Lighter Thanksgiving Treats With A Healthy Substitute For Butter
Thanksgiving, baking and heart healthy fats. These may not be traditional bed fellows but, thanks to a well selected extra virgin olive oil, it’s possible to substitute butter with a healthier alternative and not compromise on taste.
While the succulent Thanksgiving turkey itself remains the centrepiece of any traditional Thanksgiving feast, there is always room for some delicious baked treats – savoury or sweets – which can be made in advance with the best olive oil in your larder.
Olive Oil As a Substitute For Butter
By replacing saturated fats such as butter or margarine with extra virgin olive oil or substituting other liquid fats like vegetable oil or canola oil with EVOO, you can add depth of flavour and polyphenol packing health benefits also. Here are our top three picks of the best Thanksgiving bakes with extra virgin olive oil:
Olive Oil Pastry Dough
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon / 108 grams organic all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup / 103 grams organic whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon / 75 ml Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil ice-cold, plus more at room temperature to grease the pie pan
- 1 teaspoon / 5 ml apple cider vinegar
- 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons 30 to 38 ml ice water
- Place a wire mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Whisk the flours in their containers to aerate, and measure the all-purpose flour and pastry flour into the strainer. Add the salt to the strainer and stir with a wire whisk to sift the ingredients into the bowl. (If any small bits remain in the strainer, add them to the mixture in the bowl.) Whisk to aerate the mixture.
- Drizzle the cold oil over the flour mixture. Using a silicone spatula, toss until the oil is coated with flour. Do not break up the irregular fat pieces that form. These lumps are equivalent to the solid shortening used in conventional recipes and help to create a flaky crust.
- In a small dish, stir the vinegar into 2 tablespoons of the ice water. Drizzle the liquid over the mass of dough and shake the bowl; this will get the water into the dough without extra handling. Handling as little as possible is one of the important rules of making pie dough. Toss gently, using the spatula, until all the flour is moistened and a rough mass of dough holds together. Do not over mix. It is unlikely that more water will be needed, but if it is, use only as much as needed so that the dough holds together. Do not squeeze or press the dough into a round at this point.
- It's easier to roll half the dough at a time (and easier to find refrigerator space for 2 smaller pieces.) Turn half the dough at a time onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Enclose the dough lightly, al- lowing enough space for it to move freely. Pass a rolling pin over the dough until it is about 1 inch / 2.5 cm thick. Repeat with the other half. If you have extra-wide plastic wrap, you may wrap the dough in one piece. Rest the wrapped dough in the refrigerator for 45 minutes or up to 4 hours.
- Shape the crust: Unwrap the dough but do not dis- card the plastic wrap. Cut off small pieces of dough with a sharp knife. (The pieces do not have to be uniform in size.) Scatter the pieces over the bottom of the pan and on the sides.
- Cover the pan with a piece of plastic wrap. Flatten the pieces of dough with your fingertips by spreading them out until they form an even layer that covers the bottom and sides of the pan. Patch with extra dough as needed. Even out the dough by pressing on it with a flat-bottomed 1?2-measuring cup.
- If using a pie pan, flute the edges. If using a tart pan, press the dough straight up the sides. Press lightly on the top edges of the pan with the cup to smooth the top ridge. Clean the outside of the pan of any dough. Wrap the dough in the pan lightly in plastic and refrigerate for 40 minutes or up to 4 hours be- fore baking. Set a timer, and don't let it go longer than 4 hours
- Blind bake the crust: Preheat your oven to 425 ?F / 220 ?C while the pie dough rests in the refrigerator. Position one rack in the lower third of the oven and another in the center.
- Put the pie or tart pan on a baking sheet and remove the plastic wrap. Do not prick the dough. Cut a square of parchment paper slightly larger than the pie pan. Crumple the paper to make it more flexible, and place it on the pie dough. Put a piece of heavy duty foil on top of the parchment paper, shiny side down, and fill with pie weights or dried beans used for this purpose.
- Bake on the lower rack for 17 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and very carefully remove the beans in the foil and the parchment. Unless the dough is completely dry, without any shine of oil, return the dough to the oven for 5 minutes. Do not bake longer or the crust will crack. (Should this happen, brush a little melted chocolate over the cracks to seal when the pie crust is cooled.) Remove the pan from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack before filling.
- Recipe Notes Keeping: The baked crust can be kept loosely wrapped overnight at room temperature.
Simple Olive Oil Buns
- 400g all-purpose flour
- 4g active dry yeast
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil
- 180 ml water + more for the crust
- Combine flour, sugar, salt and active dry yeast in a bowl. Mix and add water. Stir again and put aside for 5 minutes so that your flour can absorb well all the liquid (that will make it easier to knead).
- Add Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil and knead for 10 minutes. Lay the dough in a slightly oiled bowl and let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour and 45 minutes or until it doubles the volume.
- The rising times are approximate, it can take more or less time depending on the temperature of the environment, the freshness of the yeast, the strength of the flour and other factors not related to the recipe.
- Deflate the dough and divide it into 8 equal parts. Create small balls and place them on a baking tray covered with baking paper. Cover with a cotton cloth and let them rise for another half an hour.
- Sprinkle your buns with water (you can also brush them). For this recipe I used flower sprayer to sprinkle the crust but is not strictly necessary. Cut the surface with a very sharp knife and put in the preheated oven at 230 °C.
- Bake these olive oil buns for about 15 minutes. After 5 minutes of baking sprinkle the surface of your buns with some more water to make the crust even crispier.
- Take out from the oven and cool down completely before serving.
Thanksgiving Spiced Apple Cake
- 2 pounds cooking apples
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 apples (eating style)
- 1 lemon
- 1 1/3 cups whole-wheat flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apricot preserves
- 2 tablespoons water
- Peel, core and slice the cooking apples. Place in a wide pan with the sugar and butter.
- Cook over high heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until the apples have broken down to a pulp and any excess water, has cooked off.
- Transfer to a bowl and cool completely. You should have about 1 pound puree.
- Heat the oven to 325? (160?). Line and lightly grease a 9-inch cake pan with a removable bottom.
- Peel, core, and finely sliced the eating apple, using a mandolin or sharp knife. Place in a bowl and pour over most of the lemon juice and a splash of water, set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and ground spices.
- Make a well in the center and add the egg, olive oil, and apple puree. Fold into the dry ingredients until just combined.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared cake pan and gently level the top with a spatula.
- Bake the cake for 30 minutes until it feels just firm to the touch in the center.
- Working quickly, overlap the sliced apples in the concentric circles on top, leaving a margin around the edge.
- Brush the slices with a little lemon juice and return to the oven for another 30 to 35 minutes until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool slightly before unmolding onto a rack. Warm the apricot jelly with the water, stirring until smooth.
- Brush over the top of the cake to glaze. Serve warm.