Tis fall o dear readers. Time for sweet, cinnamony, nutmegy goodness to waft through the air. Time for apple pie, apple cider, fresh doughnuts, hot spicy chai, and good coffee. Time for cool & crisp mornings, crunchy leaves, and pumpkin everything. Time for comfy sweaters, boots, and baking.
Apple pie is one of those things that I simply must have as the weather gets cool. Actually, I welcome all apple-related things September-November.
Recently Mr. B and I have been getting in to a lot of interesting things. We've been cramming in as much adventure-learning as possible. At the beginning of September we spent some time in NYC visiting some food-destinations we've been drooling over. We took the tiger bus up and back, which, despite the sleepless nights and coffee-fueled days resulting from that decision, was cheap and effective. We visited Babycakes NYC, The Cinnamon Snail vegan food truck, The Juice Press, Stogo's Organic Dairy-Free Ice Cream Parlor, no-name bar in Brooklyn, Champs Vegan Family Bakery in Brooklyn, & Mast Brothers Chocolate. We did some fancy shopping at the NYC Anthropologie (which mostly consisted of walking around, touching everything, and drooling) and Banana Republic (which mostly consisted of walking in and out in 5 minutes with some super cheap linen clothes for Mr. B). We tried to pack everything in. I think the only place we didn't go that was on our list was Candle 79. That will have to wait for another trip.
I must say there is a fine line between food love and food obsession. You should have seen the way Mr. B's eyes lit up when we found cold pressed juice at The Juice Press. He just kept whispering: "This is it Renee. It's genius." He must have said that 10 times... not including the second time we went there within 24 hours. But then again, I think I was acting the same way when we went to Mast Brothers' bean-to-bar chocolate shop. I tasted everything at least twice and picked up and put down everything. We each bought about 5 bars. They treat chocolate like wine, with a focus on identifying the subtle flavor notes of each bar. I'm so inspired. This is something I want to do with my life.
BUT OF COURSE on to the reason I'm writing this post: Apple. Pie. Melt-in-your mouth, tangy-sweet apple pie with a crisp, luscious einkorn-millet crust.
Ok, ok. I know. I have some explaining to do.
"WHAT'S THAT THERE EINKORN NONSENSE YER TALKIN' BOUT?!"
Weeeeell, tis the next big thing you see. I'm preeeeetty psyched about it. I do an einkorn happy dance almost every time I eat it.
Einkorn flour is an ancient wheat that has been out of regular cultivation for 2500 years. Originating in the highlands of Turkey, it is high in protein and essential nutrients and is safe for people with sensitivities to wheat gluten. Of course, if you have celiac disease or a severe wheat allergy you should consult your doctor before eating einkorn.
Einkorn has a super-soft, fine texture and a nutty flavor. I have personally been loving the flavor of foods I have been producing from this ancient grain. So far I have made biscuits, pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin and apple pie crusts, and a quick sandwich bread with it. Everything has had a superb crumb and rich flavor. It can be used almost exactly like spelt flour, though it does require sifting before use.
I have been ordering einkorn from Jovial Foods, which is based out of Connecticut but sources einkorn from small organic farms in Italy. Their product is magnificent and their price is better than most others I have so far found. I highly recommend them.
So, tell me, have you ever tried einkorn? I would love to hear your experiences. And do tell if you have any suggestions of things you would like to see made with einkorn or spelt.
Renee's Notes: You can easily substitute spelt flour for einkorn, in fact, feel free to.
Apple Pie with Einkorn-Millet Crust
(adapted from Vegan Pie in the Sky by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero)
1.5 cups Einkorn Flour
1 cup millet flour
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
2/3 cup very cold Earth Balance
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
4 to 6 tablespoons ice water
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
5+ cups peeled granny smith apples, sliced thinly (about 1/4 inch thick)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup evaporated cane sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons einkorn flour
1 tablespoon Earth Balance
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Juice from 1/2 lemon or lime
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons almond milk, or dairy-free milk of your choice
For the crust:
Prepare a pie dish by rubbing on it a small amount of coconut oil.
Sift your einkorn (or spelt) flour into a large bowl. Mix in millet flour, salt, sugar, and cinnamon. Using two knives or a pastry cutter, cut in the earth balance in chunks until your dough begins to look sandy. Add and mix in the melted coconut oil. Mix together your ice water and apple cider vinegar. Slowly add the water/vinegar mixture in to the dough tablespoon by tablespoon until your dough just begins to come together. Fold your dough into a ball (being careful not to over-mix or knead it) and then cut that ball in two. Roll the halves into smaller balls, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.
Once the dough has refrigerated, remove the dough from the fridge and place one half on wax paper. Top the dough with another layer of wax paper. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a circle. For excellent circular results, roll the dough away from the body, rotating the dough as you go. Peel off the top layer of wax paper, and invert your pie dough over your pie dish. Carefully press the dough into the dish and gently remove the wax paper. You can fill in any holes that may have torn with excess dough. Prick the bottom layer of the crust with a fork several times. Repeat with the other half of the pie dough, except of course add this layer over the filling, trim edges of the crust to fit, and cut 5 slits into the top of the pie to let steam escape.
For the filling:
In a large bowl, mix your sliced apples, lemon juice, brown sugar, evaporated cane sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, flour, Earth Balance, & salt. Toss thoroughly to coat the apples in the sugary mixture. Let sit for 15-30 minutes, covered.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spoon apples into the pie crust, making sure to spoon in only the apples and not the juice that has collected at the bottom of the bowl. Cover with the top crust, trimming the edges of the crust and pressing the edges down. At this point you can use a spoon or fork to create lovely patterns on your pie edges. Or you can crimp the dough by pressing your thumbs all the way around the edges of the pie.
For the glaze, mix together the cinnamon and sugar, brush the almond milk onto the pie crust and then sprinkle with the spiced sugar mixture. Cut steam slits into the top crust.
Bake on 425F for 25 minutes, then lower the heat to 375F and slip on a pie crust shield (I just use aluminum foil). Bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes.
Let cool for 30-60 minutes. Serve with dairy-free vanilla bean ice cream and a warm cup of spiced cider. Enjoy your autumnal pie reverie.