Fall Natural 6 Grain Apple Pie

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

5 large Jonathan or Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin
1 tsp Wise Woman of the East spice blend
2T fresh lemon juice
2T flour or 1T cornstarch
2tsp double strength vanilla
¼ cup honey (I use flavor infused)

Combine in a large bowl until well coated. I put the bowl in the microwave for 5 minutes on high and stir well. This helps the apples to partially cook and reduces the baking time. This may also be done on the stove-top. Once partially cooked, transfer into a 9 inch uncooked pie crust.

For the crust you will need:
2 1/4 cup 6 grain pastry flour (all purpose will work)
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup shortening (non trans fat try Spectrum organic brand)
3 T cold water
3 T white distilled vinegar

Crust: Combine the flour and the salt in a large bowl. I keep the fat pretty cold. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender. combine lightly until the mix resembles course meal or tiny peas: its texture will not be uniform, but will contain small crumbs and small bits and pieces. If you don't have a pastry blender, you can certainly use the wire whisk from your mixer. Or, my personal favorite...the techno-chef fingers. Just make sure your hands are freezing cold. It's winter, I'm sure you can work that out.

I use vinegar in my crust. I have for years. It helps with the flaky texture and it actually does make an amazing crust. Make a well in the dry stuff and add 3 T cold water and 3 T vinegar. You may need more or less, so go with 2 T of vinegar at first...but I can't think if the last time I needed to change the recipe and add more water or vinegar than what it says. Lightly combine, just until mixed. Over mixing the dough will always result in hard non-flake-like crust. Kneading it only a few times and making into a ball.

Refrigerate about 30 minutes. It will be easier to work with, and it gives the gluten (protein in the wheat) time to rest so the dough will roll out easier. Take half of the dough. With your hands form it into a patty. I put my dough between two pieces of wax paper. I've used this method since my granny W. Forever. It's never failed me. Lightly...and I do mean lightly...wipe the counter top with a lightly damp clean washcloth. Place a piece of wax paper down, about 1 foot by 1 foot. Put the dough down. Top with another piece of wax paper of same proportions. Wax paper helps contribute to a tender crust, using extra flour on the counter instead may lead to a dry crust if overdone.

Roll the dough out into a circle. This may take practice to get it just right. Take your time.

Once to the edges of the wax paper, remove the top piece of paper. Place crust, uncovered side down in the pan, with an inch or so of crust hanging over the edge of the pan. Now remove the second piece of paper.Trim the edge so it hangs over about 3/4 inch, then fold it under so it leaves a little rim on the pan. This one comes up about 1/2 inch.

Don't expect your first pie to look this neat and tidy. I may have made several hundred pies in the course of my days. If, however, yours looks this nice, keep in mind you are a freaky genius and I don't even know what to say.

Fall 6 grain Streusel topping
1 cup 6 grain pastry flour
1/4 cup melted organic butter
1/4 cup sugar or natural sugar alternative
1 tsp Chef Tess Wise Woman of the East Spice Blend
Combine until a crumble like topping and put on top of the luscious apple filling.
Bake at 375 degrees 25-30 minutes until golden.

For more information, visit ChefTessBakeresse.com.