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!!

Fall Colors

Apples and Arteries is now in Facebook–would you take a moment to head over and Like the page?

I hope you had a nice weekend – they go by too fast, don’t they?

Weather in Wisconsin was beautiful and Saturday was a great day for a drive.

I went to visit my favorite apple orchard (last call for Honey Crisps!)



apples ahead

And enjoyed the sunshine and the beautiful colors

changing colors

Fall is in full swing at the orchard

I also enjoyed dinner with my family – dad’s homemade pasta sauce (full of garden-fresh veggies) and mom’s homemade meatballs.  I made it a BYOSS dinner – bring your own spaghetti squash.

And I got to scratch this guy behind his ears

Santo – one of the family goldens – who has super curly fur!

Getting home, this guy was all up in my space because he could smell the other pups

Did you get outside and enjoy nice weather this weekend?  Do you have a creative recipe/use for spaghetti squash?