Crisp and Crust

Sunday is my cooking/baking day and yesterday I decided I needed Thanksgiving Part II.

My parents cooked a wonderful Thanksgiving feast and I enjoyed plenty of turkey, green beans, stuffing, potatoes, and pie.

I was on pie duty and made a traditional pumpkin pie and decided to get outside of the pie shell a bit by making an oatmeal cookie crust.  I used this recipe from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest cookbook but I skipped  the (optional) sour cream and I used lemon juice from a bottle.  I skipped the nuts and instead of all the spices listed, used Penzey’s Apple Pie Spice.  I buy a bag of this every year – it makes the pie.  Fancy cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, etc.

Before going in the oven

I coated the apples in the spice and everything baked up really well.  I used honey crisp apples which don’t break down during baking so each bite of pie had huge chunks of apple.  My favorite apple orchard had their end-of-season special with all apples 20% off.  I bought honey crisp “seconds” for baking (and of course a bunch of “firsts” for eating–did you know that if you put apples in a freezer bag and store in the refrigerator, they will keep for months?  Just make sure the air is out of the bag.)

This was so tasty that I was sneaking apples off the pie from the moment this came out of the oven to the time I was cutting this for dessert.

I used a really deep pie dish so the crust didn’t come all the way up the sides.  This turned into more of an indulgent apple crisp than a pie but it got very positive reviews.  I would certainly make it again but would make a number of tweaks to make a healthier crust and would probably double the recipe to have more crust and topping.

Hot and Fresh!

I didn’t bring any pie leftovers home but I did load up on delicious turkey.  I looked at all the baking apples I have on hand and decided to try a healthy apple crisp.  I started to follow this recipe but I couldn’t open my bottle of maple syrup – the sugar has it sealed shut.

Keeping the peel on keeps the vitamins and fiber on the apple.

Plus, since I just don’t really like sweet foods, I didn’t want anything too sugary.  I was more interested in the intense fruit and spice flavors and blackstrap molasses provides a bold flavor.  I also wanted to avoid the oil – applesauce was a great replacement.

Apples and Arteries Healthy Apple Crisp

10 apples, chopped (peeling is optional)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
4-5 teaspoons apple pie spice (or combination of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves)

1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup oat bran
1/4 cup hemp hearts (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons blackstrap molasses
3 Tablespoons applesauce

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.  Chop the apples and put in a small bowl.  Mix with lemon juice and spice.
3.  In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, oats, oat bran, vanilla, molasses and applesauce.
4.  Put the apple mixture into a pie shell or baking dish.  Put the crumble mixture (#2 above) over the apples.
5.  Bake for 50-60 minutes.

This is delicious!  This, along with a couple of pieces of turkey, may have been yesterday’s lunch!

Did you bake pies?  What’s your favorite pie flavor?  Are you more of a baker or a cook?
I think people either are or are not a baker – there’s really no in-between.  A friend of mine called me last week telling me she never knew that pumpkin pie wasn’t just a can of pumpkin plopped into a pie shell and baked!!

Baked Beans & Pears

Yesterday I came across a recipe for baked beans from the January 2011 issue of Clean Eating Magazine.

Unlike the dog from the Bush’s Baked Beans commercials, Kostas and Tucker do not know a secret recipe.

The unique thing about this recipe is the addition of pears. They are an excellent source of fiber and a good source of vitamin C for only 100 calories per serving. This time of year I add pears into my fruit/snack rotation. Yes, sometimes I eat more than just apples.

As usual, I tweaked the recipe featured in the magazine. This will be a great side dish for the week and possibly even the main dish for my brown-bagging.

**Updated–my hand was virtually slapped via Twitter for posting the recipe today–I feel I used the recipe for inspiration and the dish I made fits my needs and tastes. The folks at the magazine said I needed to take it down. An email or direct message – instead of a Tweet – would have been nice.**

If you like more sauce with the beans, just add a bit more water or broth. I used spicy brown mustard because that’s what I had on hand. The magazine recipe uses honey – I prefer the molasses for the extra dose of Iron.

It’s very random that I’d make this recipe, but I think it’s tasty.

Did you cook anything this weekend?
Bloggers–thoughts on posting recipes that are inspired by someone else but you’ve made your own?