Recipe: My Classic Apple Pie

Bruce Bradley's Classic Apple Pie with a Whole Wheat Crust

I don’t eat dessert very often, but when I do, it’s gotta be something I love. I’m a huge fan of pies … especially fruit pies. Perhaps it’s because I think the fruit makes them a tiny bit healthier, but they’re still SO VERY delicious…especially with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream. YUM!!!

Apple pie is one of my go-to favorites, and my recipe uses all real, unprocessed ingredients (okay, there’s a little bit of sugar in it, but I’ve got some suggested swaps-outs in the recipe). In my opinion it’s hard to beat its taste, and I love the way our kitchen smells when I’m baking one in the oven.

So please, if you’re looking for a new way to indulge occasionally or to make a holiday meal special, there’s simply no better way to go! And if you’re a little adventurous … try the cardamon twist. It’s very subtle but AWESOME!

Cheers!

Recipe: Classic Apple Pie
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert/Treats
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10 servings
 
Ingredients:
  • 2, 9-inch whole wheat pie crusts
  • 8 green apples (I use Granny Smith), peeled and cut into slices (about 8 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3-4 teaspoons ground cinnamon (see my notes)
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider or juice
  • ⅔ cup sugar or honey or maple syrup (see notes)
  • 3-4 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter, cut into 6-8 thin pieces
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • sugar (about 1 tablespoon)
Instructions:
  1. Peel and slice apples into a large mixing bowl. Coat with lemon juice to keep the apples from browning and to add a bit more tartness to the pie. Then add and toss together the spices, sugar/honey, cider/juice, flour, and salt.
  2. Flour the surface and rolling pin. Roll out crusts until they’re about ⅜ inch thick. My pie crust recipe makes plenty of dough. You should have plenty (even extra) for two 9-inch crusts.
  3. Place the bottom crust into a 9-inch, deep dish pie plate. Pierce the bottom crust with the tines of a fork 6-8 times.
  4. Pour the filling into the pie plate. Dot with slices of butter and cover with the top crust.
  5. Top pie with second crust.
  6. Seal the edges of the two pie crusts together making sure the lip of the pie crust hangs slightly over the edge of the pie pan. If it doesn’t, it will likely shrink away from the edge of the pie pan. It isn’t the end of the world if it does – but as you make more and more pies, you’ll get the hang of it.
  7. Then using your thumb and forefingers of both hands, go around the pie to crimp edges, making sure the edge continues to hang slightly over the edge of the pie pan to prevent shrinkage.
  8. Cut 5 vents in the top crust (one small hole in the center of the pie and then four vents/opened slits that radiate from the center at 12 o'clock, 3 o'clock, 6 o'clock, and 9 o'clock—here's a visual if this doesn't make sense).
  9. Brush the top crust with a mixture of 1 egg white and 1 tablespoon of milk.
  10. Sprinkle top crust with sugar.
  11. Bake your pie at 450F degrees for 15 minutes.
  12. Then place on pie crust shields (or make some out of foil), and lower the temperature to 375F degrees.
  13. Bake for another 35-45 minutes or until the filling looks bubbly and done!
  14. Take the pie out of the oven and cool so the pie can set. The pie will be juicy at first, so please ... let it rest and set.
  15. Serve with vanilla ice cream or plain. Enjoy!
Notes:
We recommend using organic ingredients when possible.

I like an apple pie that has some real cinnamon flavor in it. So I choose to use at least 4 teaspoons in my pie. If you're a little more hesitant, 3 teaspoons is just fine. Oh, and make sure to use a high quality, organic cinnamon! It does make a real difference.

Getting the right amount of flour to balance the juiciness of the apples can be one of the hardest parts of getting a fruit pie right. Too little flour and your pie is too runny. In general I add more flour than less, but use your best judgment. Also, if you're adding honey or maple syrup, add more flour vs. less since these both add more moisture to the filling. Just so you know ... it's not the end of the world if your pie is a little runny. It's more proof that it's homemade and deliciously imperfect!

If you’re a stickler about using no processed sugar, you can opt for honey or maple sugar. If using honey, choose a nice, light-colored raw, local honey.

If you bake the pie ahead of time, you can warm it in a 200F oven for 30 minutes before you’re ready to serve it.

 

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Recipe: 100% Delicious Whole Wheat Pie Crust

Bruce Bradley's Recipe for 100% Delicious Whole Wheat Pie CrustThere’s a myth about pie crusts, and I’m not sure where it comes from. For some reason people think pie crusts are hard to make. I’m here to tell you that just isn’t true. While I’ll admit it can take a little practice to get them looking perfect, the only thing you should be scared of when talking about pie crusts are some of the ingredients in those store-bought versions.

Do you know what's really in your store-bought pie crust? It's not good!

Here’s a quick rundown of some reasons I like to avoid those refrigerated pie crusts:

  • Similar to their refrigerated cousins—crescent rolls, these pie crusts are made from enriched, bleached white flour. That’s flour that’s had all the whole grain nutrients stripped away with a couple “vitamins” added back. Stick to real, whole grains—they’re much better for you!
  • Partially hydrogenated lard is chemically altered lard. While the use of lard from pastured-raised animals is making a comeback, this chemically altered fat is one you should definitely avoid.
  • BHA and BHT are used to keep foods from going rancid, but both are potentially dangerous. In fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services considers BHA to be “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” Of course, the FDA has failed to act on this and still permits BHA’s use in foods.
  • Yellow 5 and Red 40 are both on CSPI’s “additives to avoid” lists due to a variety of significant health concerns/studies. Don’t you find it surprising a pie crust needs added colors to look appetizing? Something just isn’t right with this!

To avoid these chemical concoctions one option is to look for organic, whole wheat frozen pie crusts—I know my local co-op and Whole Foods both stock them. Or you can make your own pie crust. Yes, it takes a little time, but pie crusts really are pretty easy.

A good friend of mine recently shared his pie crust recipe with me. He used to blog just about pies, so he’s my go-to pie expert. I’m really excited to share my real food version of his recipe. The bottom line is this crust is simply 100% delicious AND 100% whole wheat — and it’s not hard to make at all! I hope you’ll try it!

5.0 from 1 reviews
100% Delicious Whole Wheat Pie Crust
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert/Treats
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2, 9-inch pie crusts
 
Ingredients:
  • 2 ¼ cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or maple syrup (see notes)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 tablespoons vinegar
Instructions:
  1. In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, salt and butter into the texture of little peas— you don’t want the butter all mixed in!
  2. Mix in the cold water and vinegar. Pulse until the dough forms a ball.
  3. Divide the ball into two balls, flatten each ball slightly, then wrap in waxed paper and place in a zippered bag.
  4. Chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Notes:
We recommend using organic ingredients when possible.

Less is more when using your food processor to make a pie crust. Go slow and DON'T over mix. When the dry ingredients + butter are coarse and resemble peas, STOP. Then making sure the pie crust forms a ball in the food processor is crucial. Add the last bit of cold water slowly and pulse. When ready the dough will literally come together to form a ball. Again, the less processing the better!

When using maple syrup instead of sugar, I suggest cutting back the water to 4 tablespoons to avoid a wet crust. Add the maple syrup to room temperature water. Then chill the maple syrup water for use in the crust. You can also opt for an organic blonde coconut palm sugar in the crust, depending on your food values. For me, I consider this dessert, and I don’t eat dessert very often. So, I'm okay using a little sugar. When I buy sugar, though, it’s organic, fair-trade, sustainable, and unbleached.

Not matter what kind of pie or quiche you’re making, I hope this 100% Delicious Whole Wheat Crust can be your new go-to option! So let’s get baking :-) !

Kitchen resources and tips:

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Recipe: Whole Wheat Refrigerator Yeast Rolls

Do you know what's in your dinner roll? It may surprise you how UNREAL it is!

Have you ever seen that holiday commercial where two brothers “fight” over the last crescent roll. If they only knew what was in those rolls their fights might end for good.

Although the exact ingredients may vary slightly by manufacturer, here’s a run down of what’s in the average can of refrigerated crescent rolls:

Do you know what's in your dinner roll? It may surprise you how UNREAL it is!

Continue Reading >>

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Recipe: Rosemary & Herb Whole Wheat Stuffing

If there’s anything that brings back my childhood memories of preparing Thanksgiving it’s stuffing. When I was a little kid I’d help my mom put together our family’s homemade stuffing. As a child of the 70’s, though, our stuffing recipe was filled with white bread and then later bags of Pepperidge Farm Stuffing mix. Unfortunately these bags of stuffing have become the norm. But when you take a quick look at the ingredient label most of us will agree, we can do better!

Skipped the popular bagged stuffings and choose REAL ingredients instead

Here are just some of the things I don’t like about the popular bagged stuffing mix. Continue Reading >>

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Bruce Bradley's REAL food version of the classic Green Bean Casserole

One of Big Food’s tried-and-true strategies to drive sales is to create recipes that call for use of their products. Most larger food companies have a team of home economists designing these recipes. Sometimes contests like The Pillsbury Bake-Off ask consumers to share recipes. These days even bloggers are getting in on the action by designing “sponsored” recipes. But every so often one of these recipes literally becomes so profitable it’s what industry insiders call a “signature recipe.”

Continue Reading >>

6 comments

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