Brilliant blue skies, vivid oranges, yellows and reds; this year the change of season seems especially beautiful!
With so much negative news in our daily lives and anxiety about the coming election, my hope is that this Halloween blog will bring a bit of humor, enjoyment and some delicious food to you!
On our recent walks through the woods, I have closely observed the burled and gnarly bark of the trees and with a slightly overactive imagination, I happily anthropomorphized their unique personalities; some scary or with attitude, others shy, wise, scared and surprised or just plain silly!
My first prize goes to to a tree with a big “schnozs”!
SCARED AND SURPRISED:
This little fellow reminds me of a Giocometti sculpture
Last weekend after walking at the Bullitt Reservation in Ashfield, Massachusetts, we drove around doing some leaf peeping and discovered a steep and dark dirt road with an old cemetery; an excellent spot for this slightly creepy, spooky and eccentric improvisation!
This week with excellent local apples, I made a spiced sugar free apple pie- I like to mix a few different varieties of apples; I particularly like the Honey Crisp variety. I use plenty of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom and I make the pastry crust using a recipe from Julia Child’s, Mastering The Art of French Cooking. The recipe calls for a combination of butter and shortening and it makes an easy to work with crust that is both tender and with a buttery flavor. For my version, I use whole wheat pastry flour and whole grain spelt flour which gives it a wonderful nutty taste. The apples are so full of flavor, that no sugar is necessary, although this would taste great with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream!
Sugar Free Spiced Apple Pie
Ingredients for filling:
5-6 apples- peeled, cored and sliced into thin pieces.
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon each of ground nutmeg, allspice, cloves and cardamom.
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup whole grain spelt four
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter
3 tablespoons non-hydrogenated shortening (I like the organic Spectrum brand)
3 or more tablespoons ice water
Make the pastry crust:
In the bowl of a food processor combine flours, salt, butter and shortening until just combined.
Add the ice water and process until a ball shape forms. You may need to add more water a tablespoon at a time.
Take the ball of dough and cut into 2 pieces and refrigerate at least one hour. When you want to make the pie, bring the dough back to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees
Bring pastry dough to room temperature.
Roll out one of the balls of dough to fit a deep pie dish.
Place filling in pie dish.
Roll out next ball of dough to fit over top of filling.
Trim and crimp edges together.
Make an egg wash with one lightly beaten egg and brush over top of pie. This will make the top of the pie bake with a golden color.
Bake aprox. 40- 45 minutes until filling is bubbly and the top is golden brown.
I leave you with a vintage Halloween treat- a clip from the “talking trees” scene from the Wizard of Oz!
Enjoy and Stay Safe!! Happy Halloween!!