I am obsessed with pie. Ob-sessed.
If there is a homemade slice of pie in my vicinity it does not stand a chance.
If you know me, you are shaking your head in agreement right now.
I don’t care what anyone thinks, I am serving a pie at my wedding. Yep. No cake. None of this cupcake business. My guests are getting a big, fat slice of pie.
Second to eating pie, I love baking pie. Is there anything better or more relaxing than crafting the perfect pie and letting your house become infused with the best smell in the whole world.
Having eaten and baked my fair share of pies, I think I can say with confidence that I know a thing or two about what it takes to make a great piece of pie.
And if you would have asked me a few years ago I would have told you there is no getting around the butter or sugar. No way. I would have insisted that pie is pie and pie is not good without butter or sugar.
Around this time last year I started experimenting with whole wheat crusts, but let’s not fool ourselves. It is not that much healthier, it just makes you feel like you are being healthier.
I found my self torn between being a true pie lover and wanting to come up with a much healthier version of my favorite dessert.
What’s this pie lovin' girl to do?
Experiment. Research. And, after lots of researching and experimenting, I think I have come up with the healthy alternative.
Oh yeah. For reals.
No butter, no eggs, no flour. Nope. None. Nuts and dates are what make up this incredible crust. Apples pears and agave make up the yummy filling. Candied walnuts top it off with a nice crunch.
The best part, this pie is guiltless.
The second best part. The crust is amazing. It could go head to head with a buttery crust …. And win. That’s right. It would win. I’m a pie connoisseur, so I can say that.
This pie is a healthy, easy, and fabulous addition to Thanksgiving, or any holiday feast.
For more fantastic and healthy recipe inspiration for the holidays, check out the Healthy Thanksgiving Challenge Roundup by Cathy from www.whatwouldcathyeat.com.
vegan apple pear pie with a maple walnut crunch
1 cup of pecans
1 cup of cashews
½ cup of dates (soaked for 20 minutes)
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
¼ teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
½ teaspoon of almond extract
4 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
4 pears, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 lemon, zest and juice
1/8 cup of agave
2 tablespoons of cornstarch
1 cup of finely chopped walnuts
1 cup of rolled oats
1/2 cup of maple syrup
pinch of salt
1 cup of plain greek or soy yogurt with 4 tablespoons of honey, agave, or maple syrup
- Start by making your pie crust. Place the pecans and cashews in a food processor and chop until you get a fine meal. Place the nuts in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Place your soaked dates, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt into the food processor until it forms a thick paste. Remove from the food processor and place in the same bowl with the nuts. Add the grapeseed oil and the almond extract to the ingredients in the mixing bowl and mash and mix until everything is combined.
- Place the mixture into a pie plate or pie tin and press and form it into a thin layer of crust. Place the pie crust in the refrigerator to chill while you're making your filling.
- Preheat the oven to 375º
- Make the filling. Zest the lemon and squeeze ½ of the lemon into a large mixing bowl. Peel, core and chop your pears and apples and place them in the bowl and toss to coat them with the lemon juice.
- Add the agave and the cornstarch and toss again until everything is combined.
- Using a slotted spoon, spoon the mixture into the chilled pie crust.
- Make the topping. In a bowl, mix together the finely chopped walnuts, the oats, and the maple syrup and thinly layer the mixture on top of the apple pear filling.
- Place the pie in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the edges of the crust start to brown.
- Serve warm or cold with the optional topping.