Back in the day, I absolutely loved fruit pies. Particularly apple and pumpkin during autumn. (Yes! Pumpkin is a fruit — not a vegetable.) The one thing, though, that can make me either devour or push aside this mouthwatering dessert is the crust.
It so happens that my momma’s speciality was rolling out the most delectable, flaky crust ever. OMG! She’s a retired cook these days. But, she was indeed a master at baking, and I used to love peeking in the oven to see the sugary cinnamon apple mixture ooze and bubble under her picture-perfect lattice topping.
But then my waistline started fluctuating. Oy.
When a slice of pie can weigh in at as much as 750 calories and 30 grams of fat (oh my!), it’s time to figure out a new way to enjoy seasonal delights. So while this recipe isn’t the to-die-for pie my momma once made, it’s fun and still satisfies the taste buds. Plus, I still get the indulgent taste of a buttery a crust.
I didn’t come up with the cute idea of turning a carved-out apple into a pie. I saw it in a magazine focused on healthy cooking. But when they suggested pouring in one or more cups of sugar into a fruit pie recipe, I backed away. There’s gotta be a better way.
What you will need to make my version:
Three medium apples Cranberries, dried Pastry*
Maple syrup (real stuff) Cinnamon
Lemon zest* Tangerine
*I used prepared pastry dough, although I am always big on people making their own foods instead of using prepared versions. But Dough Puck, sold only at HEB grocery stores, offers a tasty pastry. Besides, I cringe at the thought of having to buy shortening. Since I don’t always have lemons when I need a little zest, I keep a bag of it purchased from King Arthur.
This is what I did: I carefully carved out the apples, making sure to leave the skin intact. I put the chunks of apple in a bowl. Because they were big chunks, I transferred them to a mini-processor to chop them up a bit more. Not mushy! Then back into the big bowl they went. I drizzled in about a tablespoon of maple syrup, sprinkled in dried cranberries, about a 1/4 cup (might chop these if they are big). I got mine from Trader Joe’s. I sprinkled cinnamon, about a teaspoon or more, and the same of the zest. I added a tablespoon of filtered water and used the juice from half a tangerine (to add more natural sweetness) — I would have preferred juicing an apple, adding that instead of the tangerine.
I spooned the filling into the apples, and then I rolled out the dough before cutting strips to a makeshift lattice. (Y’all can do better, I’m sure.) Into the oven they went. I had preheated it to 350 degrees. Let them cook until the dough browns lightly — about 45 minutes.
I let them cool. But you also could serve them warm with a dollop of Greek yogurt.