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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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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What’s Cooking – Coconut Cream Pie with Gingersnap Crust

Coconut Cream Pie with Ginger Snap Crust
Coconut Cream Pie with Gingersnap Crust

Looking in the cupboard Mark came out with some fresh ginger and a fresh coconut muttering he needed to use these. Now I am convinced that Mark is having a secret crush on a new lady called Anna Olson, a Canadian master baker who has a show on the food network channel, he never seems to be busy when she is on. On the plus side though after looking through his notes on her he did come up with this rather scrummy cake…

Ingredients:

Gingersnap Crust

  • 3/4 cup + 1/3 cup unsalted butter or vegetable shortening at room temperature
  • 1 cup golden brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup fancy molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • sugar, for coating

Coconut Filling

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups coconut milk
  • 2 whole large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut, lightly toasted

Cream Topping

  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon skim milk powder
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, lightly toasted

Method:

1. For gingersnaps, preheat oven to 180°C. Cream butter and sugar together until smooth. Stir in fancy molasses and beat in egg. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Add to butter mixture and stir just until blended. Shape spoonfuls of dough into balls and roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet and press flat with the palm of your hand. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until edges are lightly browned and remove from baking sheet to cool.

These are the cookies Mark “destroyed” in order to make a crust for the cake  /such a shame
These are the cookies Mark “destroyed” in order to make a crust for the cake
/such a shame

2. For crust, grind cooled cookies finely and measure out 2 ¼ cups of crumbs. Melt remaining 1/3 cup butter and stir into crumbs. Press into a 9-inch pie pan (or 2 6-inch springform pans) and chill until ready to fill.

3. For filling, stir sugar, cornstarch and salt together in a heavy-bottomed saucepot. Whisk in coconut milk, whole eggs and egg yolks. Heat custard on low heat, whisking constantly for 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium and continue whisking until custard thickens and becomes glossy, about 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and strain. Stir in vanilla, butter and coconut and stir until butter has melted. Pour immediately into chilled pie shell, let cool on the counter for 15 minutes, then chill completely before topping with cream, at least 4 hours.

4. For cream topping, whip cream to a medium peak, and whisk in sugar and skim milk powder (the skim milk powder stabilizes the cream). Top coconut custard with whipped cream, and sprinkle remaining toasted coconut on top as garnish.

Mercilessly copy and pasted from the wonderful Anna Olson.

What’s Cooking – Apple Pie, Irena Style

This is my Mum’s recipe for her famous Apple Pie. I called it Apple Pie, Irena Style.

 

Every holiday, birthdays, family gatherings or any other special occasion my Mum would bake this pie, so we can share it with others. Every family has some speciality; my Gran used to bake yeast dough, my auntie Barbara would bake a Cheese Cake, my auntie Halinka would prepare gingerbread and My Mum would always have her Apple Pie.

When I left home for University I asked my Mum to teach me her secret. I wasn’t visiting home very often and from time to time I just wanted to bake myself this reminder of my family and happy childhood. Now I bake it for my family and friends, so we can all enjoy it.

Try it and you will love it.

 

Apple Pie, Irena Style
Apple Pie, Irena Style

 

Ingredients:

6 eggs – yolks and whites separated

250g of unsalted butter or margarine

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)

 

How to make it:

  1. Pastry

Mix flour, baking powder, vanilla sugar and butter (ideally all will be at room temp)

After pastry starts to form add 6 yolks, 1 at the time. Mix all together, form a ball, cover with cling film and put into the fridge.

  1. Apples

Peal all apples, use grater to shred into small pieces. Once ready, put into sieve to get rid of excess juice.

  1. Preparation for meringue

Take a flat baking form – roasting tin can be used if needed – spread some butter into it.

Split your pastry ¼ and ¾ – ¼ leave in the fridge for now; take the ¾ part, roll flat and placed at the bottom of your baking tin. Once ready fill with apples (make sure that they are not very wet and juicy or you will end up with a soggy base). Add cinnamon on top of the apples. Now you are ready for meringue…

  1. Meringue

Put 6 whites into a mixing bowl. Mix until firm. After about 5 min of mixing, add icing sugar slowly. Once extra firm and solid place on top of cinnamon apples

  1. Topping

Once meringue is on top of your pie; take 1/4 leftover pastry; split into tiny pieces and put crumbs on top of meringues (you can also use a grater to do this)

 

Bake in the middle of the oven at 220C for about 30min. After the first 10 min, reduce the temp to 180C.

 

Once cooled, you can add a little bit of icing sugar on top to make it look even nicer.

 

Enjoy and please let me know if you had any problems with it and I’ll try and fix it for you. Happy munching… 🙂