May 3, 2007

animal apple pie*

twin peaks sunday means coffee & pie. i decided to make a whole wheat crust from scratch. i've always been a big cake baker, but for some reason, i just haven''t made many pies. so this was quite the adventure. i woke up sunday morning thinking about this apple pie and then bam!!! brilliant idea!!! handmade crust + animal cookie cutters = animal apple pie!!!

here's a few tips on how to make your own animal apple pie:

whole wheat pie crust (recipe from laurel's kitchen)

1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour or combination of
whole wheat and whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 c. wheat germ (i used ground flax seeds instead)
10 tbs. butter
1 tsp. salt
4-6 tbs. cold water

i doubled this recipe to make a enough for top & bottom crusts

stir together all dry ingredients. cut the butter in using a pastry cutter. when the dough looks all crumbly, sprinkle with water. using your hands work the water into the dough until it will hold together and form a ball. work quickly, but gently. i think it also helps to use a wide mouth bowl, not a tall deep bowl like i was using. wrap dough ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour. be sure to remove from the fridge an hour before using.

preheat oven to 400 degrees F

split your dough in half. flour your rolling surface lightly. press one half of your dough into thick round slab with hands, then flatten with rolling pin. occasionally add a bit of flour to you pin or the dough to prevent sticking. i try to start from the center and roll out towards the edges. once you dough is of even thickness and marginally larger than your pie plate, roll gently around your rolling pin. now slowly unfurl the crust over your pie plate. press into place and remove any air pockets. remove or fold over any excess crust around the edges. make the outer rim extra thick to prevent burning. using a fork prick holes along the sides and bottom. i used a 10 inch pie plate.

now bake pie crust for 10-12 minutes and let cool. in the mean time, roll out the second half of your dough mixture. now it's cookie cutter time!!! go crazy and make as many animal cutouts as possible, utilizing all your dough. place your animal crust cutouts on a flat surface or plate and prick each with a fork. if i had more time i would have made some decorative markings on each animal as well. ya know, draw a few eyes and such to better define each critter. oh well, maybe next time. set cutouts aside.

while your crust cools off, mix up the filling. fruit pies are always awesome, and for the most part, simple. here's a quick way to whip up some very tasty apple pie filling.

5 tart apples
juice of one lime
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1-2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
couple dashes of ground cloves
pinch of salt
1 tb. butter
1 egg

slice apples thinly. squeeze the juice of one lime over apple slices and cover well. now mix together sugars, spices and salt.
* you may substitute sugars for 1/2 c. agave nectar & 1/2 c. brown rice syrup*

fill pie shell with half you apple mixture. sprinkle half your sugar & spice mixture on top. top with last of the apples and top that with the last of the sugar. randomly place small pats of butter on top of that. on top of it all goes the animal crust cutouts. i placed them as close together as possible with no overlapping. i don't think it much matters, just be creative. once every animal is in place, cover with an egg wash. simply scramble one egg and brush over entire crust, including the rim. lightly sprinkle with white sugar.

bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes at 400 degrees F

let cool and enjoy!!!

i always heard about how difficult it was to make your own crust. this crust was super easy to make, and i will definitely be making more pies in the future. as a side note, laurel's kitchen is a must have book for vegetarians. it's filled with recipes, research, meal plans, and loads of helpful information. the version i have is from 1976. it's one of my best garage sale finds ever. it's just a great cookbook to have around.


Carolyn and Logan said...

now you need to come to my house and try that in our new convection oven!!!!!!!!
i finally got that stinkin' gmail account just so i can reply to you and elodie who has a blogger account about sophie. htey are picking her up from teh adoption agency in china TODAY!!! now i'm an aunt by default since christin is godmother.
love you,

micha michelle said...

how bout you drive down here with your convection oven!!!! it's your turn to visit me, remember. i wonder what would happen if i tried to mail you an apple pie in the mail???
miss you,

Carolyn and Logan said...

i miss you tooooo! remember elodie? she has a blog you need to go to as her newly adopted baby is christin's godchild; therfore, my godniece.
meetingsophie on blogger or blogspot....or whatever this is. i'm attempting to start my own but am too lazy to do anything but paste some picures. help me out with this. how can i change colors other tahn the colors they offer?

and is my turn!

The Lone Beader® said...

I love apple pie... and this one is so creative=:)

eviedee said...

LOVE your animal pie idea! (Piedea?)