In terms of fall, apple picking ranks as a “must-do” activity. The weather is usually just right and it’s a great way to spend a weekend morning with a bit of coffee. M and I ventured up to Apple Hill in the Sierra foothills this weekend to find out what all the talk as about. It’s amazing to see so many apple farms in one area.
We had fun walking around, soaking in the sun and apples. We loaded up with apples and cider then headed back home with our haul so I could dig into recipes. First up was this apple pie. I’ve made apple pie for the site before but I knew I wanted to make a pie without refined sugar. I chose maple syrup and a touch of sorghum (I love the flavor of sorghum) with a few spices and a touch of vanilla bean. If you don’t want to buy sorghum, you can add extra maple syrup or a bit of molasses.
The whole wheat pastry flour is key for the crust. I love the flavor of wheat with the apples but regular wheat flour is a bit too much in terms of flavor and texture. If wanting to mill at home, look for a soft wheat berry or if you can’t find the flour in stores, it’s easily ordered online!
Apple Pie (without refined sugar)
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2-4 tablespoons cold water
- 6 large granny smith apples
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup sorghum syrup
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- Peel and slice apples into even pieces and toss with lemon juice and flour. In a small pot, combine maple syrup, sorghum syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Split the vanilla bean in half and scrape out the vanilla into the pot as well. Heat over low until the warm and starting to bubble around the edges, whisking occasionally. Pour over apples and toss until apples are coated. Let sit for one hour (or overnight is better!)
- To make crust, combine the flour and salt into a bowl and cut in butter with your fingers (or use a food processor) Once butter are broken down to the size of peas, add maple syrup and 1 tablespoon of water at a time to the mix, stir/kneading until the dough comes together, working dough as little as possible. Dump dough onto a flour covered surface and divide into two pieces. Form pieces into disc, wrap in plastic, and place in refrigerator for 20 minutes to chill. Roll one piece of dough into a large circle, enough to cover a 9" pie pan with crust hanging over.
- Preheat oven to 375˚.
- Pour filling into the pie pan. Roll out the second pie crust and cut into strips (if wanting) or place the crust on top whole. Crimp the edges and cut slits in the top if using the crust whole. Brush crust with melted butter.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes or until the top has browned and the apple filling in bubbling out the sides. Let cool before serving to all the pie to set slightly.
by Erin Alderson