Sugar Free Rhubarb & Apple Pie

Sugar Free Rhubarb & Apple PieLately I’ve been obsessed with sugar. I check the ingredients list on all my products like a mad man… well mad woman actually… only to find sugar is in almost everything.

As we like baking I’ve decided to try to do some sugar free baking by replacing sugar with Natvia.

Natvia is a zero calories, 100% natural sugar replacement. It has low G.I and it is suitable for cooking and baking. Natvia contains no aspartame, no saccharin and no artificial ingredients; it is made from all-natural stevia and erythritol and it acts just like sugar does in the oven… well at least this is what I read, so I wanted to test this theory…

The information is right. You can bake with it and it works just as well as ordinary sugar… or should I say better as it is zero calories 🙂

Ingredients:

For the pastry:

  • 200g flour
  • 200g unsalted butter; cubed
  • 5tbsp Natvia sweetener
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2tsp baking powder
  • 3 drops of vanilla essence

For the filling:

  • 350g rhubarb
  • 350g apples
  • 1tbsp Natvia sweetener
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • A few handfuls of desiccated coconut

Method:

Sift the flour Into a large mixing bowl add the Natvia sweetener and combine, add the baking powder and vanilla essence and finally add the cubed butter. Bring all the ingredients together and add the egg yolk. Once you have a smooth and even pastry for our base split it into two halves and place in the fridge to settle.

Preheat the oven to 160C.

Wash and peel the rhubarb and apples, then trim the rhubarb and core/deseed the apples. Once cleaned up then chop them all up into small cubes.

Place them in a saucepan, add Natvia sweetener and cinnamon and gently cook until the fruit becomes soft, stir gently as you don’t want to turn the fruit into a mush.

Remove from the heat and put aside.

Prepare a small cake frame (around 12” X 12”) by lining with baking paper. Retrieve one half of your pastry from the fridge. Fill the bottom of your baking trey with a thin layer of the pastry either by rolling it out (if you are adept with a rolling pin) or just by patching piece by piece with your fingers (if you are not) – your pastry should be very easy to work with so this isn’t difficult.

Next cover your pastry with a thin layer of desiccated coconut then on top of your coconut layer spoon some of the stewed fruit filling; then again cover with a thin layer of desiccated coconut.

Take the second half of your pastry from the fridge so it is as chilled as it can be and using the “big eyes” on your grater grate all over the top.

Pop it into the oven and allow to cook for 30-35 minutes or until a nice golden colour.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Sprinkle with Natvia sweetener to give it a nice dusted finishing look.

Enjoy!

Sugar Free Rhubarb and Apple PieSugar Free Rhubarb & Apple Pie.My Sugar Free Rhubarb & Apple PieHave you ever tried Natvia before?

Have you ever attempted a sugar free bake, if so how did it go?

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Healthy Snacks – Home Baked Apple Chips

Home Baked Apple Chips

Just a few days ago Canderel challenged me to come up with a low-calorie recipe. This morning I received my Canderal sweetener and a small shopping voucher so I decided to knuckle down and get straight to work. My first instinct was to bake a cake, but the more I thought about it, the more I knew that a cake would not be an ideal solution… after all try as you might you can’t really resolve all your problems with cake alone 😉

In my head I browsed through endless recipes from the past which would be suitable and after a while I stumbled onto a blast from the past – Home Baked Apple Chips, perfect I thought to myself.

Healthy Snacks – Home Baked Apple Chips.

Growing up, both my parents and my grandparents had allotments, so in the harvest season there was always an abundance of fresh fruit. Being frugal by nature we would always turn them into something else, something more suitable for storage over those long winter months. A lot of apples were therefore turned into dried apples. They didn’t look like my chips here, they were bigger and chunkier but the principle is the same… they make for a perfect, healthy snack and best of all they have a very low calorie count.

So let’s make some Home Baked Apple Chips.

Home Baked Apple Chips with Canderel and cinnamon

Ingredients:

2 large apples

3tsp Canderel granulated sweetener

1tsp cinnamon

1 lemon (optional)

Method:

Preheat oven to a very cool 120C (fan assisted).

Line two large baking trays with non stick baking parchment.

In a small bowl mix your Canderel granulated sweetener and the cinnamon.

Make sure you have a fine sieve ready for action.

Home Baked Apple Chips and my  Oxo Chef’s Mandolin Slicer

Finely slice your apples. I don’t have any fully developed chef like knife skills, so I used my Oxo Chef’s Mandolin Slicer. Using a mandolin allowed me to have all my slices of equal thickness which makes baking them later on so much easier.

Place your sliced apples on earlier prepared baking trays.

If you are going for the lemon option, this is the time to do it. The lemon will stop your apples from going brown from oxidation but at the same time it will inevitably add a hint of lemon flavour to your apple slices. I skipped the lemon step this time round but if you are opting in simple cut your lemon in half and juice it on top of your apples.

Healthy Snacks - Home Baked Apple Chips

Using your fine mesh sieve, sprinkle your Canderel and cinnamon mixture all over the apples.

Pop them into the oven and set the timer to 30 minutes.

After this time remove both trays from the oven and turn your apple slices over.

Pop them back into the oven for a further 30 minutes.

Once the time is up, remove from the oven and allow them to cool.

When completely cool store them in an airtight container, if they are not for immediate consumption (be warned though, you will want to try one to see what they taste like which in turn leads to trying another one and then as if by magic you only end up putting three pieces into the airtight storage container).

My Healthy Snacks – Home Baked Apple Chips.

Top Tips:
Do not be tempted to bake them without lining the trays… I know as I did it and the whole batch was ruined as they arc welded themselves to the bottom of the trays!

Your baking time will depend on the thickness of your apple slices (as a guide mine where around 2mm thick)– the thinner the apples, the shorter the cooking time, so please watch them a bit more closely when you bake them for the first time just in case they will need a bit less time. When they start to bend and the edges start to lift this would be your sign that they are almost ready to be turned over… give them another 5 minutes and then perform the flips.

My Healthy Snacks – Home Baked Apple Chips

Do you like fruit chips?

Have you ever made home baked apple chips?

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House of Fraser – The Blogger’s Recipe Book and My Special Apple Pie Recipe

House of Fraser – The Blogger’s Recipe Book

This is not just any cook book, oh no, this is a very special cook book… this is a cook book in which you can find on pages 16, 17, 18 and 19 my very own Special Apple Pie Recipe!

We have been published in a real cookbook; not just an e-book but an actual book that you can hold in your hands and physically turn the pages. I just love it!

As you can probably guess I am chuffed to bits over this.

The whole project started back in August. I received an email in which I was asked if I wanted to be published in a cook book. Hell yeah! Of course I wanted to have my recipe in a book. The big question was which recipe… in the end actually it wasn’t such a big question… from all the recipes we have covered I knew that my Mums Apple Pie was the one which deserved fame the most. For years it was a closely kept secret but once we “let cat out of the bag” there was nothing to hide anymore. The recipe was out there, so why not immortalize it in print in a lovely cook book from House of Fraser.

House of Fraser – The Blogger’s Recipe Book and My Special Apple Pie Recipe

We re-wrote the recipe a little making it clearer and easier to follow. Then I had to bake one in order to shoot the “perfect” picture.

I think it worked.

The recipe reads well and the picture shows the pie in all its glory.

I feel very proud!

The whole book contains 14 recipes from UK bloggers; mostly cakes but who doesn’t love a good cake?

Just in case you had never heard about My Special Apple Pie Recipe before – here it is again – the new and upgraded version.

Enjoy!

House of Fraser - The Blogger’s Recipe Book and My Special Apple Pie Recipe

Ingredients:

6 eggs – yolks with whites separated

250g of unsalted butter

350g of plain flour

250g of icing sugar

2 tea spoons of vanilla sugar

3 tea spoons of baking powder

1kg of apples

Cinnamon (to taste)

Method:

1. Pastry

Mix the flour, baking powder, vanilla sugar and butter (ideally all ingredients should be at room temperature)
After the pastry starts to form add the six egg yolks, one at the time. Mix everything together until you are able to form a ball. Cover with cling film and pop into the fridge to rest.

2. Apples

Peel and core all the apples, using a grater shred them into small pieces. Once ready, put the apple shavings into a sieve to help get rid of any excess juice.

3. Preparation for meringue

Take a flat baking form – a roasting tin can be used if needed – grease the bottom and sides with some butter.
Remove your pastry from the fridge and split into two parts (¼ and ¾) – put the ¼ sized part back into the fridge for now; take the ¾ part, gently roll flat and place at the bottom of your greased baking form. Once ready cover the base with the shredded apples (make sure that they are not dripping with juice or you will end up with a soggy base, if necessary give them a squeeze with your hands before adding to the base). Sprinkle some cinnamon over the top of the apples. Now you are ready for the meringue part…

4. Meringue

Put the six egg whites into a mixing bowl. Whisk or beat until firm. When soft peaks start to form begin to add the icing sugar slowly. Once all the sugar is added and you are able to form stiff peaks stop whisking and with a metal spoon place the mixture on top of your cinnamon apples.

5. Topping

Once you have meringue covering the top of your pie; take the final ¼ of leftover pastry; and again with a grater grate tiny pieces on top of the meringue.

Bake in the middle of a preheated oven at 220C, after 10 minutes reduce the temp to 180C and bake for a further 20 minutes Or until the meringue peaks have a nice light golden brown colour.

Once cooled, you can dust with a little bit of icing sugar to make it look even more amazing.

Have fun if you decide to bake it!

Weekly Photo Challenge - Achievement
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Regis Stone Non-Stick Breakfast Challenge

Regis Stone Non-Stick Breakfast Challenge – Apple and Cinnamon Pancakes

JML challenged me to create a healthy fried breakfast using their new Regis Stone non-stick pan. I’ve heard about non-stick pans before but to be honest they never seemed to work as advertised, so I was really keen on trying Regis Stone.

I wanted to prepare a full English breakfast but then I thought to myself “hmmm, sausages have fat in them so my frying will not really be fat free, therefore I will not be able to truly test the new frying pan”… I could of course cook the eggs first but it would be such a waste of all that tasty nice sausage fat…

This led me to a new cunning idea – I will make Apple & Cinnamon Breakfast Pancakes! No fat in them so I will actually be able to make a fat free breakfast and thus test if the pan is really non-stick.

So how did it go?

Perfectly! I am quite amazed by the Regis Stone pan. I must admit I was tempted to add just a drop of oil… just in case… but I didn’t. My pancakes were cooked without any fat whatsoever and the pan didn’t even require a wash afterwards.

If you would like to try my breakfast pancake recipe, this is what you need and how you make them.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2l milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 300g flour
  • 100g white sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 2 apples
  • Icing sugar for serving

Method:

Separate the eggs whites from their yokes.

Place the whites in a separate bowl, ready for whisking.

Place the flour, sugar, salt, soda, cinnamon, milk and both yokes in a large bowl and mix all ingredients with a whisk until everything is well combined.

Wash, peel (or not), core and dice your apples. Add them into your main mixture.

Whisk the egg whites until they are able to form firm peaks and then gently fold them into the main mixture with a metal spoon.

Now, you are ready to start cooking.

Regis Stone Non-Stick Breakfast Challenge – Apple & Cinnamon Pancakes

As I used a Regis Stone pan, I had no need for any fat. I just grabbed a good spoonful of my mixture and place it in the preheated pan. It should take you just over a minute for each side to cook and brown nicely.

Regis Stone Non-Stick Breakfast Challenge -- Apple & Cinnamon Pancakes

Serve warm after dusting with icing sugar.

Enjoy!

Oh, and if you are in need of a new frying pan, I would highly recommend Regis Stone! We are going to order a large 28cm one. This is really one amazing frying pan!

*  I received one 24cm Regis Stone pan for free as well as shopping vouchers, to cover the cost of the ingredients, but all opinions expressed in this post are honest and my own.