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

What is the difference between a tart and a pie?

Tarts and pies are quite similar. Though unlike a pie, tarts are served outside of the containers they were baked in. Tarts are usually baked in straight-sided rather than slope-sided pans, often with fluted edges . Before serving, tarts are separated from their baking pans, which are formed with removable bottoms so that the tarts hold together when they are removed (AS EASY AS PIE). Tarts usually hold the same fillings as pies such as fruit fillings but can also hold custards and are traditionally open faced.

Last night was my first time time baking tarts and I must admit, it was not an easy task. When making tarts, especially tarts of 3-4 inches, you must be very delicate with the dough. It is important not to overwork the dough in tarts, otherwise you will be left with a hard, non-flaky crust. Another key step to know in the preparation process is to cool the dough before molding it into the tart pans AND to freeze the dough for several minutes (until hardened) before baking. The dough needs to be chilled so that it holds together while baking and after it is removed from it’s pan. Pie and tart crust making certainly is an art but can be achieved through practice… a lot of practice!

Below are a few pictures of different tarts I made last night. Hopefully the recipients of these tarts will appreciate all my hard work! I made them as a birthday treat for two of my friends. The tarts consist of a fruit base (made by boiling down berries and turbinado sugar) and topped with additional marinated fruit. Hopefully they are as delicious as they sound. I’ll keep you posted!

MINI MIXED FRUIT TARTS

Ingredients

1 Hartley Confections Pie Crust (refrigerated for 30-45 minutes)

3 cups of your favorite seasonal fruit, diced

1/2 cup of diced strawberries and/or blueberries (or your fruit preserve of choice)

1 pt rasberries and or blackberries

1/3 cup of turbinado sugar

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Dice your fruit of choice and marinate with turbinado sugar to taste. The fruit may need to be separated depended on its natural sweetness (i.e. marinate strawberries and blueberries separately). Let the fruit sit for about 10 minutes so that some of the sugar can be absorbed.

3. Roll out refrigerated crust and cut out circles with a 3-4 inch biscuit cutter, depending on what size tart pan you are using. If you are using a 2.5 inch pan use a 3 inch biscuit cutter, and so on. Mold cut circles to tart pans and freeze until hardened.

4. While dough is in the freezer, mash your marinated raspberries and blackberries and place in a small pot over low heat. Boil the fruit (together or separately depending on taste) until most of the liquid has dissolved. The fruit mixture should look similar to preserves.

5. Let the fruit mixture cool until room temperature or cold. You may put your fruit mixture in the refrigerator or freezer to speed up the cooling process.

6. Once the mixture has cooled and the dough has hardened you may place enough fruit mixture (or preserves) to cover the bottom of your mini tart. Then you can place the diced fruit pieces on the fruit mixture. Feel free to mix and match the fruits as the flavors will meld together when baked.

7. Bake the tarts for approximately 10-20 minutes, depending on the size of your tart. When the crust is browned and hardened and the fruit has released its juices, the tart will be ready.

The Rustic Galette

Galette is a general term used in French to designate different types of round and flat crusty cakes. It’s also a great substitute for a pie when you are pressed for time or want to cut out some carbs. And MY galettes are a delicious and healthy alternative. I like to use whole wheat flour and bran for my crust and substitute raw Turbinado sugar instead of white sugar.

Turbinado sugar, also known as “sugar in the raw” is a steamed cane sugar which is similar in appearance to brown sugar though it is a bit paler. Turbinado sugar is a healthier alternative to white, refined sugar. It is lower in calories since it tends to hold more moisture. Turbinado sugar isn’t processed as much as white sugar, so it is naturally healthier for your body (www.associatedcontent.com). Turbinado sugar can be substituted for both white and brown sugar in most recipes.

But back to the galettes… My favorite galettes to bake are peach & strawberry. It’s great to use seasonal fruit as it is easy to find and fairly affordable. The best fruit in season right now and also great for galettes are peaches, strawberries, plums, nectarines, and rhubarb. These fruits are also great to mix and match as their flavors meld together after they are baked. Below you will find some pictures of the last galette I baked.

PEACH & STRAWBERRY GALETTE

Ingredients

1 Hartley Confections Pie Crust (refrigerated)

3 semi-firm peaches, sliced

1/2 cup of slices strawberries

1/3 cup of turbinado sugar

1 tbsp turbinado sugar

1 egg white

1 tbsp milk

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Slice peaches 1/2 inch thick and strawberries. Place sliced peaches and strawberries in large bowl and cover with sugar. Gently mix sugar and fruit with your hands so that the fruit is evenly covered with sugar. Let the fruit sit for about 10 minutes so that some of the sugar can be absorbed.

3. Remove refrigerated pie crust and roll it out into a ten inch circle. Gently place the peach slices 1 inch from the border of the pie crust. You should have enough peaches to make two circles. Please reference the photos for placement. Then place the leftover strawberries in the middle of the peaches.

4. Once fruit is in place, carefully begin folding over the outer edge of the crust piece by piece. The outer crust of the pie should have many folds giving it a “rustic” appearance.

5. Mix egg white with milk and brush the outer crust with the mixture. Then finish the galette by sprinkling 1 tbsp of turbinado sugar over the crust. You may also sprinkle the top of the fruit mixture.

6. Bake the galette in the center rack of the oven for 20-30 minutes until the crust is firm and slightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes an serve warm. You can also dust the top with confectioners sugar before serving.