As Thanksgiving draws near (less than a week up here!), I'm trying to figure out what to make for a main course. I'm happy enough with a Tofurky, but since I'm teaching a class at the end of November on veganizing holiday food, I figure I should put in a little more effort than that. Stuffing a winter squash is always classy, but sort of predictable, so I'm waffling on this one. Any ideas?
Dessert, however, was a no-brainer. I'm teaching this other class in November (I know, busy bee Allysia) on raw food desserts, so I wanted to multitask that with a Thanksgiving dessert. So raw apple pie it was, since it's easy (albeit time consuming), not super expensive to make like a lot of raw desserts, and everyone loves apple pie (except Mike since he's weird about cooked fruit, which means maybe this one will go over well). Plus I've made it a zillion times.
I've learned a couple of hard lessons with this pie. Since it's raw, the ingredients should be tip-top. No sad, languishing apples here (I've done it and it makes a big difference in the bad way), and use those awesome, caramel-y medjool dates that hang out with fresh produce in the store, not the crappy dried ones in the baking section.
When I first made this pie, I followed Ani Phyo's recipe to a T, and upon making it a handful of times I've modified it to my preference. I'll share my modified version here, though I highly recommend checking out her books if you haven't already!
Raw Apple Pie
For the crust:
1 cup dry almonds
1 cup pitted Medjool dates
1/4 + 1/8 tsp salt
For the sauce:
1/2 cup pitted Medjool dates
1 orange, peeled
water, for consistency
For the pie:
5 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1. In a food processor, process the almonds until fairy well-ground (some chunks are okay). Sprinkle some of the ground almonds on the bottom of a pie plate to "flour" it. Add the dates and salt to the food processor and process until the mixture sticks together when you squeeze it with your hand. Press the crust firmly into the pie pan so the bottom and sides are covered.
2. Using the food processor again (don't worry about cleaning it), make the sauce by processing the dates and orange, adding enough water to keep the mixture running. When it's relatively smooth (some chunks are okay), set it aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine the apple slices, cinnamon and sauce, tossing well to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie crust and press evenly. Let it sit in the fridge for a few hours to help it become more sliceable and enjoy!
This pie takes on more of a cooked texture when it has the chance to sit for about a day, but since it's made from fresh ingredients it's best to enjoy in the course of 2 days. Trust me, it won't last that long anyway.
In addition to being a great holiday dessert, it also makes a fairly fancy guilt-free breakfast! I want to mention, too, that the type of apples you use here makes a big difference in flavor (obviously). I absolutely love using tart Granny Smiths since it contrasts the sweetness of the syrup and crust so nicely, but go with your preference.
Well have fun with the MoFo, folks, and I'll catch up with your blogs tonight!