Before apple season is coming to an end I wanted to give you my spelt apple almond pie recipe from another world. Everybody in my family loves it. It’s probably their most favorite cake. It was actually the second time I braided and did a lattice crust. The first time it went so wrong that I couldn’t even finish it. I almost gave up trying it again, because I thought this needs really a lot of practice and I might not be precise enough for this work. I get really impatient when it comes to detailed work.
But the second time I took some time to really manage it. I noticed that some advice like flouring the dough quite often and a lot helps it not to break while braiding. Once you get into a routine it is not so difficult anymore. You just need time and endurance.
I also always make a delicious apple juice from the peeled apple skins. I put all the apple skins into a pot and cover them with water, then bring the mixture to a boil. Let it simmer for around 30 minutes to an hour. Add one tablespoon of any sweetener you prefer. For an even more intensive flavour let it soak for another hour in the pot. Sieve the juice and fill it into a bottle. Let it cool and refrigerate overnight. You can also just drink it warm as an apple tea.
Emil loves the apple juice. When he comes from the cold he loves to have a warm apple tea, so I just heat a cup of the apple juice for him. I already told you that he can be very picky with food. He loves any kind of fruit, but as soon as it is heated in any kind and gets soft he really cannot eat it. So I was really surprised that he loved this apple cake. First time I can remember that he ate softened fruits and loved it.
By the way, when buying the apples. Try to buy organic, local old apple varieties. In my VEGAN APPLE BUNDT CAKE WITH WHITE CHOCOLATE PLUM GLAZE post I wrote about fostering diversity of varieties. In addition the old varieties are much richer in polyphenols. Polyphenols are secondary plant compounds (also called phytochemicals) that help minimize the risk for chronic diseases. The apple needs polyphenols when growing to protect itself from fungal infections and insect attack. Apples grown in monocultures and plantations nowadays are sprayed several times against such things so it is more likely that they don’t produce as much polyphenols as old varieties that grow without help and rely on themselves.
SERVES: 19 cm cake tin*
SPELT CRUST & DECORATION:
300g spelt flour
65g ground almonds
100g vegan butter
30g coconut oil
65g raw cane sugar**
1 tsp vanilla sugar / ¼ vanilla pulp
4 tbsp ice water
zest of 1 lemon
APPLE ALMOND FILLING:
juice of 1/2 lemon
150ml + 50ml organic apple juice
1 tsp cinnamon (ceylon)
50g raw cane sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract / ½ tsp vanilla pulp
50g roasted almonds, roughly chopped
1 tbsp vegan butter, melted
1 tbsp maple syrup
NOTES: *I used a cake tin as I wanted the sides to be higher and the filling to have more space **I grounded the raw cane sugar for the crust in a small blender to make it finer
Start by cutting the butter and the coconut oil into small cubes. Add them to a small bowl and refrigerate for around 30 minutes.
Add the flour, ground almonds, salt, and sugar to a bowl of a stand mixer / food processor with the beater attachment. Mix shortly to combine everything.
Add the butter and coconut oil cubes, the lemon zest, and the vanilla pulp. With the beater attachment mix in quickly just for 1-2 minutes until it’s sandy.
Reduce speed a bit and add the ice water, one tablespoon after another while mixing. When the dough comes together to a ball stop adding the ice water. Form the dough into a disk, wrap into cling film or beeswax wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
In the meantime you can start peeling and coring the apples. Cut them in half, and each half into fine (3mm) slices. Halve the slices, except if your apples are already very small.
Collect the apple slices in a bowl and pour the lemon juice over them.
In a medium size pot bring 150ml of apple juice, cinnamon, sugar and vanilla pulp slowly to a boil. Add the apple slices and let them simmer for around 5 minutes.
Combine the remaining 50ml apple juice with the cornstarch in a glass. Add it to the pot while stirring. Let it come to a boil and just cook for a few minutes until it starts to thicken up. Remove from heat and let it cool completely.
Take a little bit more than half of the dough and leave the rest in the fridge. Roll the dough out on a well floured surface. It should come up the sides of the cake tin a little more than the height of the sides. Prick the bottom several times with a fork and place the cake tin into the fridge until you need it again.
Take the rest of the dough and roll it out. You can either cut it into stripes for the lattice crust topping, and braid some thin stripes for the edge, or top the lattice crust with leaves, flowers, hearts or whatever you like using cookie cutters. But you can also cover the apple pie with the uncut rolled out dough and just cutting slits or designs in the top crust. You can learn how to braid and to make a lattice crust on youtube.
Preheat oven to 180ºC (upper and lower heat). Mix the roasted, chopped almonds into the cooled apple filling. Pour the apple filling into the cake tin and cover with your desired crust. Brush with the mixed vegan butter and maple syrup.
Healthy for people & planet – please go always organic!