Ginger, Chilean black grapes, plain yoghurt, bananas, apples, oranges, frozen blueberries, strawberries and a bit of honey are blended in an Osterizer for a health-enhancing morning drink.
~~M-J de Mesterton, 2009
The Sonya apple originated in New Zealand, and has been internationally available since 2002. Its unique flavor is owed to its two parent-apples, the Red Delicious and the Gala.The Sonya apple is pleasantly sweet and crisp, with an intense, fresh apple-juice flavor. Sonya apples are perfect for snacks, and the ones available now are small and perfectly shaped for packing in lunches. In my recent experience with Fuji apples, Elegant Survival’s former favorite for pie-making as well as eating, they have become less crisp, juicy and flavorful. Though that anomaly may be only temporary, I intend to make pies with Sonya apples henceforth. M-J’s Fuji Salad will now be called “Sonya Salad”–stay tuned for the recipe.
Apples, because of their pectin, polyphenols and bioflavonoids, have properties that really can, like the old adage says, keep the doctor away.
In 1996, a study was conducted in Finland to determine whether or not eating apples can lower cholesterol. The Finnish team determined that eating three apples a day for three months can help lower a person’s LDL, or low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) level by twenty points. Apples contain quercetin, an antioxidant which also helps to reduce the amount of LDL in the bloodstream.
Another Finnish study’s results promote the theory that the polyphenols in apples can inhibit lung cancer.
Apples, having natural ACE-inhibitor properties, can help to relax arteries, lower blood pressure and improve the pumping ability of the heart. The apple is also a hemetic, an agent that builds up the blood.
Eating apples can reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease. The well-known Women’s Health Study found that females who regularly ate foods high in flavonoids, such as apples and onions, had a 35% reduction in cardiovascular events. The Finnish study found a lower risk of thrombic stroke among those who eat apples often. The study concluded that “flavonoid intake was strongly correlated with a decreased mortality from heart disease in elderly men and also negatively correlated with myocardial infarction.” The Finnish research team proved that the apple’s bioflavonoids have an effect on cerebrovascular health. Apples provide antioxidants for the body. Oxidative damage on cells by free radicals contributes to age-related brain deterioration. Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia are examples. The apple is an anti-Alzheimer’s agent. A study conducted by the University of Massachusetts suggests that whether the brain-oxidation is caused by genetics, metabolism, or dietary insufficiencies, apples can improve the condition. The apple can help to prevent sugar alcohol, or sorbitol, from being trapped in nerve and eye cells. Apples contain a natural aldose-reductase inhibitor, which can help to prevent this devastating effect of diabetes. Apples are a digestive aid, and help to prevent the absorption of fats. The health-benefits of apples are numerous, and autumn is harvest time.
7 Fuji apples–cored, peeled, and thinly sliced (reserve peels and cores)
2 tablespoons of cornstarch
1/4 cup light-brown sugar (or more, according to your to your taste)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup of cold water
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
1 additional half stick of butter
An extra 2 tablespoons of sugar, either white or brown
One cup of water
1. Make the dough: put one stick of cold butter into a large mixing bowl, together with the 3/4 cup of chilled lard and a teaspoon of salt. Add flour gradually, working it into the butter and lard. Add approximately 3/4 cup of cold water, then cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough forms small pea-shaped balls, and when formed into a large mound, it holds together. Sometimes less cold water is required–believe it or not, the amount needed to make a pie dough with this recipe depends upon the moon.’s current phase. Mix this by hand, since machine will create a tough pie crust. I use an old-fashioned wire potato masher and a wooden spoon. When the dough sticks together but doesn’t stick to your hands, shape it into 2 balls, wrap each in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
2. Put all of your apple peelings and cores into a saucepan on the stove with a cup of water and two tablespoons of sugar, and boil until the liquid becomes syrup. Strain liquid from solids and reserve it. The peelings can then be eaten or ground into applesauce–it’s important not to waste any edible part of your apples.
3. Assemble the pie: heat your oven to 425°F. Roll out one ball of dough into a 12-inch round about 1/8-inch thick, on a lightly floured surface. Fit the dough into a 9 or10-inch pie pan. Place one layer of apple slices into the dough-lined pan. Cover them with two tablespoons of cornstarch and a quarter-cup of brown sugar. Repeat this process with apples, sugars and cinnamon. Distribute the half-stick of butter on top of the apples after slicing it into bits. Add your apple syrup over the top of the pie. Alternatively, I sometimes skip the step of creating syrup from my apple peelings, and just use some apple juice concentrate (found in grocery frozen juice section).
Roll out the second ball of dough for the top crust. Brush the edges of the bottom crust with water or milk, and lay the top crust down, pressing the edges together to form a tight seal. Use your imagination to pierce or slice a design into the top of the pie to allow steam to escape. Bake for ten minutes at 425*F, then lower your oven heat to 350* and bake for another hour. Let the apple pie cool for a minimum of two hours before serving.
Elegant Apple Pie Recipe Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008