Monday, August 19, 2013

The Dessert Post. Raw Salted Caramel Apple Pie.

Hello friends! If this is your first time here in a few days, welcome to the new blog design. It's a work in progress and I am attempting to fix some of the things that many of you are concerned about. The readability of the main text is something that the designer that I bought the template from will need to change. I'm hoping that will be fixed rather quickly. The lack of a blogroll has been partially made up for by adding a list of resources (see top navigation) to the blog. I will see if there is a way for that page to become a dynamically updatable feature, but I've got my doubts that it is possible.

In between working on the blog design this past weekend, my husband and I hosted not one, but two, parties. The first was a barbecue at our home for his pick-up basketball crew. Not exactly Plant-strong, but it was his party and I had to go along with it. I prepared a spread of raw vegan desserts and asked everyone not to bring any desserts to share. I prepared everything well ahead of time and froze all of the treats. On the day of the party I just pulled out white dishes of varying heights and it was a snap to create a fun display.

This was my first time using an ingredient called "coconut butter." It's not something I would put in the regular rotation, but it is a whole food. It is simply unsweetened coconut flakes that have been ground up into a butter, just like you would take peanuts and make natural peanut butter. You can make it yourself in a VitaMix or other high powered blender or purchase it at a natural food store under the brand name Artisana. Just throw the coconut flakes into the blender and blend, tamping down as you go, until it is the consistency of a nut butter. 

Here's a list of links to the recipes that I chose to make. If you are trying to avoid nuts, I recommend you close down this post immediately!

Dreena Burton's Lemon Kissed Blondie Bites I ran out of dates in the process and subbed in some dried apricots--they came out fantastic.

Dreena Burton's Frosted B-raw-nies These are so phenomenal I'm making them again for a party this weekend.

Dreena Burton's Raw Strawberry Pie Okay, so this one didn't make it to this party, but I wanted to mention it here because it was such a hit at another pot luck I attended a few weeks ago.

Vegan Raw Almond Joy Fudge A total winner with the crowd and my kids. Had I known that I needed to use raw macadamia nuts in order to achieve the gorgeous white color, I would have done that. I made mine with raw almond butter and it came out light brown. Doesn't look exactly like an Almond Joy, but tastes divine.

Oh She Glows Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls I wasn't a huge fan of these, but my kids and the adults at the party went ga-ga over them.

And last but not least, a raw apple pie. I'd had my first raw apple pie at a party a few years ago and was totally in love. I wasn't able to hunt down that recipe, so I looked for something on the Internet that I thought could compare. The original recipe that I based it on was so simple (it had very few ingredients) that I thought I'd give it a try. It was very easy to make, and tasted perfect, but I know that when I make it again I will totally increase the proportion of apple filling to crust. 

The bummer was that at the basketball potluck, none of the SAD eaters even touched it. LOL, I guess that leaves more for me. The recipe that follows is how I will make it again, when I do, because I will--I loved it!

Raw Salted Caramel Apple Pie
serves 10-12

inspired by this recipe

24 medjool dates, pitted and divided (8 and 16)
1 1/2 cups walnuts
7 medium apples, different varieties
2 cup filtered water
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp fine sea salt

In a food processor fitted with the S blade, blend the walnuts into a fine meal. Add 8 dates and process for 20-30 seconds, just until the dates are blended and combined. Press the dough into a 9" spring form pan, making the crust go up the sides about 3/4", then cover with plastic and freeze until ready to use.

Add the remaining 16 dates to a small bowl and cover with water; soak for 10-15 minutes. When the dates have finished soaking, strain off the water into a measuring cup (you will need 2 cups total water, if you do not have enough, just add some). Add the dates, 2 cups soaking water, cinnamon and salt to a high speed blender and blend until smooth; about 15-20 seconds. Transfer mix to a large bowl.

While the dates are soaking, prepare the apples by peeling them and cutting into medium sized chunks. As each apple is finished, transfer the chunks to the bowl with the date mixture and stir to cover apples (this way the apples will not brown).

Remove the pie crust from the freezer and pile with apple filling. Freeze for at least an hour before serving. Keep leftovers frozen.

Have you made any delicious desserts lately? WFPB (whole food plant based) of course!

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