Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Swedish Apple Pie

After the excitement of the first day of school died down, the thing I looked forward to most was apple picking. It was almost magical to me to go into the pristine rows of gnarled trees, Cortlands and Mackintoshes sparkling in the sun like rubies. We had free roam of the orchard, the musty fragrance of fallen leaves mixed with the crisp coolness of fall air, the softness of my favorite sweatshirt, the crunch of the oranges, reds, greens, and yellows of the foliage underfoot.

My mother's pies never really came out too well. The bottom crust was always doughy and I'd gingerly pick out the delicious filling, being careful not to get any of the crust mixed with my bite.

As I grew older, I baked the ubiquitous all-American apple pie. After a day or so, my bottom crust would get soggy, usually causing me to toss the leftover pie in the disposal. The solution? A pie without a bottom crust, is a cinch to put together, and tastes like you're eleven years old and sitting in the orchard. The top is crispy, delicate and tender at the same time. Take care to get it in the oven as soon as you finish spreading the batter on the apples.

Vegan Swedish Apple Pie

2 1/2 cups peeled, cored and sliced apples; I used a blend of Granny Smith and Cortland
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup margarine, melted (such as Earth's Best)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup soy yogurt*
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9-inch glass pie plate with margarine. Toss apples with brown sugar and cinnamon. In a medium bowl, mix 1 cup sugar, soy yogurt, and vanilla with the melted margarine. Whip with an electric mixer until the mixture is very aerated and nearly white. Stir together flour, soda and salt. Add all at once to margarine mixture and mix until just combined but with no lumps. Spread mixture over the apples. Bake in preheated oven for 65 minutes, or until golden brown.
*(If you eat eggs and dairy products, you can omit the yogurt and the baking soda and substitute a beaten egg; and use butter in place of margarine for similar results.)

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