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There’s nothing that says autumn quite like apple pie, or in this case Apple Gogi Berry Pie. It reminds me of home; gathering apples with my mother, standing on a chair over a bucket in the sink learning to peel, core and cut as she told stories of her childhood. How she and her siblings would help split and stack the wood for my Grandmother’s stove; then being the eldest girl, she would stand on a chair beside her mother and help peel, core and cut.
The stories my mother told about growing up on a farm income, her father ill from Black Lung disease (long before government health care and workman’s compensation); never failed to impress upon me the good fortune of my life.
Somehow apple pie has become a symbol of appreciation; for friends and family, far and near, for the roof over my head, the clothes on my back and the fact that tonight I will enjoy more than this pie. The simple act of being grateful for what you DO have brings forward more to be grateful for.
There have been lean times. I have known hunger (the pangs of which are still familiar) but like many things, this too did pass. This is the reason I buy food for street people, support orphanages as I travel and food banks at home. This is why I feed people, mind body and soul — I am grateful to be able to do so.
I can’t think of a better way to amplify the power of gratitude, that is apple pie, than to add one of nature’s most nutrient rich fruits to the mix. The Goji (pronounced: go-GEE) berry contains more vitamin C than oranges, more beta-carotene than carrots, and more iron than steak. Goji is called the ‘longevity fruit’ and claims say it’s good for everything from weight loss to fighting cancer; perfect for my “Attitude of Gratitude Apple Pie”.
May you live long and be grateful.
Apple Goji Berry Pie – Recipe
Prep time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 50 minutes – 1 hour
Pate Brisee – Butter Pastry
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup cold, unsalted butter, cubed
1/4 cup cold, lard, cubed
1/4 cup ice water
flour, as needed
2 tablespoons cream, for glazing
1 ½ – 2 pounds (approximately 6) baking apples, peeled, cored & sliced
½ cup dried goji berries
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground, fresh nutmeg
Dough: Place 1 cup flour in salt in standing mixer with dough hook attachment, turn on low and add the butter in a handful at a time, in about 4 batches. Increase to medium speed and when butter is incorporated, stop machine, scrape down sides or dislodge dough from mixing arm. Turn on to low again and slowly add remaining flour, followed by the water, mix until just incorporated. Remove and wrap in plastic wrap refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Apple filling: Mix apples, goji berries, honey and spices in a bowl and allow to stand, at room temperature for 10 – 15 minutes while you prepare the pastry.
Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C)
Rub a thin coat of butter over the inside of a 9-inch pie plate. Roll out approximately two-thirds of the dough and line the inside of your plate. Pack apple, goji berry filling into the pie shell, heaping to the center. Roll out the remainder of the dough to from the lid. Dampen the edges of the pastry with water and then gently transfer pasty to top of pie, pressing the edges firmly to crimp.
Use remaining dough to decorate top if you wish; cut, dampen the back with water and gently apply. Use paring knife to cut one or two small steam holes on the top then brush with cream. The cream glaze gives the pie a light sheen and helps it to brown. Before baking, be sure to place your pie on a baking sheet, just in case juices bubble over.
Bake in a pre-heated 425ºF (220°C) oven for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350ºF (175ºC) and bake for a 20 minutes. Immediately turn the oven off and let the pie stand in the warm oven, door closed, for another 10 -15 minutes.
This method of cooking helps the pastry to brown, the apples to cook through and then allows the juices to settle – without burning.
Gypsy note: A tough day with pastry. Oh well. Still grateful, I have PIE!