Sunday, April 20, 2008

Just Me and Edith in the Kitchen: Maple Pecan Pie & Crispy Chewy Granola Bars

There's nothing I like more than crankin the Edith Piaf tunes while cooking and especially baking...if you don't know who she is, she is a famous French singer! I think it just reminds me of Ratatouille (one of my favorite movies of all time!) it's all so very French, you feel like tossing flour around the kitchen and tossing things in a pot! Okay really I did neither of those things today nor what I made was very French, but it is was still inspiring! Today's creations were a good ol Pecan Pie and a crispy chewy Granola Bar. Oh and I cheated a bit too, I had a tenderflake pie crust sitting in my freezer so no homemade pie crust this time. As for the granola bar, I am lovin this recipe, adapted from The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger, it is loaded with tons of dried fruit, almonds and sweetened with maple syrup so it's much healthier than the bars you can buy in a store. Next time I think I will add ground flax seeds to add more fiber and a good dose of omega 3's.

Maple Pecan Pie (Adapted from Donna Hay's- Modern Classics 2)

1 tenderflake deep dish pie crust

1 cup whole pecans

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup maple syrup

40g (1 1/2 oz) butter, melted and cooled

3 eggs

1/2 cup whipping cream

1.Pre-bake pie shell till lightly golden. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and toast pecans, let cool.

2.Whisk together all ingredients except pecans. Fold in pecans last and pour into pie shell. Bake for 35-40 min or until filling is set. Cool before serving.

Crispy Chewy Granola Bars (Adapted from Ellie Krieger's- The Food you Crave)

1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats

1/2 cup shelled unsalted raw sunflower seeds

1/2 cup toasted wheat germ (if cannot find toasted, buy wheat germ and throw in a 350 degree F oven until toasted)

1/4 cup whole grain pastry flour

1/4 cup dried apricots

1/4 cup dried blueberries

1/2 cup raw almonds

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup pitted dried dates

1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks (optional)

1/2 cup nonfat dry milk

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

2 large eggs

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.

2. Place all ingredients in a food processor, except maple syrup and eggs and pulse until everything is finely chopped, or chop by hand. Add in syrup and eggs until combined.

3. Spread mixture evenly into baking pan and bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. When cool cut into bars.

(note: because wheat germ is high in natural oils it is prone to rancidity so look for it in vacuum packaging and not in bulk. After being opened store it in the fridge or freezer. It has gone bad if it has an unpleasant smell and bitter flavor.)

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