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 PieOne 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.
• 1987 | Just a top crust, more of a cobbler than a pie
• 2012 | Double-crusted, fluted, and delicious
• 1987 | Walnuts, margarine, and shortening
• 2012 | Walnuts and just enough butter
• 1987 | 209 per slice
• 2012 | 281 per slice
Piecrust Step 1How 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 2Healthier 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 3After 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.