Raw Apple Pie

Rawpple Pie

The set of Pyrex bowls I bought when I moved into my apartment came with a pie plate, and I was at a bit of a loss because I’ve never made a pie before in my life.  For months, it sat in the bottom drawer of my kitchen, serving as a container for the various blades and attachments that came with my food processor.  Finally, I decided that enough was enough, and it was time to make a pie!  This was my first time making any kind of raw dessert fancier than simple raw ice creams, sorbets, or brownies (which simply require tossing all of the ingredients in a food processor), and it was also my first time making a pie from scratch.  I’ve never been much of a pie person (even before going vegan), but I definitely think that this rawpple pie is the best pie I’ve ever eaten!

Rawpple Pie

I decided to make a raw pie for several reasons.  First of all, I was not willing to go through the trouble of making a regular pie crust and having to deal with rolling it out, pre-baking it, and whatever other steps go into making pie dough.  Secondly, I tend not to care for cooked fruit, and I generally prefer almost every type of fruit in its raw form (peaches, berries, apples, etc.).  Finally, I’ve been trying to incorporate more raw foods into my diet, and I think that delicious desserts are the easiest way to do this (and as an added bonus, I never feel guilty even if I eat a huge portion)!
This recipe was largely based on Ani Phyo’s recipe for All-American Apple Pie, although I made several changes.  The recipe can be found on pg. 211 of her book Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen, or online with an accompanying instructional video.  I altered the recipe based on the ingredients I had on hand (for instance, I was out of salt, so I substituted a teaspoon of unpasteurized sweet white miso, though I think it also would also have been fine to omit it) and ideas I had read online in other recipes for raw apple pie (such as pureeing one of the apples as part of the syrup for the filling).  I also adjusted the ingredients based on my preferences, which led me to omit the raisins that are included in the original recipe.  As far as I can tell, this recipe is very easy to adapt to suit your needs, and you could use different nuts or fruit and still end up with delicious results.
Although preparing the ingredients and assembling the pie took a long time, the actual work involved was easy and relatively foolproof.  I used Derrie dates that I had bought at my local Farmer’s Market (although Medjool dates would also be a great choice), and I ended up using about 1 1/3 pounds for the entire recipe.  I chose to use Fuji apples from the Farmer’s Market for the filling, and since I bought “cosmetically-challenged” ones (because I was just going to peel and slice them), I managed to get a great discount.  In spite of this, the ingredients ended up being quite expensive, which I think was a bigger downside to making the pie than the three hours I spent working on it.

Rawpple Pie

Most of the preparation time was spent pitting the dates, preparing the apples, and layering the apples into the crust.  The crust was not as sturdy as I had hoped, but I think that was probably because my almonds may not have been completely dry after soaking them.  I used the same method for soaking and air-drying the raw almonds that I described in my recipe for Raw Brownies (in fact, I used the rest of the soaked almonds to make a delicious batch of brawnies!).  Also, even though I floured the bottom of the dish with ground almonds, I still had some issues with the crust sticking to the pan (although that may be partially due to the fact that I don’t have a pie wedge and had to maneuver slices out with a regular cooking spatula), so I wouldn’t bother with that step if I make the pie again.  After pressing the dough into the pie dish, I put it in the freezer while I worked on preparing the filling, which I think improved the cohesiveness of the crust for the pieces I served immediately after completing the pie.
The pie requires between 5-6 apples (one of which will go into the syrup), depending on their size; I used 5 1/2 of the Fuji apples I bought, and the leftover half made a delicious snack.  I peeled and cored the apples by hand, then used my V-slicer to cut them into uniformly-thin slices.  Having such thin pieces had various advantages and disadvantages; for example, it was difficult to toss the slices with the syrups since they were so fragile and broke easily, but the thin slices also made the presentation more impressive.  It was also more time consuming to layer the thin slices into the crust (whereas I could have just dumped in the bowlful of filling if the pieces had been thicker).  On the other hand, the thin slices avoided any problems with the raw apples being overly crunchy, and helped the pie filling to instantaneously achieve a somewhat cooked quality.  In the future, I think it would be better to use the thicker setting on my V-slicer, or to simply cut the apples by hand.
For the syrup, I pureed one of the Fuji apples and doubled the amount dates.  I didn’t need to add any water since my orange was so juicy, but even though I halved the amount of cinnamon called for in the original recipe and only used 1 tablespoon, I still found the taste to be a bit overpowering.  After storing the pie in the refrigerator overnight, the apples seemed to release some liquid, which made the crust even less sturdy although the pie was still fabulous.
Making rawpple pie was a fun and rewarding experience, and it would be great to serve on a special occasion. Since the pie does not have a very long shelf-life (the recipe says it will keep in the refrigerator for only two days, but all of mine was eaten up by the next morning), it might not be the best recipe for people who only cook for themselves.  Although I definitely think that the pie was worth the effort, if I made it again (or any variation of it with other fruit) I will probably opt for a cobbler presentation and just scoop some of the crust and filling onto a plate to save time and energy (it would also make it easy to adjust the yield and only prepare individual servings at a time).  If your on the market for a delicious raw dessert, this pie would be a great recipe to try!

Rawpple Pie

Rawpple Pie
Adapted from “All-American Apple Pie”
Yield: 1 pie

Crust:
2 cups raw almonds, soaked and dried
2 cups pitted dates
1 teaspoon sweet white miso (optional)

Filling:
1 orange, peeled and seeded
1 apple, peeled and cored
1 cup pitted dates
2 teaspoons cinnamon

4 – 5 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced

Pulse the almonds in the food processor until they form a coarse meal. Add the pitted dates and the miso, and process until the mixture comes together into a cohesive dough.  Press the dough into your pie plate and store in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

Process the orange and one of the apples in the food processor until they are pureed.  Add the dates and cinnamon and process again until smooth.

Place the sliced apples into a large bowl, pour the syrup mixture over it, and carefully toss until apple slices are thoroughly coated. Layer the syrup-covered slices into the prepared crust.  Serve immediately or refrigerate for later!

Rawpple Pie

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May 25, 2009. Raw.

16 Comments

  1. laci replied:

    sounds amazing!!! I am surprised such simple ingredients can be turned into this creation… I will give it a try! 🙂

  2. Kiersten replied:

    Even though it was so time consuming, it looks like it was worth it. It came out really pretty.

  3. Shelby replied:

    This looks absolutely amazing!!!

  4. Nora replied:

    Wow, I really want to make this! I’m doing a raw week now!

  5. Joey replied:

    For a better crust, do not soak the nuts first. When it says raw it sometimes just means not cooked. Make sure you place the crust in the freezer for for a least 1/2hr after pressing into pie dish. You do not need to flour 1st. I make raw pies all the time this way & never have a problem with the crust not being to hard. Enjoy!

  6. Raw Apple Pie « Become the Voice replied:

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  7. Fee’s Finds: Vegan? Really? « cakesandcuddles replied:

    […] when they’re not filled with cream and butter. So I was pretty surprised when I came across this recipe for a vegan raw apple […]

  8. toni replied:

    sounds rawesome!!! will definitely try!!!

  9. Tracy replied:

    I made this the other night for a party and it was gone in minutes…. after the initial hesitation that comes when I mention something is raw and vegan! Everyone loved it 🙂 We prepared the filling and crust the night before and assembled the pie before we left for the party. The crust wasn’t soggy in the least and it held together nicely. Thanks so much for sharing… I’ll be making this again for Thanksgiving!

    • Vegan Sweet Tooth replied:

      Thank you so much for the lovely comment! I’m so glad that the pie was a success and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  10. Kathie replied:

    Yummy!!! I used mandarin oranges and 2 teaspoons of organic vanilla in the filling puree. Also, only 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. It turned out amazing!
    Love this…Thanks so much:)

    • Vegan Sweet Tooth replied:

      Thanks for the nice comment! Your modifications sound delicious and I’m so happy you enjoyed the pie!

  11. Annette replied:

    I didn’t find this time consuming at all. In fact, I found it rather pleasurable and relaxing chopping up the apples. Tweaking the recipe to my own tastes 🙂 I cubed the apples instead of slicing them for a “chunky” apple pie although this didn’t allow for such lovely presentation as yours. Luckily it wasn’t for anyone (I think my friends and family would DIE if I fed them raw food), but I think next time I’ll cube them and make a walnut cobbler/crumble topping. Thanks for the recipe though, and I love how you talk us through what you did for every step – soooo useful! Thanks!

    • Vegan Sweet Tooth replied:

      Thank you so much for your lovely feedback! Cubing the apples sounds like a great idea and I think a walnut-based cobbler topping would be fabulous! Thanks again!

  12. Pie fillings : Uncooked Apple Pie Filling replied:

    […] Raw Apple Pie. The … Apple Pie" Yield: 1 pie. Crust: 2 cups raw almonds, soaked and dried 2 cups pitted dates 1 teaspoon sweet white miso (optional) Filling:… Find full webpage […]

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