Zulka Pure Cane Sugar by Morena
Sugar is sugar. Right?
Actually - no.
Stephanie offered to send me some Zulka pure cane sugar which is made from freshly harvested sugar cane and is not processed like the sugar I buy around here. She said it is used just as my grocery store sugar and in the same amounts. I was curious and had never seen or used sugar that had not been pressed and processed.
The first thing I noticed was that the pure cane sugar granules were larger than my other bagged sugars. Plus, they had kind of a glow - sort of like rock candy but clearer.
I do use some sugar in barbecue rubs but usually brown sugar. Plus, we'd just been to an Apple Festival and picked up a big bag of Yellow Delicious apples. So, our first project with the Morena sugar was an apple pie which was a good dish to make while waiting for a shoulder to smoke on the Weber.
My son offered to make the apple pie. He's developed an interest in learning to make food from scratch. He even made his crust from scratch - his first. Then, he used one of my favorite apple pie recipes that dates to when I was his age and learning how to bake.
Here is Caleb's first apple pie made with Morena sugar.
Crumble Top Apple Pie Recipe
First buy a pie crust (the roll out type taste better than the frozen pre-formed ones) or make your favorite pie crust recipe. You only need one crust for this apple pie recipe, since the top is a crumble style.
Do not bake the pie crust as you would for a custard style pie. Likewise, do not put holes in the crust, since the filling bakes along with the crust, and you do not want the gooey part to leak down under the crust.
Apple Pie Filling
- enough apples to fill the crust slightly heaping as they shrink some when baked (6 to 8 apples usually)
- 1/2 cup sugar (we used this delicious Morena natural sugar)
- 1/4 cup water
Cut the apples up in slices and place in unbaked crust. Mix together the water and sugar. Stir. Pour evenly over the apples in the pie shell.
* At this point, you could add a top pie crust or a lattice weave top; however, we like crumble top which is super easy to make.
Apple Pie Crumble Topping
- 1/2 cup butter (let it sit out a while but not until melty)
- 1/2 cup sugar (Morena again used here)
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
Mix together the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Then cut in the butter. It will look crumbly chunky kind of like Bisquick but a little chunkier. Pour this mixture over top of the apple filling in the crust and spread around pretty evenly.
Bake at 450 degrees F for 10 minutes (to help set the crust and prevent it from being mushy) and then reduce heat to 350 degrees F until the top is browned (around 40 minutes).
What Did We Think of the Morena Sugar in Our Crumble Top Apple Pie?
Wow. That's all I can say about the Morena sugar. It has a more complex flavor than processed sugar. It really pops. I would say it's sweeter than the sugar I generally use, but that may be because our regular table sugar has gone through more processing. I have found that I can use less of the Morena sugar, since it is bursting with sweet flavor.
I hope our local grocery stores will start carrying Morena natural sugar. I wasn't sure that it would taste much different until I tried it. I can't imagine who decided to process the heck out of our sugar, because it's better tasting and looking when they let it stand on its own.