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Plant-based Cooking!

Apple-Pecan Pie

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From the Farm Journal’s Complete Pie Cookbook, 1965, my favourite cookbook of all time. According to the recipe, “You’ll like what the nuts do to apple pie–both in flavor and texture.” I brought this to a potluck and it was devoured in about two seconds.

Apple-Pecan Pie
Unbaked 9 or 10 inch pie shell
1/4 c. chopped pecans
6 c. sliced peeled apples (now, supposedly this is about two pounds of apples; this turned out to be a little too much for my 10″ pan. I used five big empires, I think, and had leftovers, but since they were already coated in sugar and cinnamon it wasn’t too difficult to eat them alone)
1 c. sugar (I used closer to 3/4 c.: I find this cookbook has a bit of a sweeter tooth for fruit pies than we do nowadays.)
2 t. flour
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
Spicy Pecan Topping (recipe below: this cookbook also calls “spicy” anything with more than 1/4 t. cinnamon!)

Sprinkle chopped pecans in pie shell (see photo below.) Combine apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Turn into pie shell and spread (or “press”–mine was not exactly spreadable) Spicy Pecan Topping over apple mixture. Bake at 425F 40-45 minutes, or until apples are tender and pie top is browned. (If you use pastry cutouts on top like I did, watch for burning– you may have to use the old tinfoil-cover-deflection trick.)
Spicy Pecan Topping: Mix 1/4 cup softened Earth Balance (margarine), 1/2 c. brown sugar, 1/3 c. flour, and 1/2 t. cinnamon until completely blended, then mix in 1/4 c. chopped pecans.

A word on pastry: I use the recipe from the same book that says to cut 3/4 c. shortening into 2 c. flour mixed with 1 t. salt. To this mixture you sprinkle 4-5 T. cold water, a tablespoon at a time, mixing lightly with a fork, until you can press it into a rollable ball. NOW, this recipe works great with Crisco. But I got my hands on some non-hydrogenated Earth Balance shortening sticks, which really improve the texture of pastry. Non-hydrogenated shortening doesn’t have that filmy aftertaste that Crisco can have in pastry. HOWEVER, because this better shortening is so hard-textured, you have to bend the classic pastry rules. The shortening needs to be left out on the counter awhile to soften up–breaking pastry rule no. 1, that all ingredients should be stone cold. Second, I find that the amount of water needs to be played with: I think I used somewhere around 8 T. to get the pastry to stick together satisfactorily.

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Written by phdelicious

February 18, 2009 at 4:55 pm

Posted in Baking

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