Oh sweet sweet fall, it’s a little easier to forget about summer’s passing when you can crank on your oven and begin to bake delicious treats such as zucchini breads and apple pie and pumpkin muffins… the smell of sweet cinnamon wafting through the air, the anticipation of the first warm bite- I’m not sure there’s anything better about fall then that. Well apple picking comes pretty close- it’s really great to reach up and grab an apple and bite into- so fresh and perfect. And it’s a great way to learn about different types of apples- those best for cooking, those better for eating and those that keep really well for a while ( bonus!) We had a great camping trip up in New Glarus Wisconsin, to enjoy Oktoberfest, New Glarus beers, great friends, camping fun and apple picking at the Apfel Haven Orchard. The couple who met us as we eagerly awaited our picking, were so adorable. They set up a couple chairs under a canopy tent, with their dog running around and greeting everyone, to enjoy the day outside sharing their apples. What a great way to spend the afternoon! They shared their story about how they have had the orchard and educated us on the apples and generally were the happiest looking, nicest people we’ve ever met. Picking is from 12-5pm on the weekends only during the apple season. They had about 6 different varieties, here are our 2 favorites:
Jonafree apple: Medium size, bright red, fully or nearly fully colored.
Flavor is Jonathan-like, but less acid. Keeps 10 weeks.
Priscilla apple: Medium in size. 65% red blush over yellow background.
Crisp, coarse, mildly subacid. White to slightly greenish flesh.
Good flavor and quality. Will store for three months. Fruit hangs well.
As September comes to a close, we are coming up on the best month of the whole year- my favorite month actually 🙂 October, gorgeous colors start to appear and crisp days with bright sunshine will be had. We will be sharing more apple recipes ( maybe some apple sauce for muffins!), and I’m sure some fall squash will creep in here and there… always a healthy version to be had that is just as delicious as it’s original.
The following recipe is one we found with a struesel type topping ( mmm my favorite!) and the key to a great apple pie is mixing 2 types of baking apples. This is not a quick recipe by any means, there are a lot of “make this, wait 30 minutes” etc. but I swear you will not be disappointed when it is done, the whole wheat crust is perfection, I love the crunchy topping and cinnamony apples- oh the apples are the best part! This recipe includes orange as well and you really taste it as a perfect complement to the apple filling, do not leave that out. I would even use some zest of orange next time in the filling.
Oatmeal Crunch Apple Pie
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, (Neufchâtel)
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons ice water
3 medium Jonafree apples, peeled and thinly sliced
3 medium Priscilla apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1.To prepare crust: Whisk flours and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Cut in 4 tablespoons butter and cream cheese using a pastry blender or a fork until the mixture is pebbly. Add oil; stir until evenly moistened. Sprinkle water over the mixture; toss with a fork to combine. Knead the dough in the bowl a few times. Gather into a ball, press into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days.
2.Roll the dough into a 14-inch circle between 2 large pieces of parchment or wax paper. Peel off the top sheet and invert the dough into a 9-inch pie pan. Peel off the remaining paper. Press the dough firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Tuck the overhanging dough under, forming a double-thick edge. Crimp the edge with your fingers. Using a fork, prick the dough in several places. Refrigerate the crust for 15 minutes.
3.Position a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 375°F. Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool, about 30 minutes.
4.To prepare filling: Combine apples, 1/2 cup brown sugar, lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a large bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour over the apples and toss again; mound the filling into the cooled crust. Coat the crust edges with cooking spray, return the pie to the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
5.Meanwhile, prepare topping: Combine 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour, oats, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Cut in 2 tablespoons butter with a pastry blender or a fork until evenly distributed. Stir in orange juice concentrate and nuts.
6.After the pie has baked for 30 minutes, remove it from the oven and scatter the topping over the apples. Return it to the oven (covering the edges of the crust with foil if they’re browning too quickly) and bake until the topping is golden and the juices are bubbling around the edges, 20 minutes more. Cool for at least 1 hour before serving.
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare and refrigerate the dough (Step 1) for up to 2 days.
Equipment: 9-inch pie pan
NutritionPer serving: 340 calories; 13 g fat ( 6 g sat , 2 g mono ); 21 mg cholesterol; 53 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 4 g fiber; 110 mg sodium; 199 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (18% daily value)
Carbohydrate Servings: 3.5
Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 fruit, 1 1/2 fat