Pie, you are my best friend,
My best friend to the very end
Little did I know that when I discussed my love of pie in the post “Are You Passionate” that I would be contacted by so many looking for good pie. Who knew that good pie was an endangered species? So, for all those who want it, I have created a video to show you how I make pie. If you can master making the pastry, you can rule the world
Don’t be fooled by this pie’s humble appearance. It is amazingly flakey and delicious. I purposely made it “au natural”. No egg wash or brushing it with cream to make it look better than it should (or at least someone’s definition of better – not mine). This is what real pie looks like and should look like.
With the butter and egg yolk plus some whole grain, it has all the colour it needs. Also, pay close attention to the colour of the filling in the picture of the pie slice. No icky yellow apples that have been treated with sulfites in this pie. Apples colour when you bake them, especially when cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar are used. Apples with added sulfites never change colour no matter what you mix with them – now that should give you pause for thought.
Make this pie well once, you will feel like a true artisan. Now imagine what it might be like to bake dozens of them and you will understand the high I would get and still could get ( if I were to do it) baking dozens of pies.
This is the pie recipe I like best. I am not trying to make this healthy or unhealthy. I am just making it the way I think it should be for the best taste and pleasure. I think there is way too much talking about what is healthy on both the conventional and alternative sides and neither side is a lot fun. If you are going to make pie, then make it for the true joy of eating and make it as you see fit, with no seconds thoughts about whether you should eat it or not. Pure joy does not come with guilt – it stands alone and makes us feel amazing so just do it and enjoy the experience.
My Absolutely Amazing Apple Pie
I have used a combination of whole and light spelt flour. Sometimes I use unbleached, white cake and pastry flour instead of the light spelt. Whole wheat cake and pastry flour is also an option or mix and match as you please. All of these flours are what is known as “soft” and this is the best type of flour for making pastry. They are low in gluten (6%) which helps make the texture flakier. All-purpose is known as “hard” flour and is best for bread. I also use brown or yellow brown sugar as I find these have the best flavor.
To Make The Spelt Shortcrust Pastry:
1 cup whole spelt
1 cup light spelt or unbleached, white cake and pastry flour
6 oz (170 g) or 3/4 cup butter, cold and cut into cubes (coconut oil or ghee can also be used)
2 tsp coconut oil, room temperature
1 egg yolk
Pinch sea salt
2-3 tbsp cold water
Place the flours, butter, coconut oil and sea salt in a food processor and process until the butter is fully cut into the flour, but it is not so processed that it binds together. Transfer the mixture into a bowl. Mix the egg yolk and water together. Start by just using 2 tablespoon water and if more is needed, add it later. Mix everything together with your hands, squeezing it together. Do not knead it as this will make it tough. Once the pastry has been formed into a ball, cover the dough in the bowl and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to rest.
To Make The Apple Pie
Spelt Shortcrust Pastry
4-5 Granny Smith apples (depends on the size of the apples)
1 cup yellow or brown sugar
2-3 tbsp unbleached all purpose-flour or whole spelt
1 generous tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Flour for dusting (unbleached all- purpose or whole spelt)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Sprinkle dusting flour on a clean surface (like the counter) and on the rolling pin. Roll out half of the pastry to about 1/8 of an inch thick and 10-12 inches in diameter. Make sure there is enough flour used for dusting that the pastry does not stick to the counter or to the rolling pin. Place the pie plate on top, upside down. Cut the pastry about an inch past the edge of the pie plate and go all around the pie plate. Turn the pie plate upside right. Fold the pastry in half and lift it into the pie plate. Unfold and make it fit in the pie plate. Set aside. Roll out the rest of the pastry about 1/8 inch thick and cut out a circle about 10-12 inches in diameter to make the top crust for the pie. Set aside.
Peel and core the apples. Cut them into slices and place in a bowl. Mix the sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg together and add to the apples. Mix. Add the apples into the pie plate. Fold the top crust in half and place on one half of the apples in the pie plate. Unfold so the top crust covers all the apples. Tuck the excess pastry under the excess bottom crust and pinch together to form a lip of pastry around the pie plate’s edge. Take any excess pastry off while doing this. You do not want to make the lip too thick as that will make it unpleasant to eat. Crimp the pastry around the edge. Cut a few slashes into the top crust so that steam can escape when the filling is cooking.
Place the pie in the oven. Bake it for about 20-25 minutes until the pie crust is baked and somewhat golden. Lower the temperature to 325 degrees F and bake for another 25 minutes or until the filling is cooked (look for the thickened filling bubbling through the crust). Let cool. Serve warm with your favourite ice cream or crème a la vanilla (see recipe below).
Crème A La Vanille
2 cups whole milk or light coconut milk
3-4 egg yolks
1/3 cup organic sugar (to taste)
2 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 – 1 tsp pure vanilla (to taste)
Mix the flour and sugar together. Pour the milk into a saucepan and add the egg yolks. Mix with a whisk. Add the flour-sugar mixture. And mix again. Heat over medium-high heat. Cook until just below the boiling point, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl. Add the vanilla and mix. Let cool and serve with the pie. If not using right away, then store it in the refrigerator. It can be made the day ahead.