i've been on a pie baking spree the past few week- there has seldom been a pie-free night. in the midst of all this pie baking i started thinking to myself there must be some healthier (ie less processed white sugar) recipes for the classics. that morning the boys and i had gone apple picking, and so began the apple pie experiment. dates instantly came to mind. out came the food processor.... and out of the oven came this perfectly sweet, perfectly classic, perfectly processed-white-sugar-free apple pie.
1 cup dates, soaked in hot water for about an hour
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon coriander (optional)
5 cups apples, peeled and thinly sliced- preferably a mix of apple types
double pie crust of your choice
heat oven to 425 degrees F. drain the soak water from the dates, add the dates and maple syrup to your food processor. process until a very fine, slightly liquid paste- you want as little date chunks as possible, try to get a paste-like consistency. you may have to scrape down the sides a few times.
in a large bowl combine the date/syrup paste to the rest of the ingredients. mix well to coat the apples evenly. spoon into a crust lined pie pan. top with second crust, seal edges, and cut slits in several places of the top crusts.
bake at 425 degrees F for about 40 minutes- the apples should be tender and the crust golden brown.
taste testing results- everyone in my house loved it. even my date-hating, super picky eater husband (oops, i failed to disclose my experimental ingredients with him!). in fact he warned me, as he finished off his second piece, that i may wake up to find the entire pie gone in the morning. i found it to taste just like the classic apple pies i've grown to love- experiment successful!