Here it is...the mother of all desserts. Apple pie. Honestly, is there anything better than a flaky crust enveloping an ooey gooey filling of spiced apples? I really don't think so. Especially when it's a whole grain spelt crust enveloping a filling of maple-sweetened apples.
Toby and I usually visit his parents' in Kansas City on Thanksgiving day, and every year, his mother, sisters and I bake pies together on Wednesday night. The same 3 pies - apple, mince and pumpkin. Since we are staying home this year, I decided to bake Toby an apple pie reminiscent of his mama's...
Mine has a bit of a twist, though--no butter, refined flour or sugar. It's sweetened with maple syrup, thickened with arrowroot and spiced with a generous amount of nutmeg and cinnamon. And while it definitely isn't your typical apple pie, I'm going so far as to say it's even better.
If you aren't familiar with spelt flour, just substitute unbleached or whole wheat pastry flour (1 for 1). Honey or agave can also be used in place of the maple syrup (equal measure), for a slightly different flavor (my mother-in-law uses honey). Also, the arrowroot can be substituted with 3 tablespoons of flour, in a pinch.
for the crust:
1 1/2 cups whole spelt flour
1 cup light spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup oil of your choice (or earth balance)
6-7 tablespoons water
for the filling:
7 cups diced apples
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon arrowroot
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. To make the crust, mix the flours and salt together. Cut in the butter or oil. Add the water, a tablespoon at a time, until it forms a dough. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until you need it.
For the filling, peel and core the apples (or you can leave the skins on). Dice them (you need about 7 cups). Mix the maple syrup, arrowroot, sea salt, cinnamon and nutmeg together. Pour on top of the apples and set aside.
Divide the pie dough in half and beginning rolling out one of the halves. You'll need about a 9-inch circle. Once you have that, place it into your pie dish. Roll out the second half a little larger than the first (about an extra inch in diameter). Pour the apples into bottom crust and place the second crust on top. Crimp the edges. You can brush it with an egg wash and sprinkle it with sugar, if you like :)
Place it in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 350 degrees and bake for 50 minutes.
Oh, and I just wanted to tell you guys how incredibly thankful I am for this little blog, and all of you.
Happiest of Thanksgivings to all.