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Apple Cheddar Rosemary Pie

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    This riff on apple pie has a definite sweet and savoury personality—a slice can hit the spot for brunch or can be served alongside a salad for lunch. If you want a little added crunch, consider tossing some chopped walnuts into the apple mixture.

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    2 1/2 lb (1.25 kg) tart apples, chopped into 1/2 in (1.25 cm) pieces
    1/4 cup (60 mL) organic coconut sugar or other raw-style sugar
    2 Tbsp (30 mL) spelt or almond flour
    1 Tbsp (15 mL) chopped rosemary
    1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
    Prepared spelt pie dough (see recipe here)
    1 cup (250 mL) shredded low-sodium sharp cheddar cheese
    1 large free-range egg, beaten
    Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C) and set rack in bottom third of oven.
    In large bowl, toss together apples, sugar, flour, rosemary, and salt.

    Roll 1 portion of prepared spelt pie dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper into roughly a 12 in (30 cm) circle. Peel off top sheet and invert dough into lightly greased 9 in (23 cm) pie pan. Peel off remaining paper. If needed, trim crust with kitchen shears so it overhangs the edge of pan by about 1 in (2.5 cm). Pour apple mixture into pie shell and sprinkle cheese over top.

    Roll remaining portion of dough between sheets of parchment paper into a circle slightly smaller than bottom round. Peel off top sheet and invert dough onto apple mixture. Peel off remaining paper. If needed, trim top crust so it overhangs evenly. Tuck top crust under bottom crust, sealing them together and making a plump edge. Use both hands to pinch (flute) edge of crust by pushing the thumb of one hand in between the thumb and index finger of the opposite. Brush top and edge with egg, and use paring knife to slice 6 steam vents in top crust.

    Bake pie for 45 to 50 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Let cool for about 30 minutes before slicing.

    Serves 8.

    Each serving contains: 441 calories; 10 g protein; 22 g total fat (13 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 51 g total carbohydrates (24 g sugars, 7 g fibre); 235 mg sodium

    Apple a day

    Noshing on apples regularly can lower levels of oxidized LDL (bad) cholesterol.

    source: "Life of Pi(e)", alive #383, September 2014

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    Apple Cheddar Rosemary Pie

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    Roasted Artichokes with Serrano Ham and Marcona Almonds

    Artichokes can be somewhat intimidating. But once you’ve made your way past its spiky exterior and removed the thistlelike choke, there lies a tender heart with a sweet flavour. The meaty bases of artichoke leaves are also edible and make perfect dipping vehicles to scoop up sauce or, in this case, a stuffing with just a touch of Spanish serrano ham and Marcona almonds. Artichokes take a bit of care to prepare—and to eat—but they present a wonderful opportunity to slow down and savour flavourful ingredients. Don’t be afraid to use your hands! How to clean an artichoke Fill a bowl large enough to accommodate artichokes with water. Cut a lemon in half, squeeze the juice into water, and drop lemon halves into water. Cut a second lemon in half and set it aside. You’ll use this to brush the artichoke as you trim it to prevent the blackening that occurs as the artichoke is exposed to oxygen. You can also rub your hands with lemon, which will stop your hands from blackening. Wash and dry your artichoke. Remove tough leaves around the base of the stem by pulling them away from the body of the artichoke, rubbing artichoke with lemon as you do so. With serrated knife, cut through artichoke crosswise, about 1 in (2.5 cm) from the top. Rub exposed part with lemon. With kitchen shears, remove spiky tips of remaining outer leaves. Use peeler to remove small leaves near the stem and the tough outer layer of the stem. Rub peeled stem with lemon. Using serrated knife once more, cut through artichoke lengthwise, severing the bulb and stem. Again, rub all exposed parts with lemon. Use small paring knife to cut around the spiky, hairlike choke and then use spoon to scoop it out. Rinse artichoke quickly under water and then place in bowl of lemon water while you prepare the remaining artichoke.