I’m all for transparency in this blogspace…. so to be completely honest, this last week was ROUGH. Autoimmune flareup (for lack of a better way to put that… we still don’t know exactly what is wrong) caused massive amounts of emotional and physical distress. Fun! No. Actually not fun.
Thankfully, I have an amazing support system… both from phone calls with family and close friends checking on me, and actual surprise deliveries of flowers and ice cream from the favorite human. What a guy. He’s really the best (and I’m 100% sure he’s not reading this so I can be mushy and not get him all embarrassed, ha)
The flare is still going but I’m doing my best to just be zen. Or try to, anyway. Pie helps. Pie is kind of a meditation in itself, plus the ultimate end product is delicious, so that helps too. C and I also did a massive workout today which doesn’t help me ignore the symptoms, but does help me feel better in my body so that’s a start. We finished it and then had trouble with our forks and fine motor control, so you KNOW it was good. I had to just point the fork at my face and hope the food didn’t fall off… much laughter ensued.
In other news, it’s December – wowow weird, how did that happen. I am trying to stay in the mood with appropriately seasonal stuff, even if this year is totally festivity mood-killing. I did put up lights though (period detailing of picture rails for the win, makes an excellent spot for lights and ornaments, since I didn’t want to deal with the hoohaw of getting a tree) and I’m making all the cranberry things, like this pie.
I love apple pie but I don’t really make it much, oddly enough. I’m trying to rectify that – here’s a start! Whole wheat crust, apples + cranberry filling, super simple, super good. This was dessert and also post-workout “breakfast” at 130p (ha. to be fair, we got up late too) – in my opinion, it was even better the second day. It’s also refined sugar free and only has about 2 tbsp of maple in the entire thing – a win for those who love apple pie but don’t love how gloppy and sweet it can sometimes be. I went light on the cinnamon to really focus on the fruit, and am very happy with the result.
Unrelatedly, we’ve had some beautiful sunsets lately, like this:
Here’s hoping the rest of this month is better than the beginning, at minimum on the autoimmune front. Sheesh. In the meantime, you can find me in front of my humidifier. Send thoughts of fog and rain my way, please.
Apple & Cranberry Pie
Refined sugar free & whole grain. The filling is paleo & gluten free, so if you need or want a grain free/gluten free crust, feel free to swap in your fave! A Wait are those Cookies original. Yield: 1 pie, serves two hungry people for dessert & breakfast, with a slice leftover (we did not eat nearly half a pie in one sitting. nope. I don’t know what you’re talking about)
for the crust
2.5 c whole wheat pastry flour
1 scant tsp fine sea salt
8oz unsalted butter (2 sticks), cubed & cold
4-6 tbsp ice water
for the filling
6-7 apples, peeled & thinly sliced (mine were on the small side; adjust accordingly if yours are large. I used half granny smith & half gala)
1/2 c cranberries, fresh or frozen
2 tbsp maple
2 tbsp tapioca starch
zest & juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
to beautify the crust
milk of some sort (I used half and half; non dairy is totally fine also – whatever you have)
sprinkle of coconut sugar
In a large bowl, stir together all the filling ingredients. Let sit while you make the dough.
In a food processor (or by hand, but I actually love using the food processor for this dough; it comes together in a snap and keeps it from getting overworked), pulse together flour and salt. Add in cubed butter, and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse sand. Add in ice water – I start usually with four tbsp, then add a tbsp at a time until the dough comes together in a ball.
Turn it out onto a floured surface, divide it in half and and roll it out – I prefer to roll and then chill, since the dough is easier to work with that way. You’ll roll out a circle that’s slightly larger than the top of your pie plate, to make for crimping excess – you should aim to have about a 1″ overhang. Lay the dough into the dish, tucking the edge underneath and crimping it as desired. Do whatever you want with the top crust! Shapes, traditional top crust, lattice, whatever. I used a small star cookie cutter for this one. Once the bottom crust is in, stick the whole dish into the freezer for 5-10 minutes while you roll out the top (helps prevent shrinking but honestly I almost always forget to do this and my crusts are fine… so… shrug. it’s good to do if you remember). No need to cover since it’s not in there very long.
Preheat the oven to 425, and bring out the chilled bottom crust. Pile in the fruit – make sure to really pack it down so there is no space between the apple slices. Typically you can fit much more than you think you can – and you’ll want it to be slightly convex on the top, to account for the fruit decreasing in volume as it cooks. Lay on the top crust pieces, and dot the fruit with butter. Brush the top crust with milk of choice and sprinkle with a little coconut sugar if you like (I like the color). Bake for 10 minute at 425, then lower the temp to 350 and bake another 65-70 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling like crazy. Remove from the oven and let cool at least an hour, preferably more, before slicing and serving (I made mine in the mid morning and we ate it after dinner; it sliced perfectly). Keep leftovers in the fridge, covered – keeps well overnight.