This month the theme for Recipe Redux is Pie Love i.e. to give a healthy twist to a sweet or savoury pie. Well, to me pies are real comfort food and remind me of growing up as my mum used to make lots of pies both sweet and savoury. We would have meat pies and chicken pies followed by apple, rhubarb or plum pies. My mum makes very good pies and luckily for her, my dad loves his pies. Or should I say her pies.
Unfortunately my husband is not a big fan of pastry so I rarely actually make a pie myself. I’m more likely to get my pie fix when I’m out and about, and of course bought pies are never as good as homemade ones. And rarely even remotely healthy.
So, starved of homemade pies for a long long time, I was pleased to have a real reason to actually make one for this challenge. Because I so rarely make pies, what could be more appropriate than having a go at recreating my mum’s apple pie? You see, although pies have a reputation for being unhealthy, as far as pies go, my mum’s is on the healthier side. She always makes pastry out of wholemeal flour and I love the crumbliness that that gives the pie. It may not look so attractive and is difficult to work with but it just melts in your mouth, as well as giving the pastry a slight nutty flavour, which is helped here by the mixed spice as well. The mixed spice is optional and is very subtle. You could just add it to the apple instead for a more spiced pie.
I can’t claim a pie is healthy, but this pie is slightly healthier than some pies in that the fruit isn’t encased in pastry. There’s a layer of fruit and then a layer of pastry. So much easier and also no need to worry about a soggy bottom!
Finally the fruit. I used eating apples so didn’t need to add any sugar to sweeten them, although I did add a squeeze of agave nectar for just a little extra sweetness and taste.
As you can see, I ate this pie with ice cream. I could have had it with natural yoghurt but that would have defeated the purpose a little. Why recreate your mum’s pie and then not serve it the way she would have done? It had to be served warm with vanilla ice cream. Nothing else would have done. I’m hope you understand.
Ingredients – Serves 4
4 eating apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 tbsp agave nectar
200g wholemeal flour
1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
A little icy water
How to Make Apple Pie with Spiced Wholemeal Pastry
1. Put the apples in a saucepan with a little water and simmer until the apples are soft but still hold their shape. Don’t let them boil dry. Add a splash of water if it looks like the pan might get too dry.
2. Put the apples in the bottom of a greased pie dish.
3. Make the pastry by putting the flour and butter in a food processor and blending until it looks like breadcrumbs.
4. Turn the mixture out onto a work surface and add a couple of tablespoons of cold water from the fridge. Bring the mixture together with your hands to form a ball of pastry.
5. Wrap the pastry in cling film and put in the fridge to rest for about 20 minutes.
6. Put a little flour on the work surface and roll the pastry out until it’s the right size and shape to cover the pie. The pastry will be very crumbly and difficult to work with without it breaking up but this is also what gives it its light crumbly texture after it’s cooked.
7. Make a couple of cuts on top of the pie so the steam can escape and then bake the pie in the oven at 180C for about 20-25 minutes.
8. Let the pie cool for about 15 minutes before serving with ice cream. Or yoghurt.
To see what other #RecipeRedux participants have made, click on the link below:
This is also my #BakeoftheWeek at Casa Costello.