Sunday, February 25, 2007

My Take on Isa's Gingerbread Apple Pie

My apologies to Isa Chandra Moskowitz as I write the following words: I have de-veganized yet another of your wonderful recipes from Vegan With a Vengeance. I admit, I like butter. A lot. And, it made a great pie that John's Aunt Dot really enjoyed. Dot wasn't the only one, either.

It's such an easy pie to make. The only time-consuming part was slicing the bag of Granny Smith apples thinly because I did it by hand, not via a mandoline (a good birthday gift, hint, hint, hint) or a food processor (mine doesn't slice -- another good gift idea). I'm looking forward to making this a whole grain recipe. The crust really lends itself to tinkering in that way, especially given the liquid sweetener.

Here's my altered version of the recipe. It takes a few more liberties than usual, especially with the crust to account for the sugar/agave exchange, but it was definitely a success!

Gingerbread Apple Pie

The Crust:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1/3 cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup butter -- use salted
1 tablespoon cold water, if needed

The Filling:

2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/3 cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons arrowroot

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Make the crust:
Sift together the flour, spices and baking powder. Cut in the butter one tablespoon at a time. Drizzle the agave nectar over the dough, mixing until the crumbs begin to cling together. If needed, add the water. Set 1/2 cup of the dough aside. Gather the rest in a ball and knead for 5 minutes. Press into pie pan and bake for 10 minutes.

Make the filling:
While the crust bakes, mix all the ingredients for the filling together except the arrowroot. Then, add the arrowroot and mix until it is completely dissolved.

Assemble the pie:
Fill the crust with the apple mixture and crumble the remaining dough over the filling. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil after 20 minutes and bake for 30 minutes more. The filling should be bubbling and the apples should be tender.

When I baked this pie for John's family gathering last month, I baked it for a total of 40 minutes, then popped it in his cousin Holly's oven to finish it while we were eating Steve's (of Bethlehem) pizza. Eating the warm pie was wonderful. Not a piece was left.

I'm having a bit of difficulty linking to Flickr from Blogger (what a surprise!), so if you want to see a photo of the pie, click here.

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