Victoria is a stay-at-home mom, author, educator, and blogger at Healthy at Home. She currently lives in Colorado with her family.
Making Apple Pie for Thanksgiving
For the last eight years, we've lived in Arizona and have had to make a day's drive to another state, with our kids and dogs, to spend Thanksgiving with family. Every year I have wanted to help with the holiday cooking, but my husband's grandmother was pretty serious about her meal. She had a certain way of cooking it, with a plan and a menu, and she wanted to do it herself.
So, we would just cook our own Thanksgiving meal when we got back home so that we could have leftovers—and so that I would get to cook and enjoy my own dishes. But this year, having just moved to Colorado, we were finally near family for the big cooking holiday of the year, and I was actually assigned a number of dishes to make for the feast. It wasn't a problem, as the drive was just a short jaunt over to his parents' house.
My husband requested my apple pies, and my mother-in-law agreed, so I got to make these delicious pies for the whole family. You'll see from the pictures below that I had a hard time capturing images of the final product, as my husband pulled the pies out of the oven and packed them into the car while I was upstairs with the kids, and the family tore into them before I could get photos. I'll just take that as a huge compliment.
Thankfully, I got the great picture above before popping it into the oven so you could see how it was going to look. I hope you enjoy these pies as much as my family did over the holidays. Let me show you how I pulled them together! It's much easier than it appears.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
1 hour 15 min
1 pie with 8 slices or so
- Crust :
- 1 cup coconut oil
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
- 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup or so ice water
- Filling :
- 5 baking apples, (I like Fuji or Gala)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom, (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
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- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and grease you pie pan with some coconut oil. I greased two pie pans and doubled the recipe to make two apple pies.
- Then we're going to start with the crust first.
- Measure out your coconut oil onto a plate and smooth it out into a thin layer. You need your coconut oil super cold, and not just firm, for this crust recipe to truly work.
- Pop the plate of coconut oil into the freezer for a few minutes while we prepare your other ingredients.
- In your food processor, add your flour.
- On the side, cut up your cold butter into small squares and add that also to your food processor.
- Then pull the coconut oil back out of the freezer and chip it off of your plate into small chunks. Scrape these into your food processor.
- Blend your mixture just until it's crumbly and there's no more big chunks of butter or coconut oil.
- Pour your crust mixture into a mixing bowl and add your salt and sugar. Mix well.
- Now add a little bit of your ice water at a time until your dough comes together without being sticky.
- You'll want to dump it out on a clean surface and knead it with your hands to combine all ingredients thoroughly. You'll want a nice, soft dough.
- When mixed, split it in half for your two pie crusts, and roll out one side until it's just bigger than your pie pan.
- Transfer to your pie pan. I like to fold mine gently twice to get it off of the counter and into the pie pan without tearing. I then just unfold it over the pie pan and press it in place.
- Now it's time for your filling. Slice your apples in half and core them with a melon baller. Slice into small pieces and dump them into a large mixing bowl.
- Add your lemon juice, sugar and spices and mix well. Pour your pie filling into your crust. It will heap over the top, which is fine, as the apples will cook down in the oven.
- Finally, roll out your second crust, about 1/8–1/4 inch thick and as big as you can get it. If you want a solid pie crust for the top, you only need it bigger than the pie pan and then transfer over.
- For a basket-weave top, you'll want to cut it into long 1 inch thick strips. One at a time, lay them over your pie, spaced out about 1 inch apart. Just cut a little bigger than your pie.
- For the basket weave look, you'll want to do one more layer going the other direction, space out accordingly. I didn't weave mine together because I was a little preoccupied with two small kids and a deadline, so I skipped that part thinking it looked great already.
- Regardless of what type of crust you went with, roll the outside of your two crusts together all the way around your pie for a finished look. Cut vents in the top if you used a solid pie crust for the top.
- Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 45 minutes.
Suffice to say, the pies turned out great, and I was even asked to leave what remained behind for them to finish. We had seven pies at our meal, so I'm not worried about there being pie leftover. I do still need to get my pie dishes back, though!
This year, we have decided to keep our Thanksgiving tradition of making our own holiday meal again here at home—this time with our friends, for a Friendsgiving this weekend. My husband insisted that I go get more apples and make my apple pies again this weekend. I would say that these were a success.
Honestly, I really think they came out beautifully, and there's no reason to tell anyone that they were made with lots of wonderfully healthy ingredients, rather than the loads of sugar that apple pie is traditionally made with. And not only do I enjoy baking, but I don't mind having them around knowing that even with my homemade whipped cream or ice cream, my family is essentially getting a good meal in a yummy plate of pie.
Give it a try yourself, and then go give some of my other amazing clean eating pies a shot this holiday season, like my clean eating pecan pie. You won't regret it!
© 2018 Victoria Van Ness