Good morning! Did you have a nice weekend? Mine was spent recovering from the cold I got at Vida Vegan Con last weekend in Portland (read my re-caps here and here). Just as soon as I was feeling better, Alan woke up on Saturday sneezing and sniffling. He’s much better at resting than I am (insert “typical man” jokes here), so he is already almost better.
I’m still blaming my inability to sleep over 7ish hours on my thyroid replacement medication dosage (you can read my thyroid cancer posts here) that is being adjusted about every six weeks, but early mornings make for special sunrise-watching moments:
Sunrise and early morning are my absolute favorite times of day; there is just something about the quiet and promise of a fresh start that I find very comforting and inspiring.
Modern Apple Pie:
On one of our visits to Blossoming Lotus in Portland last weekend, Alan ordered a slice of their apple pie. I believe it was flavored with bourbon or something exotic like that, but I did have a bite and it initiated thoughts of making my own version. Here’s what the restaurant slice looked like:
I realize it’s not exactly apple season, but I’m still finding remnants at the farmers’ market and other stores:
I have heard that all of the “healthy stuff” in apples is found in the peel, so there was no way I was going to peel mine. Instead, I just cored and sliced them, putting them in a pot with some orange juice, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and raisins (for the filling):
Truth be told, I attempted to pressure-cook this concoction, but I was unable to get the pot up to pressure. So, I ended up just cooking the whole thing on the stove-top until the apples had softened, about 15-20 minutes.
At the very end of the cooking, I added a special ingredient that is part of the modern twist to this recipe…nutritional yeast!!!
I’m giving credit to Chef Amber Shea for the idea of adding “nooch” to dessert creations, she has a recipe in her new book Practically Raw Desserts (read my review here) for Cashew Butter Cups that inspired me. (Also, forgive the nastiness of the spot on my thumbnail, I smashed it on some weights at the gym a few weeks ago and it’s taking forever to go away.) Anywho, I highly recommend adding the nutritional yeast, it added a wonderful, subtle flavor to the filling that was even reminiscent of apples and cheese, but not overly so.
I should also note that I later realized that because I left the peel on, the apples should be cut into much smaller pieces for an easier pie-eating experience. Here’s what the filling looked like when it was ready:
I set that aside that aside while I made my crust. I ended up a making a slight variation of the raw, nut-based crust from my Marionberry Ice Cream Pie recipe; this one uses a combination of almonds and walnuts, with the addition of cinnamon. The pie crust is so simple, you just process the ingredients and press them into a pie dish. Then, to pull together the pie, you just pour the filling into the crust, there is no baking required.
Here is the final recipe:
Modern Apple Pie
For the filling:
6 Fuji apples (or other sweet, red apple)
1 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup raisins
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
For the crust:
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups medjool dates, pitted
1. Core the apples and cut them into bite-sized pieces.
2. Combine the apples, orange juice, raisins, 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon and ½ teaspoon of the vanilla extract into a saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes, or until apples are softened. Stir in nutritional yeast and set aside to cool.
3. Place almonds, walnuts, and oats in a food processor and process until finely ground. Add the remaining cinnamon and vanilla extract. Turn the food processor on and add the dates through the feeding tube one at a time. Process until mixture is well combined.
4. Pour the contents of the food processor into the pie dish and use your hands to spread evenly into the dish. Place the crust in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour.
5. When you are ready to assemble the pie, pour the apple mixture into the pie crust and serve cold or at room temperature.
I do recommend chilling the entire assembled pie for about an hour before serving, just to help everything come together, but you could definitely serve it with the filling still warm. In that case, it would likely be more of a crumble than a pie, but delicious nonetheless. This pie is not to be missed:
For those of you who use my recipe app, Vegan Delish, on your iPhone or iPad (get it on iTunes here), I have updated it there as well, under the title Bakeless Apple Pie. Here’s a screenshot of the iPad version:
I hope you have a wonderful start to your week. My plans are to continue feeling better, get back to my normal exercise routine, and make more progress on my master’s degree final project (3 weeks to go before my complete first draft is due!). I’ll be back here with a new post on Wednesday, please keep in touch in the meantime by leaving a comment on this post, or following me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And, thank you so much for reading!