Sunday, August 02, 2009

Naturally Sweet Apple Pie

This apple pie recipe has been my favorite for more than thirty years. I think I like it best because the natural sweeteners allow the true flavor of the apples to shine through. Delicious and sweet, this recipe is one you can enjoy without guilt! Containing no refined sugars, the sweetness comes from apples in fresh and juiced forms.

Use your favorite pie crust recipe. My favorite is one that contains whole wheat pastry flour, salt, olive oil, and ice water. . .but it's a recipe I no longer use since our family has had to convert to 'gluten free'. I'm still experimenting with gluten free pie crusts and don't have a recipe that's perfected to the point of sharing yet. The one in this picture is made from non-wheat flours and I experimented with coconut oil as the fat source this time. The flavor was good and the flake-factor excellent, but I have some more recipe adaptation to do before I have something to share.

Naturally Sweet Apple Pie

1 six-ounce can apple juice concentrate
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
5 - 6 large apples, peeled and sliced
1 Tbsp. margarine (Earth Balance)
1 tsp. cinnamon
Salt to taste

Heat apple juice and thicken with cornstarch and remove from heat. Add margarine and cinnamon. Have apples ready and pour the thickened juice mixture over the apples. Stir until coated. Sprinkle with salt. Pour into a pie shell and cover with top crust. Bake at 350 degrees F. until bubbly and golden brown (about 1 hour).

*If you would like some additional natural sweetness, add some sweet herb stevia to the apples when stirring with apple juice. It makes the filling just a touch sweeter without masking the wonderful apple flavor.

Enjoy with a cup of cinnamon tea!

Several asked about the sweet herb, stevia. It is a plant in the sunflower family and is a native to South America and Central America. It goes by several names: sweetleaf, sweet leaf, sugarleaf, and stevia. The leaves of this herb are 300 times sweeter than sugar. It is a natural sugar substitute and has been shown to have many health benefits. When used it cooking, it's important to experiment and determine your favorite 'brands', as each brand has a slightly different flavor. I like to grow and dry my own stevia. It's delicious in tea! Or I dry it and ground it. When using commercially packaged stevia my favorite brands are NuNaturals, NOW, and Sunrider.

1 comment:

My Year Without said...

That apple pie recipe looks delicious! I'm eager to see what you come up with for a gluten-free crust. Have you baked much using brown rice flour or coconut flour? I haven't check out your other recipes yet, but I plan on it. I love all the herbs and flowers in your pictures. It's amazing how many flowers are edible!!

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