By Elain EvansWHY IT'S GOOD FOR YOU...
A dash of cinnamon controls blood sugar, according to US Department of Agriculture studies. That’s great for sustained energy and even better for the estimated 3.2 million Australians with diabetes and pre-diabetes.
“Apples are rich in fibre, which binds to toxins and carries them out of the body,” says nutritional therapist Seki Tijani. “This lessens the burden on your immune system.”
The saturated fats in a standard pie crust may make it tasty, but they contain twice the kilojoules of other food groups. They also raise cholesterol levels in your bloodstream, hammering your arteries and increasing your risk of heart disease. Switching to the paper-thin, Greek and Middle Eastern staple, filo pastry, slims the figures down to just one gram of saturated fat per serving.
In cooking, as in comedy, timing is everything. So, with more than 10 commercially grown apple varieties in season right now, use their natural sweetness and add only small amounts of sugar to taste. This reduces the sugar content in your MH pie to a mere third of an average offering.
You will need:
For the pastry:
8 sheets filo
2 tbsp vegetable oil
½ tsp cinnamonFor the filling:
6 large Pink Lady or Fuji apples
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
60 millilitres apple juice
6 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp arrowroot powderFor the topping:
5 tbsp flour
2 tbsp olive oil spread
3 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp pecans, finely chopped
A sprinkle of cinnamonPlus:
A pie tin
A pastry brush35 minutes to go
Preheat your oven to 180°C. Place eight sheets of filo on a dry work surface. Lay a pie plate in the centre of the sheets and use a sharp knife to cut out a circle five centimetres larger than the pie plate. Bin the edges and cover the circles of filo with a damp tea towel.
Sprinkle cinnamon into the oil, then brush the pie plate with it. Next, place a single circle of filo in the plate and lightly brush the top of it with oil from the centre to the edges. Gently lay the next pastry circle on top of the first without pressing the layers together.
Try to leave a slight gap, as air pockets make for a flakier crust. Brush the top side with oil as you did with the first piece; repeat the same drill with the rest, then bake for five minutes.25 minutes to go
If you have an apple corer, slide it through the centre of the apple, then lodge your thumb in the hole to steady it and peel with a vegetable peeler.
If you don’t, cut the apple in half then use a spoon to remove the seeds and a knife to trim off the stem. Peel and finely slice the apples, then pile them in a pot and sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent them turning brown.
Add a teaspoon of cinnamon and half the apple juice, then simmer over a medium heat for five minutes.20 minutes to go
While the apples are simmering, mix the arrowroot powder with the remaining apple juice in a small cup.
Once the apples have softened, start adding the sugar one tablespoon at a time. Taste frequently, because the sweetness of apples can vary.
Simmer for another two minutes, then add the arrowroot mixture. Simmer for another minute until the liquid thickens, then remove from the heat.
Make sure you’re simmering and not vigorously boiling here or the arrowroot won’t thicken the filling and you’ll have a soup instead of a sauce filling your pie. Next, gently pour the apple filling into the prepared pie crust.15 minutes to go
Knock up your crumble topping by melting the olive oil spread, adding the brown sugar, flour and pecans and stirring well until small crumbs form.Cover the apple filling with the crumbs and stick it all back in the oven for another 10 minutes . . . then maul it.