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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pie-r-Round

I know that I am not normal. I love exercise, I love green vegetables and I HATE heat. I think summer absolutely sucks. I also hate pie.

Once you have gotten up from fainting, let me explain. I think many pie FILLINGS are delicious, but I CAN'T STAND PASTRY. Does that make me seem any less weird?

I just don't get what is appealing about something made of nothing but refined flour, saturated fat, salt and water. What a big waste of empty calories! I hate pie crusts, I hate danishes and I hate croissants. Please don't put me in a straight-jacket for that one!

That's why I have been dying to try Chef Michael Smith's recipe for apple pie, using a whole grain pie crust (which is more cookie-like than pastry-like).

I decided to make it for our Rosh Hashana dinner last week (since Adam's mom had already made a honey cake and his sister had baked an apple cake). Although neither Adam nor his dad usually gravitate towards healthier desserts, they both have a weakness for anything involving apples baked with cinnamon, so I thought this might pass muster. It was a hit with everyone!

If you are looking for a relatively healthy Thanksgiving dessert option, give this a try. It's pretty fail-proof. I don't even have a pie plate, but it worked in a cake pan, though this didn't produce the nicest looking product. But hey, I've already stated that I'm more concerned with taste than with presentation.

I didn't make the yogurt topping, but I'm sure it would be a nice addition, as would vanilla or maple walnut frozen yogurt or ice cream.

I love Michael Smith, he shares my philosophy about cooking: just use a recipe as a guide and adjust it to suit your own taste. Be inspired by the flavours you enjoy most and the ingredients you have on hand.

Whole Grain Crusted Apple Pie with Maple Yogurt Topping

Courtesy of : Michael Smith http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipes/Fruit/recipe.html?dishid=8556

Yield : A recipe is merely words on paper; a guideline, a starting point from which to improvise. It cannot pretend to replace the practiced hand and telling glance of a watchful cook. For that reason feel free to stir your own ideas into this dish. When you cook it once, it becomes yours, so personalize it a bit. Add more of an ingredient you like or less of something you don't like. Try substituting one ingredient for another. Remember words have no flavour, you have to add your own!

Ingredients for the Crust

•1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
•1 cup rolled oats
•2 tablespoons brown sugar
•1 teaspoon salt
•1/2 cup vegetable oil
•1/2 cup or so of water

For the Filling

•6 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and cut into 6 even pieces
•1/2 cup honey
•3 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
•1 tablespoon of cinnamon

For the Topping

•1/2 cup yogurt
•1/4 cup maple syrup

For the Crust

1.Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2.Whisk the flour, rolled oats, brown sugar and salt together in a large bowl. Add the oil and mix well. Add the water and stir just until the mixture comes together. Knead it once or twice to gather up all the dry ingredients. Add a few drops more of water if needed. Divide in half and form into 2 flattened discs. Chill until ready to use.

For the Filling

1.Toss the apples with the honey, flour and cinnamon.
2.Flour your hands, the work surface, the roller and the dough then roll one pastry disc out into a 12-inch round and fit it into an 8-inch pie plate. You may find it easy to fold the disc into quarters than pick it up and unfold it over the pie plate. Add the apples.
3.Roll out the other disc into a 12-inch round and place over top of the apples. Trim and seal edges of pie and poke 3 or 4 vent holes into the top of the pie so that steam will be released and not blow out the crust. Place onto the bottom rack of the oven and bake for 1 hour, until crust is golden and juices are bubbling.

For the Topping

1.Whisk the yogurt and maple syrup together and serve with the pie.

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