Sugar-free strawberry and apple pie
Sugar-free strawberry and apple pie

The sun’s hard and harsh rays are sadly forcing the strawberries into oblivion. :( But I must say, this year, I’ve eaten strawberries almost right through the season and I bid adieu to my most favourite fruit with nothing less than a sugar-free pie!

There’s something about this luscious fruit with at least 200 seeds that makes people go crazy about it. It’s believed that in the yesteryears, the royals feasted on this fruit and newlyweds were entitled to strawberries with soured cream as a wedding breakfast, believing them to be an aphrodisiac. I however dig them for their nutritional value: vitamin C and K, a good dose of fibre, folic acid, manganese and potassium and they help regulate blood sugar levels. Could I ask for more?

Since I was using oats to make the pastry, it was a wee bit tough to handle rolled out and cut dough strips.
A healthy snack that warms to heart and belly alike.

In this pie, strawberries find a companion in apples and almonds. Strangely when I looked up my Flavour Thesaurus, apple and strawberries didn’t show up as compatible mates…but almonds worked with both of them individually. Though a bit skeptically, I followed my gut and ended up with a delicious strawberry and apple pie.

Time taken: 1 hour

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Skill level: Basic

Serves: 8 adults

Equipment needed: Oven, Skillet, Pie dish, Cookie cutters,

I love using cookie cutters, to dress up the pastry base. It hides flaws in the pastry if any
I love using cookie cutters, to dress up the pastry base. It hides flaws in the pastry if any

Ingredients:

  • 100 grams refined all-purpose flour
  • 100 grams oats
  • 100 grams + 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons of cold water
  • 500 grams strawberries, washed and chopped
  • 2 granny’s apple (green ones), skinned and chopped fine
  • 100 grams almonds, roasted and hand crushed
  • 50 ml rum (optional)

Method:
1. Mix the oats and flour together.
2. Mix in the butter with your fingertips to form a breadcrumb like texture.
3. Use very little water to bind the dough together. Cover with cling film and cool in fridge for at least 30 minutes.

You can use apple and cranberries or pear with vanilla as an option to fill your pies
You can use apple and cranberries or pear with vanilla as an option to fill your pies

4. Now to a skillet, add a tablespoon of butter and cook with strawberries and apple together. I did not need to add sugar but if you do, add sugar to taste at this stage. If using rum, add it at this stage.
5. When cooked take it off the flame and cool.
6. Add the coarsely crushed almonds.
7. Pre-heat your oven to 200 degree centigrade.
8. Line a baking pie dish with butter or butter paper.
9. Take the dough out of the fridge and divide it into two parts. Roll one out on a flat surface.
10. Place the rolled out dough on the buttered baking dish ensuring that it covers the sides of the dish too. If you have pastry running over the edges use a rolling-pin to cut it off.
11. Blind bake the pie crust in the hot oven for 20 minutes. You need to use baking beads or pierce holes into the pie crust to make sure it does not rise.

If you are trying a decorative pastry cover for the first time substitute the oats for all purpose flour
If you are trying a decorative pastry top for the first time substitute the oats for all-purpose flour

12. Roll out the other half of the dough and cut it using cookie or pasty cutter or use a round top to cover your pastry. I’ve used flowers and leaves.

Strips, flowers and leaves: a pretty design that added biscuity texture!
Strips, flowers and leaves: a pretty design that added biscuity texture!

13. When the crust is nice and crisp, take it out. Add the pre cooked apple and strawberry mix and cover it with a design of your choice on top of the apple and strawberry mix or use the second round you’ve rolled out. If using a covered top, make a tiny cross at the centre. This ensures complete cooking and also allows some of the gorgeous filling to flow out and give your pie a stunning look!
14. Eat it hot with cold ice cream or cold with cream and strawberry sauce!

I messed up on the grid, because the oats-flour pastry would break very easily once it had touched the strawberry and apple mix. A little bit of imperfection is okay :)
I messed up on the grid, because the oats-flour pastry would break if I tried to touch it once it hit the strawberry and apple mix. A little bit of imperfection is okay :)

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