Monday, January 23, 2006

Sweet and Healthy (?)

apple pie
Originally uploaded by Kit Pollard.

For the past few weeks, I've been trying to remember to cook something antioxidant rich, just so I can take part in Sweetnick's ARF/5-a-day Tuesdays. Last week, when Sweetnicks linked to me for her New (to me) Blogger Thursday post, well, I knew I needed to stop daydreaming about fried chicken and slabs of cheese, and find myself some healthy food.

Fortunately, it's easy to find lists of antioxidant rich foods, like this one from WebMD. Reading lists like this, I'm constantly surprised by what's actually healthy. Like Russet potatoes.

But it wasn't the potatoes that really caught my eye: it was the Granny Smith apples. I'm sure it was because I'd just watched an episode of Barefoot Contessa that involved a Granny Smith apple pie. What better way to soften healthy eating than to tuck antioxidants in between layers of pastry crust?

Plus, I'd never made my own pie crust before. Everybody has to start someplace, and Barefoot's recipe seemed easy enough.

And it was, actually. The crust was actually a lot for my Cuisinart to handle - she has a much larger one than I do - but it worked out OK, if not great. The dough was a little bit dry when I started to roll it out, but a sprinkle of water fixed that right up. Overall, the crust wasn't too difficult to make and it did turn out beautifully browned and crispy and just the slightest bit sweet.

Unfortunately, as it turns out, I don't really like Granny Smith apples all that much. Of course, I knew that before I made this pie, but somehow it didn't completely register with me. They're a little tart for my taste. And the recipe calls for leaving the skin on, which results in pretty colors, but weird, slimy yet tough cooked apple skin. Plus, the apple mixture (of which there was WAY too much to fit in the pie) involves a dash of allspice, which was interesting...but I'm not sure if I loved it.

Verdict: I hate to say it, but Barefoot let me down. Just a little - I liked it, but wouldn't make it again. But at least I got to feel good about eating dessert. And about making my own pie crust. And, as an aside, about getting a new apple corer/slicer...which might've been the coolest part of the whole deal:

apple corer
Originally uploaded by Kit Pollard.

1 comment:

Rosie said...

Hey Kit!

Granny Smith Apples are something of a crap shoot when it comes to tartness. I've had them pleasing tart - which is great for a pie that you are going to top with ice cream (which is not healthy at all!) to mindnumbingly sour - which I ended up making applesauce with.

My favorite pie apple is the Northern Spy, which is only available in the fall. They are an old heirloom variety that has regained some ground in the last ten years. Failing that I'll grab some Red Rome or Jonathans.

Last word on apple pies - peel, peel, peel. Another example of form over function from someone's test kitchen. Don't they ever eat some before they publish?!


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