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Well, shiver-me-timbers… this really isn’t a cream pie, it’s a dream pie!
Today, I want to showcase sunflower lecithin (soy-free). I use it often, especially in desserts and I often get asked if it can substituted or omitted. I don’t recommend either. It plays a vital role texturally and nutritionally. In a recipe, such as this one, it is used as an emulsifier and thickener. But not only for the role it plays but also because it is very healthy for you. There are many brands on the market and I suggest that you do your research. After reading, Googling, reading, bookmarking, reading, napping, reading… I found myself very impressed with the Lekithos brand. Please note, that I don’t get any kickback from this company for recommending them. This is my personal choice and I just wanted to share it with you.
“This sunflower lecithin is certified organic by Baystate Organic Certifiers and features the USDA Organic Logo. It presents an allergen-free alternative to organic liquid soy lecithin. This product is obtained via mechanical extraction from organic sunflower seeds, resulting in a pure lecithin without the use of chemical solvents such as hexane or acetone. Lekithos organic sunflower lecithin is Non-GMO, solvent-free, soy-free, gluten-free and vegan. The most common applications are as dietary supplement ‘as is’ (intake as directed by your physician or health care provider), in recipes for shakes, smoothies, sauces, dressings, or any product requiring an emulsifier.
Sunflower Lecithin is rich in Phosphatidylcholine (PC), Phosphatidylinositol (PI), Phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and Omega-6 (Linoleic Acid), which are considered beneficial to the brain and nervous system.
Phosphatidylcholine (PC) helps to process fats and to support cell membranes. It is very high at birth, particularly in brain tissue, and declines over time as part of the normal aging process. Consuming dietary supplements high in PC aid the natural level in the cells and help minimize the age-related decline*.
Phosphatidylinositol (PI) is an important lipid abundant in brain tissue, and is present in all tissues and cell types. Phosphatidylinositol is usually the phospholipid with the smallest presence, however Lekithos Sunflower Lecithin has an equal amount of PC and PI.
Phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) is usually the second most abundant phospholipid in animal and plant lipids, and is a key building block of membrane bilayers. It is found in nervous tissue such as the brain, nerves, neural tissue, and in the spinal cord.
Linoleic Acid (LA) is an Omega-6 essential polyunsaturated fatty acid, which is abundant in many vegetable oils such as sunflower oil. Linoleic Acid is vital to proper health and aids in wound healing.” (source)
I know that was quite lengthy, but I really wanted to share with you why I use it. Now, back to the pie… I am somewhat embarrassed to say that it took 5 days to get a decent photo of this pie. Mother Nature was working against me with her cloudy, rainy days. Whereas, I do appreciate and enjoy the rain, the clouds sucked up all my natural light for photo taking. I have camera lights, but I don’t know how to use them. :) If Mother Nature keeps this up, I just might have to learn, they do work well for quilting though. hehe
Bob enjoyed the process because with each attempt, he ended up with a beautifully plated piece of pie to eat after I finished trying to get a picture of it. hehe The other day we had our friend Heith here to do some sheetrock work for us. He had a slice for his mid-morning snack. He even took a picture and texted it to his wife, he went home with two pieces in hand to share with her. Hmm, I best check in with her and make sure she got some. hehe
This pie is so creamy and even 8 days later, the last few pieces were just as good as first one!
Yields 9″ deep dish tart pan
Filling: yields 4 cups
After the filling is firm, spread the ganache on top.
Decorate as you see fit!
For decoration I used dried apple flowers. They are very easy to make. Core the apple,
but don’t peel so be sure to use organic apples. Slice into thin rings. I used a 1.5 mm
blade on my mandolin. Place on the mesh sheet that comes with the dehydrator and dry for
about 4 hours (at 115), or until they are still pliable and a bit rubbery feeling. Cut one side the ring
and start to coil the apple around itself, nice and tight. Lay back on the mesh sheet
and dry for another 2-4 hours. They don’t have to be crunchy hard, I prefer them
moist for this dessert.
This is how I remove the base from the tart pan when ready to serve… place the pan
on top of a sturdy bowl that is smaller in diameter than the opening of the tart pan.
Then gently, press in a downward motion on the ring of the tart pan until it slides off.
For a little extra decor… I swiped some Raw Chocolate Ganache across the plate.
Getting up close and personal. :) Enjoy!