ball of dough on floured work surface and roll out into a round circle, about 12" in diameter and about an 1/8" thickness.
- Lightly spray an 8" pie pan or cast iron skillet with non stick spray.
- Place rolled out dough into pie pan and lightly press down into pan, careful not to poke any holes in dough. If you do, lightly wet your finger tips and pinch dough together at hole.
- Repeat rolling out the second ball of dough on floured surface to around the same size or a little smaller but large enough to fit over top. Leave on floured work surface.
- Wash apples and remove any stickers and stems.
- Core apples then slice very thin from 1/8" to 3/16".
- Place apple slices in large bowl, toss and coat with cinnamon and agave until every slice is coated.
- Place coated sliced apples in pie pan on top of bottom crust. Carefully place reserved dough on top. Trim any excess long pieces of dough then press the top crust to the bottom crust, like a little cap on top.
- Place in preheated oven and bake 45 to 50 minutes, until top crust is crisp and slightly hard to the touch.
- Remove from oven and allow to set 15 minutes before slicing.
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