Well, no punch was involved. Each week prior to going to the store, there is an intricate process that takes place, because I am obsessively organized when it comes to meals, cooking, and shopping for food. So I sit down with J and go through some recipes that he would like for the week. Typically, he picks two or three meat dishes and one dessert and I will pick two vegan dishes along with some healthy side options to get some veggies in. Last week, J stated that he wanted a pie for his dessert. It was narrowed down to the always faithful Brownie Pie (which is my mom’s recipe, and I call the “man pie” because it is like cheese in the mousetrap for men…never figured that out) and a Maple Nut Pie. He decided on the Maple Nut Pie. Now the first thing the recipe calls for is refrigerated pie dough. The Government is pretty sneaky with nutritional labels and if there is less than .5 grams of transsaturated fat per serving in a product the company does not have to report it. Of course every pie crust I looked at, both refrigerated and frozen, had a partially hydrogenated ingredient (which should raise giant red flags and flashing neon signs that transfat is present in the product) and I was unhappy. I picked up the refrigerated pie dough as a “backup” and decided this was the push I needed to foray into the “high school” of baking and begin making my own pie crust. I’ve never done this before. I was scared.
In other news, someone must have heard my laments about the dusting of snow as we had snow showers on and off yesterday. Not really enough to block travel and it was all gone by last night, but I loved looking out the window at the light fluffy flakes falling from the sky. We walked to church (I am still delighting in the fact that we can walk to all of our major sites of necessity) and also walked a giant box to the oversized recycling center. That was interesting I’m sure to see us walking this box to the center. Two people asked if we needed help, but we trudged on.
My cold is feeling much better. I’m almost over it! I took a break from workouts this weekend, because I was having such trouble breathing. I am planning on hitting the gym today though and get back to running. On Friday I got in 3.5 miles! I also started weighted leg exercises. Also Crossfit starts in January! I am also going to start Oh She Glow’s Whittle My Middle program. I’ll be late to the game, but late is better than never. I encourage you to check out her site, as she has an awesome online bakery too!
Along the same lines, I need to congratulate Jenna at Eat, Live, Run for her book contract! That is amazing and incredible! I am super happy for her. Check out her website too and see the beautiful wine country in California.
So without further ado…
All Purpose Light Pie Crust (from Cooking Light)
5 oz flour (about 1 1/4 c.)
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 c. non-hydrogenated veggie shortening
4 tsp unsalted butter, melted
1/4 c. boiling water
Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Cut in shortening with two knives or your hands until it resembles coarse meal. Make a well in the center of flour and pour in water and butter. Gently fold the mixture until moist clumps form. Press dough into 4 inch circle. Cover and chill 30 minutes. Overlap two sheets of plastic wrap on counter. Place dough on plastic and cover with two more sheets of plastic wrap. Roll into a 13 inch circle. Bake according to recipe or bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes before filling and baking fully.
Notes! Admittedly, this was a difficult road. For some reason, I kept misreading the recipe. The first time, I put in 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp sugar. So I had to dump that out. The second time I boiled two cups (!) of water and when I poured it into the dough, I thought that was too much. Finally, I got all the ingredients right. For the vegetable shortening, I used Spectrum, which is a really good brand and does not have any trans fats. J seemed to enjoy it and said it was nice and flaky. Oh and most importantly, 30 minutes in the fridge did not chill the dough enough for me! Next time I will probably leave it in there for at least an hour.
Maple Nut Pie
1 rolled refrigerated unbaked pie crust or one homemade crust
1 1/2 c. maple syrup
6 tbsp softened butter
1/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 c. coarsley chopped walnuts, toasted
1 tbsp vanilla
2 tbsp light rum (optional)
1/4 tsp nutmeg or cinnamon
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare pastry on pie plate and prick bottom and sides with fork. Line with double thickness of foil and bake 8 minutes. Remove foil and bake 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees. Boil syrup and simmer 10-12 minutes. Beat eggs about 5 minutes. Separately, beat butter for 30 seconds and add sugars. Beat in eggs and syrup. Fold in nuts, vanilla, rum and spice. Pour into crust. Bake on lower third of the oven 35 minutes or until set.
It isn’t the most beautiful looking thing, but J loves it and that is what matter I guess.