Thanksgiving Desserts: Whole Wheat Apple Pie

Thanksgiving desserts are what I believe most people look forward to most about Thanksgiving. And what would Thanksgiving be without Apple Pie? What would the entire Fall and Winter seasons do without apples? Well, luckily we’re not going to find out because I’ve included a recipe, based on Marie Colbath’s Apple Pie that everyone is guaranteed to adore.

I assure you that I haven’t forgotten about the infamous Pumpkin and Pecan Pies, but I figured I’d start you all off with my favorite. But, while we’re on the subject of pies, I’d definitely recommend baking one if you haven’t before. Most beginner cooks and even advanced are adverse to baking pies because of the dreaded crust. But as you’ll see the crust for this Whole Wheat Apple Pie recipe is fairly easy and can be substituted for any other pie crust out there. And pie just isn’t the same with a store-bought crust! Even the Food Network is encouraging homemade crusts with their tutorial, 6 Tips for Perfect Pie Crust.
Pillsbury Funfetti Brownies

Pillsbury Funfetti Brownies

But, if you’re pressed for time, or just don’t feel like baking you can make Pillsbury’s forever crowd pleasing Funfetti Brownies. Between the velvety chocolate inside and the colorful funfetti, I don’t think anyone will hold them against you.

Whole Wheat Apple Pie Ingredients

CRUST

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup bran flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon chilled butter, cut into small pieces, divided
  • 10 tablespoon ice water

FILLING

  • 8 cups sliced peeled McIntosh apple (about 3 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon all spice

GLAZE

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 egg white, beaten or 1/8 cup skim milk
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

Preparation

Kneading Butter1. Lightly spoon white and whole wheat flour, bran, turbinado sugar, cinnamon, and salt into their respective measuring cups, level with a knife, and combine (through a whisk) in a large mixing bowl. Cut in 1/2 cup of chilled butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal ( I usually work the mixture with my hands). The mixture should be crumbly and the butter should be broken down into small pea size balls. Fluffing Crust Mixture2. Sprinkle surface with ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time and toss with a fork until moist and crumbly (do not form a ball). It is important for the dough to be only slightly saturated with the water. Dense and sticky dough yields an unenjoyable chewy crust. 3. Divide the fluffed dough in half. Gently press each half into a 4-inch circle on 2 sheets of overlapping heavy-duty plastic wrap and cover with 2 additional sheets of overlapping plastic wrap. Chill 30 minutes.

4. Peel and core the 3 pounds of apples, slice them into small pieces, and place in a large mixing bowl. Combine brown sugar, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and all spice in a small bowl. Then sprinkle sugar mixture over apple mixture and toss well to coat.

Peeled ApplesSliced Apples & Sugar MixtureSugar Mixture over Sliced Apples 5. Pre-heat oven to 425 Degrees. 6. Roll 1 dough half, still covered, into a 12-inch circle. Roll remaining dough half, still covered, into an 11-inch circle. Chill for an additional 30 minutes if the dough is too soft (splitting apart, or difficult to roll or mold). 7. Remove top 2 sheets of plastic wrap from 12-inch dough circle; fit dough, plastic wrap side up, into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate coated with cooking spray, allowing dough to extend over edge. Remove remaining plastic wrap and spoon filling into dough. Bottom Crust in Pie PanApple Mixture in Crust Top Crust8. Remove top 2 sheets of plastic wrap from 11-inch dough circle; place, plastic wrap side up, over filling. Remove the remaining plastic wrap and press edges of dough together. Fold edges under, and flute. Cut 4 (1-inch) slits in top of dough to allow steam to escape. 9. Brush top and edges of dough with egg white or milk and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of turbinado sugar. 10. Place pie on a baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350° (do not remove pie from oven); bake an additional 30 minutes or until golden. Shield pie with foil, if necessary. Cool on a wire rack. Serve Warm.

Whole Wheat Apple Pie

Whole Wheat Apple Pie

Apple Pie on Foodista

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Pre-Thanksgiving Festivities

I don’t know about you, but Thanksgiving mostly makes me think of eating. And I don’t just mean eating anything out of the ordinary, but delicious seasonal dishes that, for me, begin with the Union Square Green Market. The Green Market is where my dream of endless Butternut Squashes, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, and Apples become a reality!

On a leisurely walk through Saturday’s Green Market, I couldn’t help admiring all of the incredibly fresh winter fruits and vegetables. Although my purpose at the Green Market was to pick up the infamous $1 3-Pound bag of apples for an apple pie, I couldn’t help picking up a few other seasonal ingredients on the way. The Green Market is mixed in terms of pricing, but you always leave reassured that you’ve purchased the freshest produce of the season.

The Largest Broccoli I've Ever Seen!

The Largest Broccoli I’ve Ever Seen!

Apples

Migliorelli Apples

$1 3-Pound Bag of Apples

$1 3-Pound Bag of Apples

Brussel Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

BottleRocketAfter leaving the market I stopped off at a nearby wine shop called BottleRocket. I’d read in a recent Eats.com newsletter that BottleRocket was hosting a complimentary Pre-Thanksgiving Wine and Food Pairing with City Bakery. Although BottleRocket’s interior was slightly small, they made the most of their space by setting up different food and wine stations throughout the store. Each guest was greeted with a taste of Champagne which was followed by a taste of City Bakery’s Thankgiving Menu which featured turkey,stuffing, two different kinds of potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and some gingerbread cookies for dessert. My favorite dishes on the menu were the Multigrain Bread Stuffing with Mushrooms, Herbs, & Aromatic Vegetables and the Sweet Potatoes with Grilled Pineapple and Toasted Homemade Marshmallows paired with the $9 Sauvignon Blanc (who’s name currently escapes me).

And after a wonderful afternoon of mouthwatering Thanksgiving bites and plentiful sips of wine, I began thinking about my own Pre-Thanksgiving festivities. Thanksgiving is the perfect excuse to get together with friends for a nice home cooked meal. And though it isn’t quite Thanksgiving yet, it’s close enough.

A few friends and I got together last night for a Pre-Thanksgiving dinner with all the traditional fix-ins. And I must admit that I was quite impressed with everyone’s cooking skills. Between the Macaroni & Cheese, the Barbeque Chicken, the Sweet Potatoes, and the Pumpkin Bread you’d think one would have their Thanksgiving fill. But until my Christmas Vacation rolls along, Thanksgiving dishes will be a regular staple which I look forward to sharing with all of you.

The recipes from our Pre-Thanksgiving dinner will be posted throughout the week, so please check back for more information about each dish along with enticing photos.

PRE-THANKSGIVING DINNER MENU

Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner Spread

Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner Spread

Appetizers

Main Course

  • Roast Chicken Kosher
  • Barbeque Chicken

Sides

Desserts

Pecan Date Pie

Seeing as Thanksgiving is right around the corner, I thought I’d try out a new spin on the old favorite, Pecan Pie. But to my disappointment, my first Pecan Date Pie was quite a disappointment. As usual, I’d used a Cooking Light recipe and didn’t change a thing. I had an extremely difficult time making the crust, as it seems most other reviewers of this recipe had. But overall, I felt Cooking Light’s Pecan Date Pie was way too sugary. Granted I’d never tasted Pecan Date Pie, let alone Pecan Pie, but there’s no way that this is what it was supposed to taste like. My Dad told me that the morning after he’d tried a piece, he had had a diabetic attack because he was not used to eating that much sugar.

Although the Pie was mostly terrible, I felt the use of dates gave the pie a nice consistency and texture. Below is my recommendation on what a better Pecan Date Pie would taste like, though I have not tried it out myself. I increased the amount of Pecans, completely changed the crust to incorporate even more Pecans, and tried to use less sugar and whole eggs. I hope this proves to be a better tasting and more healthy recipe!

Yield

10 servings (serving size: 1 wedge)]

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup whole pitted dates, chopped
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar (can also substitute for Splenda Brown Sugar)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs and 3 egg whites

Preparation

1) Preheat oven to 325°.

2) To prepare crust, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour, pecans, and salt in a food processor; process until pecans are finely ground. Add butter; pulse 4 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal.

3) With processor on, slowly add 2 tablespoons syrup through food chute, processing just until combined (do not form a ball). Place dough on a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 4 or 5 times (dough will be sticky).

4) Keep dough whole if you plan on making a 9-inch pie. If you plan on making miniature 5-inch pies, then break dough into three pieces, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10-20 minutes. The dough become harder when refrigerated which makes it easier to mold.

5) Roll out one piece of dough between the plastic wrap into a circle large enough to cover the pie pan by about 2 inches (whether it be a 5 or 9-inch pie pan). Then, plastic-wrap side up, place the rolled dough into the pie plate coated with cooking spray. Remove remaining plastic wrap. Press dough into bottom and up sides of pan. Fold edges under; flute. Then repeat with other two dough pieces.

6) To prepare filling, sprinkle dates and pecans evenly over bottom of crust. Combine corn syrup and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended.

7) Pour mixture into prepared crust. Bake at 325° for 45-55 minutes or until a knife inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Please note that the amount of time the pies bake for will remain the same whether you are making a 5 or 9-inch pie.

Ingredients for Pecan Date Pie

Ingredients for Pecan Date Pie

Chopped Dates

Chopped Dates

Pre-Pecan Date Pie

Pre-Pecan Date Pie

Pecans, Dates, & Pie Crust oh my!

Pecans, Dates, & Pie Crust oh my!

Raw Pecan Date Pies

Raw Pecan Date Pies

Tah Dah!

Tah Dah!