For the past two years I’ve been working on baking my way through my King Arthur Whole Grain Baking book and I’ve kind of stalled out on it but I figured since we picked a ton of apples this weekend I needed to make apple pie, so why not check this one off in the book?
Just to warn you, it has a butt load of sugar in it. I mean, way more than any pie should ever have, so I some sugar out (and honestly, I’m going to cut out even more next time) and cut out some of the butter because I felt it was not needed. One place where you can’t skimp on butter is the crust through, which is also homemade. You never truly baked a pie yourself if you bought the crust from the store, sorry, but it’s true!
I used to be very scared of making my own pastry, mostly because I had no idea of an easy way to cut the butter into the dough without it being a total hot mess. Pastry cutter…sucks. Food processor…overprocess. Forks and/or knives….seriously? Then last fall my good friend and I went to a pie baking class at William & Sonoma. I seriously learned a life altering technique. Seriously, after I tell you think you will never look at pastry again as a daunting task. Ready? Grate frozen butter. WHAT? Yes. GRATE FROZEN BUTTER. Ok, now you can make any type of pastry! Want it even more flaky? Forget brushing it with egg. Brush it with vodka. Yay!
Ok, so to the recipe…
- 1 cup (4 ounces) whole wheat pastry flour (or whole wheat flour but will be less flaky)
- 1 tbsp buttermilk powder (optional)
- 1 tbsp confectioners sugar
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp (3/4 stick, 3 ounces) cold unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp (1 ounce) orange juice
- 2 to 4 tbsp (1 to 2 ounces) ice water
If you are wondering why I included the weight of some of the ingredients, it’s to save yourself from washing measuring cups and making a mess on your counter. You should bake with weight instead of volume since technically you need to spoon the ingredient into the measuring cup and then level it off with a knife and then dump it in the bowl. Who has time for that? I don’t! Turn on a scale. Place bowl on scale. Tare scale. Add an ingredient. Tare scale. Add another ingredient. Repeat. So easy!
- 5 to 6 cups sliced (and peeled if you have too much time on your hands) apples. About 4 large or 6 medium, about 2 pounds.
- 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) confectioners sugar (I cut it to 2.5 ounces, but seriously, I will be skipping this all together next time)
- 1/4 cup (1 7/8 ounces) packed light or dark brown sugar (this is all the sugar it seriously needs between the crust and the topping, but I cut this in half to 1/8 cup as well)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp (1 ounce) unsalted butter, melted (left this out)
- 2 tbsp (3/4 ounce) unbleached all-purpouse flour
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) traditional whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup (1 3/4 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup (3 3/4 ounces) lightly packed brown sugar
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 tbsp (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) unsalted butter
To make the crust, mix all the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Grate frozen butter and then toss lightly with fingers to mix. Sprinkle with the orange juice and toss lightly. Slowly add 1 tbsp at a time of the ice water until the dough is cohesive. Grab a handful; if it holds together willingly and doesn’t seem at all dry or crumbly, you’ve added enough liquid. You should be able to see the sprinkles of butter throughout. Form dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge overnight or up to 3 days. You want the whole wheat to become softer from the orange juice. Will yield a flakier crust.
When ready to make the pie, take out the dough 30 minutes prior to rolling (so make the filling and topping and the roll it out).
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
To make the filling, thinly slice the apples and place in a LARGE mixing bowl. Toss with the sugar, spices, salt, vanilla and lemon juice. If using the butter add it after mixed along with the flour.
To make the topping, whisk together all of the dry ingredients. Stir in vanilla. Grate the butter and toss it in.
To assemble the pie, roll out the crust on a well floured surface. Don’t skimp on the flour, you’ll just end up with a torn pie crust, which will make you hate making pastry even more. Fold into quarters and place in the pie pan and then unfold. Spoon the filling into the crust and the spread the topping on.
Tent with a piece of tin foil and bake until the crust is golden brown, about an hour. Allow to it and cool for at least 1 hour, but more like 3-5 hours so it’s not all soupy.
Nutritional info for FULL fat & sugar. 1/10th of the pie (158 grams):
Fat: 18 g
Protein: 5 g
If you cut the powdered and brown sugar in half for the filling and omit the butter in the filling ONLY per 158 grams:
Protein: 5 g
Still a pretty high calorie treat but it is a lot less scary for me with half the sugar. And 158 grams is a good amount, it’s one of those kids IKEA bowls. If I ever make this recipe again (not because it’s not good, but because I never, ever make the same recipe twice. Ask my husband. It bugs him) I will omit all of the powdered sugar in the filling and just use the 1/4 brown sugar it calls for. If I ever do that, I’ll recalculate the calories out again so I can log it 🙂