This tangy and sweet apple pie combines the tartness of apples with the creaminess of date caramel sauce and the crunch and heartiness of the oat crust for the ultimate fall dessert.
Nothing embodies fall for me more than the intense smell of cinnamon and apples. During this season, a slice of grandma’s apple strudel with a steaming cup of tea has always been the perfect comfort food.
Unfortunately, as I became more interested in healthy cooking and baking, it became painfully obvious, that the classical apple pies and strudels were far from the optimal choices. They had simply too much refined flour, sugar and butter on the ingredient list. But there was no way I would be giving these wonderful desserts up. So ever since then, I have been on a continuous search for cleaner, healthier alternatives which would not sacrifice the taste.
Today’s apple pie with caramel sauce is one of my favorite go to alternatives to the classical one. This apple pie has proven to be a huge crowd pleaser and no one has ever found out that it was actually a healthy dessert. I hope you will love it as much as I do.
This apple pie is made only with natural ingredients. It is also vegan and can be gluten free if you use certified gluten free oats.
For the crust, you just need oatmeal, date syrup or another sweetener and a tiny bit of coconut oil and cinnamon. So there is no white sugar or butter involved and the crust is also much easier to put together. All you have to do is mix the ingredients in a food processor and then press the crumbly dough into your cake pan. No cutting in butter, rolling out dough and cleaning up of the resulting mess.
The caramel sauce is simply dates, which have been soaked in water for a couple hours, blended together with a little coconut oil for extra creaminess. And the whole pie is topped with apples (unexpected right?) and cinnamon.
I would recommend you to use a combination of sour and sweet apples such as Granny Smith and Pink Lady. I used apples from my grandpa’s garden which taste conveniently a bit like a mix of the two. And if you like your apple pie filling a little sweeter, you can add a bit of a natural sweetener of your choice to the apples (I typically add just a dash of stevia).
- 3 cups (240g) oats (use certified gluten-free if necessary)
- ¼ cup (80g) date syrup (sub maple or agave if you like)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon (12g) coconut oil
- 10.5 ounces (app 2 cups, 300g) pitted dates, soaked in water for at least 4 hours (weight pre-soaking)
- 1 teaspoon (4g) coconut oil
- 3 medium apples or 5 small ones
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- stevia or another natural sweetener to taste (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Put the oats, date syrup, coconut oil and cinnamon in a food processor and blend until the ingredients are thoroughly combined and start to stick together. (If the crumbles do not stick together enough, add more syrup or oil)
- Pour the mixture into a pan (I used an 11 inch/ 28cm spring form pan) lined with parchment paper and press in evenly with the back of a spoon.
- Blend the soaked and drained dates with the coconut oil together in a food processor until smooth. Add a little bit more coconut oil if you are having trouble with the blending.
- Pour the sauce over the crust and spread evenly.
- Top the pie with sliced apples mixed with cinnamon and you sweetener of choice if using.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, the baking time depends on the apples - you don't want them to get too mushy.
- Let cool, slice and enjoy!
Do you have a favorite fall dessert? Have you found a healthier alternative to it yet?
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