Make it. Eat it. Love it.
It felt like big bubbles popping. I laid in bed waiting for the sun to come up wondering what it was I kept feeling. Could it be the feeling I have been waiting for the past 5 months? The feeling of tiny developing limbs pushing on me from inside? My mom told me when it happens I’ll just know. I felt it again and again, the sensation of large bubbles and an uncontrollable twitch moving from one side of my stomach to the other. The greatest feeling ever. At that moment I connected with my baby on a whole new level. Since that early morning the kicks (or perhaps punches) have been coming more frequently and become stronger each day. And, though if anyone including myself puts a hand on my stomach to feel her she ceases movements immediately, my husband got a few good feels in there the past week. There are days now that I find myself waiting for her to wake up and move around so I can feel her again. It’s wonderful how such things can bring so much joy.
As my baby grows, I grow and my pregnancy becomes more of a reality then a shock. There is actually a little baby girl developing in there with my help. And, she’s mine. The thought brings on so many emotions; happiness, excitement, fear! It will be my job to take care of this little life when she enters the world. Make sure she is happy, safe, healthy. And, why should I wait to start making sure these things happen for her when I can start now?
Up until this point in my life I was never one to be too conscious about true healthy eating. I crash dieted as I’m sure more people than not have done. I have cut out carbs then went back when I realized I couldn’t live without bagels. I have counted calories like a crazy person not understanding the concept of portion control and I’ve tried all the fad diets out there. My mom is even a nutrition consultant! But, it wasn’t until I was pregnant that I realized a few lifestyle changes could have me (and baby) eating healthy without giving up foods that I love or depriving myself of wonderful things.
I have read and heard talk of coconut oil and how wonderful it is. People would say you can use it as a substitute for butter and not even notice a difference. I was skeptical. I lived by Julia Child’s saying, “with enough butter, anything is good”. I mean seriously, how good can a pie crust be without butter? And, so I went on my way using butter in a way that would make Julia Child proud.
A bottle of coconut oil sat in my pantry for a long time. A really long time. It was finally time to put it to use. It’s now cherry season in Israel and as always I get over excited and buy way too much at one time. I had a kilo of fresh beautiful cherries about to go bad. Oh dear, what to do? Last year I made sour cherry and goat cheese turnovers with my bounty and this year I was going to make cherry pie. And, I was going to use that coconut oil in the pie crust instead of butter. Sorry Julia.
Well, the unthinkable has happened. I am a coconut oil convert. It’s actually true what people say. I just needed to see for myself I suppose. You couldn’t tell there was no butter in the crust. It was flaky and delicious. Move over butter, there is a new fat being used in this house.
Cherry pie pretty much embodies summer and with a pie crust made with no butter and a filling made using agave syrup in place of sugar you wont feel bad about eating it. So now you can have a piece of pie and sport that sexy new bikini. You’re welcome.
Serve plain or with your favorite ice cream. I served it up with my ricotta buttermilk ice cream. Just remember, the pie may be sugar free but the ice cream is so not!
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon agave syrup
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup solid coconut oil
4 tablespoons ice water
2/3 cup agave syrup
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 cups whole cherries, pitted
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 tablespoon baking sugar substitute
In a large mixing bowl whisk together flours and salt.
Add agave sugar and then solid coconut oil, rub in with fingertips until small pea-size clumps form.
Add ice water and mix lightly until dough holds together when small pieces are are pressed together, add more water if dough is too dry. Divide dough into 2 pieces and form each piece into ball, then flatten into disk and wrap in plastic wrap.
Chill dough in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
In a medium mixing bowl, toss pitted cherries with cornstarch and salt.
Stir in agave nectar and lemon juice and set aside.
Preheat to 375F and grease a 9 inch pie dish.
Roll out 1 dough disk on floured surface large enough to fit into the pie dish, about 11 inches.
Transfer dough to pie dish.
Roll out second dough disk on floured and using a small heart shaped cookie cutter cut hearts out of dough. (alternatively you can use a large knife to cut 10 strips from dough to make a lattice topping)
Transfer filling to dough-lined dish.
Arrange the cut out hearts on top of pie filling (or make a lattice top with cut out strips.
Brush the hearts with milk and sprinkle with baking sugar substitute.
Place pie dish on rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown, cover with foil if crust is browning to quickly.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Serve with ricotta buttermilk ice cream.