Recipe Makeover: Our 1987 Apple Pie

Could new kitchen techniques improve on one of our very first recipes? Yes, with a secret ingredient in the crust. By Sidney Fry, MS, RD

Lighter Apple Pie

Photo: Brian Woodcock

Lighter Apple Pie

One of our first apple pies after launching this magazine had an interesting walnut crust, filled with healthy fats and nutty flavor. But to save 300 calories, the Test Kitchen had simply removed the bottom crust, yielding a sort of cobbler.

We liked and kept the walnuts but decided we were willing to serve up a few more calories if we could get back that bottom crust. Yes, there are a few more calories than in 1987, but our new pie still has only half those in a typical bakery pie.

The Crust
1987 | Just a top crust, more of a cobbler than a pie
2012 | Double-crusted, fluted, and delicious

The Fat
1987 | Walnuts, margarine, and shortening
2012 | Walnuts and just enough butter

The Calories
1987 | 209 per slice
2012 | 281 per slice

View Recipe: Walnut-Crusted Apple Pie

Piecrust Step 1

Photo: Brian Woodcock

Piecrust Step 1

How we make our crust healthy, tasty, and beautiful 

Pulse the walnuts until finely ground but not pasty. The nuts will release their good-for-you oils when ground, reducing the need for extra butter.

Piecrust Step 2

Photo: Brian Woodcock

Piecrust Step 2

Healthier fats make for a soft dough. After processing, turn dough out onto a surface and knead gently 3 or 4 times, just enough to gather dough together; any more handling might toughen the crust.

Piecrust Step 3

Piecrust Step 3

After brushing on a light egg wash, start the baking at a higher temperature to seal the crust. Reduce the oven temperature midway through baking, and shield pie edges to prevent overbrowning.

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