THE FILLING: Maca is marvelous. I know I must’ve shared my thoughts on this root a while back on here… I even wrote about it in a Starbucks cookbook this summer and how it reminds me of butterscotch–the good stuff. And because it’s in powdered form when I get it, I’m tickled to add it to my apple pie’s insides instead of using regular flour to thicken it. Maca doesn’t just thicken it, it adds good flavor too. And 2-in-1-ingredients are my fav.
I put the maca in with my sliced apples and let it all marinate overnight until it turned into a wonderful melange of sweet, smoky cinnamon-ness. (I’m not sure if the overnight step is necessary but it didn’t hurt when I had to unexpectedly hold off on making the pie mid-making it) And I layered it all into a mummy shaped crust. Yes, Halloween is over, and this post is 2 weeks past due, so feel free to keep the mummy theme to a mum and top this slab pie with a traditional lattice design. Or just be freaky and try it this way too, and I dare you to serve at the Thanksgiving dinner table.
My Whole Wheat Olive Oil Sesame Crust: I love working with whole wheat pastry flour when I’m making pie crusts. The gluten development is much more forgiving of my hot hands and incorrect guesses for water additions than regular AP flour. So I use it “ALWAYS. ALL WAYS.” Replacing 1/3 of the fat with olive oil made the crust so wonderfully crumbly and flakey at the same time. I love this technique. And it’s coincidentally vegan because I had dairy-free butter in the fridge! Go me! Go me!
Here’s how I made it:
- 13-14 medium gala apples, peeled, cored and sliced (it makes a big slab…)
- juice of 1 ½ juicy lemons (sorry, this was before I pulled out the measuring spoons)
- ¼ cup maca root powder
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- ½ TBSP cinnamon
- pinch of salt to taste
- 5 cups whole wheat pastry flour, plus more for dusting
- ½ tsp salt
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter (dairy-free), cut into cubes
- and then iced water (about 22-25 TBSP give or take)
- milk for brushing (almond)
- 3 TBSP sesame seeds
- 3 TBSP sugar in the raw
- Ice cream (eyeballs) for serving, optional
To make the crust, combine the flour and salt in a bowl. Mix until combined. Then add in the olive oil, and toss the mixture around until it’s crumbly, and the droplets of olive oil are dispersed well throughout the flour.
Then add in the cold butter and toss it all to coat…
Flatten each of the butter cubes between your thumb and index, tossing them back into the flour to coat again. You want the butter flat but still in fairly large pieces. Once the butter is worked in like this, begin adding in the ice water, tossing until the dough comes together into a firm disc. For any of you who’ve made pie crust before, you know the rules: Too little water and the crust will fall apart, too much water and the crust won’t be flakey–although this is less of a problem with whole wheat pastry flour. Once the dough feels wet enough, and begins to come together, dump it out onto a surface, knead it slightly to bring it together, and then separate the dough into two mounds. Shape the mounds into discs, wrap the discs in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or overnight before rolling them out.
MAKE THE FILLING: In a large bowl combine the sliced and peeled apples with the lemon juice, coconut sugar, maca, cinnamon, and salt to taste.
Let it marinate while the crust chills in the refrigerator. Again, it can be left covered in the fridge overnight.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Remove the discs of dough from the fridge and allow them a few minutes to thaw if it’s hard to roll them out. On a large sheet of parchment paper, roll out one of the discs of dough into a long rectangle. It’s ok if it’s not perfect. Perfection is not what I preach when it comes to food. Transfer the dough and parchment to a baking sheet.
Spread on the marinated apples, leaving about an inch- 1 1/2 inches of crust around the edges.
Roll out the other half of the dough to roughly the same size and shape as the first, and cut it into 1 inch strips. Assemble the strips over the apples however you please. And then brush the top of the pie with milk (I used almond milk)
In a small bowl mix the sesame seeds and sugar together and sprinkle it over the wet dough. You don’t have to use all of it. place the pie in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the maca cinnamon sauce on the inside has thickened. Serve warm or room temperature, however your heart prefers it.
BONUS RECIPE: The BEST ~1 Minute, Vegan, Gluten-free, Microwaved Molten Cake
Give it a try and let me know what you think. I’ll take pictures and make a dedicated post some day…
In a bowl mix together:
- 2 tbsp almond butter
- 1/2 tsp instant coffee
- 4 tbsp neutral oil
- 3 tbsp sugar in the raw, or other granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup cold almond milk, or other milk
In a separate bowl mix together
- 6 tbsp cocoa powder
- 6 tbsp oat flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- + a teeny pinch of salt
Then mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until completely combined, and then pour the mixture into an 8 oz ramekin (I used an 8 ounce porcelain soup ramekin) and then pour in 2 tbsp of dairy-free chocolate chips into the center middle–try to keep them together-and then heat the ramekin in the microwave for about 1 minute and 20 seconds. Remove and serve immediately. So Good!!!
Now about CARDI B: For those people who don’t know about Cardi B, well, that’s odd and statistically hard to believe, but, if you do happen to fall into this category, I’d urge you to first google “Bodak Yellow” and play what pops up. You’ll probably be thinking “oooohhh, yeah I’ve heard this before…” And then we can continue on once you’re done.
I caught on quick after I entered the back seat of my lyft driver’s SUV, the song coming hard through his speakers. I rapped along: “…hottest in these streets, no you can’t get tired of me!…” That was only my second time hearing it; that’s how catchy it was. I was hooked but wouldn’t admit this to myself just yet.
When I first came across the artist in that car I would’ve never called her an “artist” by my standards. There were/are many things about her work and many details of all the things she releases that aren’t perfectly trimmed around the edges and packaged in a bow or thought out well, which is what I’ve learned to respect in my “artosphere”. There are so many things she is NOT. Yes. But the things that she does represent deserve all the focus and respect I can offer at this point in my journey.
After (what I thought was) my first encounter with Cardi B, my curiosity led me to learn other facts about her:
1. This September she earned the top spot on the Hot 100 chart with Bodak Yellow, becoming the first solo female rapper to do so since Lauryn Hill in 1998
2. OMG! She WAS the lady I saw a video of a few months back on Istagram being ghetto as hell before I thought to myself “Good Lord! Why is this girl getting so much love when she isn’t talking about anything important or valuable?!?”
3. She used to be an exotic dancer.
And all in that exact order.
But then when I went back and watched more of her videos with context, and began to see how she doesn’t entertain self-doubt, how confident and bold she is, how immune to the world’s criticisms and rules she is while still doing all the things she wants to do, and how she is living her best life in her own terms, I had to really step back and talk to myself for a second, because this girl was quickly becoming an inspiration, an embodiment of everything that I aspire to be mentally. Hold up!
Revelation: Something I’ve been working on with myself for the past 3 months–I’m learning a lot of us are (which is cool)–, is how much we live for other people and their expectations and approval, to pat us on the back and like everything we do, and how we need to stop that. We think more about how much we have to color inside of the lines (that aren’t even actually there) to get the things we want. Even as entrepreneurs/the free-thinkers/the rebels, we think, oh I need to do this, this, and THAT to build a following, a support system, an empire; essentially a life that looks just like that entrepreneur over there doing their own thing. I’m learning how wrong it is. And it feels like a lesson I keep relearning. And will keep relearning until it finally is the antithesis of what I embody. There is no paved road ahead. No right way to do our lives even if we have evidence one way works more often than another. If that’s the case it’s only because so many people have believed that to be the only way.
Be the crazy person who walks out on faith and the self confidence that your inner compass would never lead you astray. Please be that crazy that you inspire people to live things differently. To build a new framework that opens the imagination for younger people or those just starting off in the game. Show them the diversity and complexity of success and dream-catching. Follow your own made up rules and believe in them just as hard as you’ve been believing in those other people’s rules. That’s something we really need in this world at a time like this. And that’s why I really look up to Cardi B. She breaks all of the “rules” I have learned to never break, and she is doing her own thing, powerfully, and that’s beautiful and real.
Like I keep saying in different ways, mostly talking to myself, and whoever else is reading out there: We have to surrender to the process, do what we love, tune out the self doubt and fear of falling on our face, and tune into the higher feelings of flow, flight, and badass-ery. That is all.
Here’s my favorite go-to Surrender Meditation: MEDITATE
And in truth surrendering to my inner compass is proving to be so much easier on my heart. I don’t think I can take anymore sleepless, anxious nights worrying, wondering, if I’m doing it all right. If I’m working hard enough. Answering the right calls. Chasing the right dreams. In the words of iamzoie “Throw it away!! Just. Throw. It. All. Away!!” Be easy on yourself. Listen to yourself. Trust in yourself more than you trust in anybody. And if this approach doesn’t attract all the things you want (which is doubtful), it will at least keep you young, sane, and happy, much happier than you would’ve been fruitlessly chasing the world’s web of opinions, ideas and expectations around in circles.