Friday, September 23, 2011
One note on the type of apples: They should have a bit of bite to them. Granny Smiths are a classic choice. On the other hand, our pie was made with Macintoshes (Little Moo's choice) and it was delicious.
Here's the recipe.
Deep Dish Apple Pear Raisin Pie
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Double Pie Crust
3/4 cup sifted coconut flour
3/4 cup flaked coconut
1/3 cup melted ghee
generous pinch salt
Blend dry ingredients. Beat eggs. Slowly add the ghee to the eggs while enthusiastically beating the mixture so as not to cook the eggs (but not so much that you decorate the walls!). Add the wet to the dry ingredients and blend well.
Divide so that one piece is slightly larger than the other. The larger one will be for the bottom. Roll out the bottom dough between layers of waxed paper on a large cutting board to fit the pan. Carefully peel off the top piece of paper. Lay the pan on top of the dough. Flip the whole cutting board over and with the last piece of paper still on the dough, carefully squash the crust into the pan. Peel the top paper off and form the edges of the dough to the pan. Don't let too much crust stick out or be too thin since coconut flour will dry and burn very easily. (See next post for a detailed description of how to make a coconut crust with pictures.) Roll out the top portion and set aside. Don't do this too far in advance or it may dry out too much.
4-5 large apples, pared, cored, thinly sliced
4-5 large pears, pared, cored, thinly sliced
1/2 cup water
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup raisins
2 teaspoons maple syrup (optional)
1/4 teaspoon liquid stevia
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sugar - palm, date, or other granulated/crystalline form (optional)
In a large saucepan or dutch oven simmer apples and pears in water, covered, stirring occasionally until slightly soft, but still with some body. This could be between 5 and 10 minutes depending on the consistency of the fruit. Add raisins, stevia, (maple syrup,) cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and vanilla. Continue cooking until the fruit becomes tender. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.
Fill piecrust with the mixture. Cover with the top pie crust and seal the edge. Carefully cut several slits in the top crust to let out steam. If you are using sugar, sprinkle it over the top of the crust.
Bake for 12 minutes or long enough for the edges to start to brown. Open the oven and cover the edges with long folded strips of foil wrapped around the top and bottom of outer edge of the pie. Continue to bake for another 5-6 minutes. If your oven tends to be hot, reduce the heat after 12-14 minutes to 350 degrees F.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Then gently peel that last sheet of waxed paper off and patch with the fallen bits of crust.
And there it is...
The first apple pie recipe is the one I learned from a friend as a teenager. It's a classic apple pie that's full of sugar, corn starch and spiced well with cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. We'd spend the first half of a day peeling, coring and slicing apples to make two or three pies. It was a recipe that made the best of the sudden bounty of apples in the fall on the East Coast. It was my friend who taught me that a few pears give the pie a lot of depth, and also that the number of apples used in most recipes is never enough. Unfortunately, if I removed all the sugar and the corn starch, there's not much left to it.
The second recipe is Bruce Fife's from his Cooking With Coconut Flour, which you might have noticed has been my go-to cookbook for a while. I made a double basic crust. I added pears. I used more raisins than he called for and substituted a smaller amount of maple syrup with his called-for 1/4 teaspoon of liquid stevia for sweetness. This is a pie that will be shared, and will be eaten by a group that has some kids and adults with gluten intolerance and Celiac's Disease. There are some who are vegetarians and a few who are dairy-free because of ideology, not medical necessity. A very few of the families also cook with Weston A. Price in mind. For those reasons, I chose to use ghee. I could have tried some gelatin in the apples, but I decided that it was both more work than necessary and also would have meant that an awful lot of the people at this event tomorrow would refuse to eat it.
The crust is very challenging. Coconut flour does not hold together well, so, as you can see from the picture, it's pretty rocky near the edges. It also browns very quickly, so I'm a bit concerned about the state of the crust inside. On the other hand, it bakes up so fast that it's probably fine. I nearly prebaked it, but the recipe called for it to be raw going in. So that's what I did.
Fife only calls for four apples. I'm wondering what size pie shell he has. Twice that barely filled this deep-dish version. Also, I left off all thickeners - I discovered that while stirring the filling that it thickened just fine on it's own. I also added a few teaspoonfuls of ghee which will make it thicken a bit when chilled. Then, as a compromise towards aesthetics (coconut flour crusts are not that pretty) and for a bit more sweet, I did sprinkle a bit of unprocessed sugar on the top - barely 1/4 teaspoon.
So that's the story of this pie. Please send both it and me some good thoughts for tomorrow!
And now...pumpkin pie.
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Thanks to my flirtations with culinary disaster, you get the benefits of hindsight.
One...coconut milk does curdle when overheated with egg yolks.
Two...good eggs don't need to be cooked at all. They just have to be warm enough to harden when cool.
Three...don't try to make a custard with a time limit or when under stress. They're best the next morning anyway.
Four...don't experiment with the last box of coconut milk.
Needless to say, no photos are a available. *deep sigh*