Raw caramel apple pie

Raw caramel apple pie
Raw caramel apple pie

I used to be a self proclaimed lover of all seasons, but over the years, my indecisive mind finally settled and I chose fall. Although the crunchy leaves and crisp, foggy mornings had a lot to do with my decision, I'd be lying if I said I don't look most forward to introducing heavy knit socks, infinity scarves, and oversized dresses (read: maternity dresses) (no, I'm not pregnant) back into my wardrobe.

Thom, however, likes to remind me how much the combination of those things makes me look like a pauper from the 16th century plague epidemic - which I used to think was a downright awful thing to say about the lady who supplies you with superfluous amounts of baked goods, then I looked at myself in the mirror yesterday and totally saw it. But damnit, I'm embracing it. Fat days don't exist when you wear dresses that are strikingly similar to a potato sack, and you don't ever have to worry about unbuttoning your pants at the dinner table (What, you don't do that?) - a huge plus for someone who doesn't know how to say no to food on a plate.

Caramel apple filling
Caramel apple hand pies

Speaking of fall, have you guys seen the fall issue of Chickpea Magazine? If not, you can view it right here. And if you like those adorable, little hand pies pictured above (they're caramel apple, too) (!!!!!), flip to page 26 to find the recipe. Meanwhile, I don't like to make demands like this, but you should really make the raw caramel apple pie. It's incredibly tasty. 'Nuff said.

RAW CARAMEL APPLE PIE

6-18 medjool dates, pitted and divided
1 1/2 cups walnuts 3 medium apples, different varieties
1 cup water, plus more for soaking
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Line the bottom of a round 8" tart pan with parchment paper; set aside. In a food processor fitted with the S blade, blend the walnuts into a fine meal. Add 8-10 dates and process for 20-30 seconds, just until the dates are blended and combined. Press the dough into the prepared pan, then cover with plastic and freeze until ready to use.

Add the remaining 8 dates to a small bowl and cover with water; soak for 10-15 minutes. While the dates are soaking, prepare the apples by peeling and coring them. Cut into 1/4" thick slices then chop into small chunks. Transfer to a small bowl and cover with a damp towel (and lemon juice, if you're worried about them browning). When the dates have finished soaking, discard the water. Add the dates, water, cinnamon and salt to a high speed blender and blend until smooth; about 15-20 seconds. Pour over apples and toss until the chunks are evenly coated.

Remove the pie crust from the freezer and pile with apple filling. Freeze for at least 45 minutes and thaw before serving. Pie will keep frozen in an air tight container for up to 6 weeks, but I doubt it will last that long.

Yield: 8 large (or 16 small) servings