The fall half term break has just ended for Little Boy Green (is it just me, or does it feel like these breaks happen fairly frequently?), and in order for to it pass smoothly, a key father-son strategic course of action is to spoil the pants off of him. This ploy includes baking treats, and since he’s been yearning for an apple pie, we decided to roll up our sleeves and get baking. You know, every now and then we have a flashback from when Little Boy Green was Baby Green’s age, and he was not allowed within a licking distance of processed sugar. By contrast, one of Baby Green’s earliest words was “cake”.
Anyhoo- this tart baking is a quick but satisfying activity that is relatively easy for his little hands and the pie was big enough so that he could have a slice a day for the duration of the week. Albeit the slices did get smaller as mommy and daddy had their share.
We opted for a tart rather than a real pie to save on crust making time and effort. Instead of a traditional short crust we opted for one that even a three year old and his baking averse father could make without fail. After some research we decided against making an apple sauce that is a common feature of a more traditional tart, it was an added step that we hoped we could get away with avoiding. I must admit that for a moment while the pie was in the oven I was afraid that it might not be moist and the that the juices of the apples might evaporate and if I shouldn’t have covered it with foil for the first two thirds of the baking time, but we are happy to report back that it was a most moist and delicious tart. We also found that the more conventional tart recipes included an apricot jam glazing but, while we wholeheartedly like apricot jam, we thought the flavour might clash with the cinnamon we were hoping to use (and really only add some pretty shine and extra sugar the tart didn’t actually need). In the end cinnamon won.
A dollop of vanilla ice cream won’t hurt.
Ingredients: 9”/23cm pie
- 100g (1 cup) almond meal
- 125g (1 cup) wholewheat flour (or oat flour for gluten free)
- 1/4 cup coconut butter
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- pinch of salt
- 650g apples (aprox. 5 medium sized eating apples after they have been cored)
- 1 tbsp maple syrup plus 1 tbsp to glaze the pie
- 1 tbsp of cinnamon
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp coconut butter
To make measuring the coconut butter easy, measure the maple syrup in a measuring cup and then spoon in the coconut butter until it reaches the 3/4 cup mark.
- Preheat oven to 180C/355F
- Place all crust ingredients into a food processor fitted with the S blade and process to combine.
- The dough should not be too wet and should hold together when pressed, if too dry add a tsp of coconut oil, if too wet add an additional tbsp of flour and give it another whirr. Remove the dough and form into a ball.
- Put the dough into an oiled pie tin and press it using your hands to evenly fill the tin and to form the crust. Poke the entire base of the crust with a fork and pop it into a preheated oven and bake for 20 min.
- Meanwhile, core and thinly slice the apples and mix in a large mixing bowl with the remainder of the filling ingredients making sure that all apple slices are evenly coated.
- Once the pie crust is cool to the touch the pie is ready to be filled.
- Begin by arranging the apple slices on the base of the pie so that the slices slightly overlap and form a fan-like pattern. Continue to layer the apples until all have been used.
- Return to the oven and bake for another 40 min. Glaze the pie as soon as it is taken out of the oven by brushing on the remaining 1tbsp of maple syrup. Allow to cool completely before slicing and serving for adulation from enemy and foe alike.