I’ve been experimenting with raw foods lately, and I’m having a great time in the process. I recently got a lovely Breville juicer for my birthday (thanks Mom!), and have upped my intake of fresh salads. I’ve also started making raw dishes like zucchini pasta with raw tomato sauce and raw desserts. Raw desserts are especially fabulous. Essentially, they are a fruit and nut blend. A few weeks ago I made a raw chocolate pie, with a date/walnut/coconut crust, and a filling of mashed avocado with good cocoa powder (not raw, but I’m not concerned with things being 100 percent raw anyway) and honey. This raw apple pie follows basically that same formula for crust–dates and walnuts blended in the food processor for a crumbly paste that spreads well in the bottom of a pie plate or tart pan. The filling is just apples with a date syrup to sweeten, along with orange zest and juice to add flavor and keep the apples from turning brown. I also added dried cranberries and golden raisins for extra sweetness and flavor. I did not allow the apples to sit and drain, but I do include this step in the recipe. The apples release a significant amount of water, and you can end up with a pie that’s on the soupy side. That’s what happened to me, though the pie was still very, very tasty!
For the crust:
5-6 large medjool dates, pitted (It’s better to use dates that still have pits because they tend to be softer. Pitted dates can be pretty dry.)
2/3-3/4 cup raw walnuts
Place dates and walnuts in your food processor. Process until you have a crumbly mixture. The mixture should hold together but not be too sticky either. Press the mixture into an 8 inch pie plate or a tart pan (as pictured above). Evenly distribute, pressing into the edges so the mixture is about halfway up the side.
For the filling:
3 medium to large apples (I used Braeburn, but any variety will do)
Juice and zest of 2 oranges or tangerines
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2/3 cup dried cranberries and/or raisins or golden raisins
3 dates, pits removed
1/3 cup water
Slice the apples into thin slices. Place in a bowl with orange juice and zest.
Cover, and refrigerate for about 2 hours to allow the apples to release some of their liquid. Next, place the dates and water in your food processor, and blend until you have a syrup.
Drain the apples, and add the syrup and the dried fruit. Place the apple mixture in the pie plate or tart pan, evenly distributing. Arrange the apples into a pattern if you like (I didn’t make a lot of effort at this, but feel free.) Slice and serve.