For the Apple of my Eye

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My husband is so kind to get up early every morning to make coffee when he’s here.    Oftentimes, when I am too tired, he also makes breakfast, and does such a great job of it.  There I am with my bad morning hair…cranky and sleepy, and he’s so cheerful and happy in the mornings.  Wish I could be like that..but alas.  I is flawed.

John  also knows how to make a few really good dishes for dinner, on those rare occasions when I don’t cook.

We are all about equality in this family, so we try to divide up the household jobs between us, cooking included….although I do enjoy cooking and do most of that particular job.   I have taught John how to make a number of healthful dishes through the years and can count on him to prepare something delicious that is laden with fresh fruit or veggies.  However, the man has a sweet tooth that I cannot combat.

It wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but John has a serious heart problem…. and his eating sweets really worries me.  However, I would not even begin to dictate what he eats, (nor anything else),  so I have to take it upon myself to make sure that the sweets that are around the house are healthful ones.

Today, I decided to utilize some of the organic apples that came in our produce delivery yesterday, and make an apple pie for him.  Rather than butter in the crust, I used Earth Balance.   Did it turn out the same as a crust made with butter?  No….but the health benefits are worth the sacrifice in texture.  Earth Balance is one of the only solid oils that is not horrible for the body, when eaten in moderation….and it makes a surprisingly great pie crust, actually.

earth balance

When, thanks to my dear departed friend, Denny,  I  met Martha Stewart in person a few years ago,  I asked her what a good substitute for butter might be.  “Why would anyone ever want to substitute anything for butter?!” was her incredulous response.  We both laughed, and I told her it was for health reasons.  She wasn’t sold, and said that she would never substitute anything for real butter.  Well…ok, Martha…but you don’t have a husband with a heart condition, right?  I do!  Therefore, I do what I can to ‘sneak’ in the most healthful ingredients possible when I can.  I used Martha’s pate sucree recipe for the crust, and I made it in the Cuisinart.

I have this thing about food processors.  I guess I’m just old school….or perhaps it is that I worked in the restaurant industry so long…but I prefer to do things by hand.  However, I’m sold on this particular method for crust, so I use the Cuisinart for it.  It is incredibly easy to make and very quick, too, so I’m going to stick with it.  Instead of Martha’s white refined sugar, however, I used turbanado sugar.  I  also used unbleached, organic all-purpose flour and the Earth Balance.  Still turned out well.  (Nah..nah, Martha!)

crust

As I’ve mentioned previously on my blog, the apples are exceptional this year.  They are sweet and crisp and absolutely delicious.  The last few organic produce deliveries have included ample numbers of apples, so I have been busy making apple sauce, apple crisp, apple empanadas and also freezing apples.

apple

I used a very small amount of turbanado sugar and some freshly grated nutmeg. Overall, I only used a fraction of the sugar that most apple pies have in them, because the apples themselves are so naturally sweet.   My friend had an overabundance of really good cinnamon that he shared with me, so I used that as well with a sprinkle of pink Himalayan sea salt and a squeeze of lemon juice and a wee dash of high quality bourbon.

spiced apples

Then, I piled everything high into the crust.

pie filling

I dusted the top with a very faint sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar, and added the upper crust and added a little apple decoration and stuck it into a preheated 375 degree oven.

pie heart

The results were sweet, light, flaky and delicious!  The bourbon added depth, a whole new layer of flavor that was barely there…but that also made a big difference.   I’d say this pie was a success.

pie slice

SCORE!

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