All-American Apple Pie
To make a truly great apple pie, you need a tender, flaky crust and a mix of sweet and tart apples that hold their shape when baked. This is the only apple pie recipes you will ever need!
Makes: 8 servings | Prep Time: 50 minutes | Bake Time: 1 hour
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks), plus 2 tablespoons chilled unsalted
butter, cut into small cubes
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water
Milk for brushing over crust
3 large firm-tart apples, such as Granny Smith,
Northern Spy, Rome, or Idared, peeled, cored, and
cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
3 large firm-sweet apples, such as Golden Delicious,
Pink Lady, Jazz, or Honeycrisp, peeled, cored, and cut
into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Make the crust: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Sprinkle the butter into the bowl and work it into the flour mixture using your fingers. Stop when the mixture looks like cornmeal studded with small chunks of butter. Sprinkle 6 tablespoons ice water on top and stir with a fork until the dough begins to come together. If needed, add another tablespoon or two of water.
Pour the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead three times. Gather into a ball, then divide into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other, and press them into disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling: In a large bowl, toss the apples with the sugars, lemon juice, cornstarch, and spice.
(Tip: For maximum flavor, use as many varieties as you can get your hands on!) Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 425°F and set a rack to the lowest position. Unwrap the bigger disk of dough and lay it on a lightly floured surface. Working from the center, roll the dough out to a 13-inch circle, lifting and turning it often to keep it from sticking to the counter. Transfer it to a 9-inch pie plate and press it into the sides, draping any excess over the edge. Fill the crust with the apple mixture, making the pile a bit higher in the center. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill while you roll out the top crust.
Unwrap the smaller disk of dough and roll it out to a 10-inch circle as above. Lay it over the apple filling and use a sharp knife to make two 3-inch slashes in the top crust. Fold the bottom crust up over the top and crimp to seal.
Pinch the crust between your thumb and forefinger at regular intervals to crimp. Brush the crust all over with milk.
Put the pie on a baking sheet and bake on the lowest rack for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350°F and bake until juices are bubbling and the crust is golden brown, 40 to 50 more minutes. Cool on a rack for at least 45 minutes before serving.
Healthy Benefits of Eating Washington Apples
Apples Work Magic on Bad Cholesterol
It raises good cholesterol, lowers bad cholesterol and contributes to weight loss. So what is this miracle substance? An apple.
"I consider apples a magic food," said Bahram H. Arjmandi, Ph.D., director for the Center for Advancing Exercise and Nutrition Research on Aging at Florida State University. "Apples are not my favorite food, but I buy a bag a week and try to eat two per day. I am convinced this is what I should do if I want to remain healthy."
According to Arjmandi, apple pectin -- the white stuff under the skin -- binds to cholesterol in the gut and ferries it out of the body. This is well-known, but what surprised Arjmandi is how much cholesterol a couple of apples can remove from the body.
In one recent study, he divided 160 women between the ages of 45 and 65 into two groups. One group ate 75 grams of dried apple per day -- about 2 1/2 ounces -- while the other ate the same amount of dried prunes. To his amazement, the women who ate apples experi- enced a 23 percent decrease in LDL "bad" cholesterol, and increased their HDL "good" cholesterol by 3 percent to 4 percent -- a boost difficult to achieve with drugs or exercise.
The women who ate the dried prunes experienced no such effects on their cholesterol, although another study found that women who ate 10 prunes per day, while taking calcium and vitamin D supplements, had higher bone density in their forearms and spine than women who ate apples.
Cholesterol is manufactured in the liver. Statin drugs, such as Lipitor and Crestor, reduce cholesterol very effectively by blocking an enzyme needed to make it. The problem is that statins can be hard on the liver, which is why people who take them must have a blood test periodically to make sure their liver is not becoming irritated and inflamed.
"The liver is one of the largest organs in the body, and it can remain pretty functional if only 50 percent of it stays healthy," said Arjmandi. "You do not see an abnormality in the blood unless you do substantial damage to the liver. Drugs have their place, but if you have to check your liver enzymes, that means the drug is doing something not so good for you, and I don't understand why we would go for drug therapies when eating two apples a day reduces LDL cholesterol so effectively. Eat apples and you not only don't harm your liver, but you substantially benefit your health."
So why aren't apples prescribed for high cholesterol as avidly as statin drugs?
Statins account for about 6.5 percent of all drug sales in the U.S., according to Forbes magazine, and earn drug companies about $26 billion per year.
"You'd have to sell a lot of apples to make that kind of money," Arjmandi said. "If the drugs earn that kind of money, why would a business bother with apple pectin?"
(C) 2012 Chicago Daily Herald. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company All Rights Reserved
Apples: The Next Superfruit
(March 31, 2010) A new national survey of 1,021 chief household shoppers across the nation conducted for the US Apple Association by SupermarketGuru.com, shows people think of apples as the next superfruit. It is an accessible, value-priced, nutritional energy source on par with blueberries and pomegranates. Here are a few of the findings:
•96% called apples an "anytime" food for both adults and children
•90% said they would consider apples and apple products (slices, cider, not pastries) a regular part of their healthier diet in 2010 •64% rated apples a one, two or three on a "most healthful" scale of ten, with one being the highest rating
Moreover, when asked about the health attributes of apples and apple products, similarly high proportions of respondents were aware of the truth behind these scientifically supported statements:
•Apples and apple products, especially those with the peel left intact, are rich in plant compounds called polyphenols and antioxidants, both known to promote health (92%)
•Apples and apple products may help to boost weight loss efforts (89%)
•Daily consumption of apples and apple products can help reduce LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or "bad" cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease (85%)
Healthy Benefits of Eating Washington Apples
Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention
Heart disease, including stroke, is the nation's number one killer. Studies have shown that apples and apple products (like sauce and juice) can help lower your risk of developing heart disease and may also help decrease your waist size and possibly even your blood pressure.
A 2008 study by Dr. Victor Fulgoni, PhD, found that adults who eat apples and apple products have smaller waistlines that indicate less abdominal fat, lower blood pressure and a reduced risk for developing what is known as metabolic syndrome - defined as having three or more symptoms related to heart disease risk, including elevated blood pressure, increased waist size, and elevated c-protein levels.
The study showed that all adult apple-eating consumers had a 27% decreased liklihood in having metabolic syndrome compared to non-consumers. In addition, women especially might consider crunching an extra daily apple or two. Heart disease is the leading cause of death and more women than men die of heart disease each year. Apples have been found to be one of the foods that decrease the risk of death from both coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease among post-menopausal women the most. A study, published in the March 2007 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, reported that consumption of flavonoid-rich apples helped lower the risk of heart disease in more than 34,000 women.
Why apples? Pectin, a soluble fiber found in apples, has been shown to help with a whole slew of problems that can bring about heart disease. Pectin builds up in the digestive tract, helping to lower cholesterol levels and decreasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
(February, 2010 - US Apple Association)
Apple Consumption Linked to Improved Brain Health
A growing body of evidence suggests that eating apples and apple products can be beneficial when it comes to improving brain health and diminishing the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
A University of Massachusetts-Lowell research team led by Dr. Thomas Shea has uncovered a wide range of brain-protective effects in apples and apple juice that accompany aging and contribute to Alzheimer's disease. The research is discussed in the November/December 2009 issue of AgroFOOD Industry High-Tech.
"Our studies, like similar studies from other laboratories, provide evidence that good nutrition can help maintain a healthy brain, even in the face of genetic risk factors that may otherwise cause a decline in brain fuction in adult life and aging," Shea said.
Nine published studies from Shea's group demonstrate that eating apples and drinking apple juice may improve cognition, reduce hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease, and improve mood behavior in persons with Alzheimer's disease.
Animal studies from Shea's laboratory showed that apple juice improved cognitive performance and increased acetylcholine levels, a neurotransmitter that is essential to thought and memory functions. According to the researchers, the findings suggest that apple juice can impact cognition by boosting neurotransmitter levels.
Research summarized that apple juice helped prevent the increase in oxidative damage to the brain (which contributes to a decline in cognition) that is commonly seen with aging and with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease in mice. In one study, the brain tissue of mice consuming apple juice on a daily basis appeared to reduce levels of beta-amyloid, the protein that forms "senile plaques," in Alzheimer's disease.
Findings of the study report that among 21 individuals with moderate to severe Alzheimer's, the researchers report that consumption of two, 4 ounce glasses of apple juice daily for one month reduced behavioral and psychotic symptoms associated with dementia by 27%. The largest changes were seen in reducing anxiety levels, agitation and delusion. The findings suggest that apple juice may be a useful adjunct therapy for reducing the decline in mood that typically accompanies the progression of Alzheimer's disease and dimentia.
Why apples? According to the researchers, it remains unclear which components of apples (and apple juice) are responsible for the beneficial effects. The researchers do suggest, however, that the mechanisms responsible likely extend beyond the antioxidant activity of apple polyphenols - health-promoting substances natually present in fruit.
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