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Apple Pie with Coconut Almond Crumble [vegan + GF]

I like to think that I spend most of my time living in the present. I've never been one to dwell on the past, (a great excuse for why I'm so bad at story-telling and have a less-than-stellar memory) and my conception of planning for the future rarely extends beyond two weeks.

I think this is the reason why I've been resistant to writing throughout my life, and why photography comes more naturally to me. Blog-writing especially entails calling up the past and talking about myself – two of my lesser-developed skills. And, it takes time. Photography is simply the act of freezing a perfect moment, capturing it in its present existence. Instant gratification.

But here I am, writing a blog, about food and cooking. I think we could all use a little more encouragement to prepare meals and feed ourselves mindfully. Because cooking activates so many senses – taste of course but also sight, smell, sound, touch – it's such a wonderful opportunity to practice mindfulness. I think this is why so many people find cooking to be relaxing and therapeutic; the focus and use of all the senses clears the mind, no part of the brain is idle to wander.

The recipes I post will be mostly plant-based and gluten-free; this is the type of food that makes me feel good inside and out. And because #dessertfirst, here's a recipe for a simple apple pie with a coconut-oat crumble.

This recipe is incredibly simple, feels healthy enough to eat for breakfast (true story) but sweet enough to tame a sugar craving.

INGREDIENTS:

for the crust:

  • 1 cup walnuts, raw

  • 6 dates, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes

  • 1 T coconut oil, melted

for the filling:

  • 5-6 apples, variety of choice (I used a mix of Braeburn and Fuji)

  • 2-3 T agave nectar, to taste

  • 1 T arrowroot or corn starch

for the crumble topping:

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour

  • 1/4 cup almond flour

  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes

  • 1/4 cup oats (GF if desired)

  • 1 t cinnamon

  • 3 T extra virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.

  2. Prepare the crust: Wipe the inside of a 9" pie dish with extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil. Pulse walnuts, dates, and coconut oil in a food processor. Dough should be sticky and hold together, add more dates if too crumbly. Form the dough into a ball and press into the center of your pie dish. Use fingers to push dough out to the edges until the dish is covered. Set aside.

  3. Prepare apples: Chop apples into your preferred shape – cubes or half moons. Add to a medium bowl and coat with agave nectar and arrowroot, mixing with hands or a wooden spoon. Spread apple mixture in your pie crust and set aside.

  4. Prepare crumble: Mix all ingredients together in the bowl the apples were in. Sprinkle evenly across the top of the apple mixture.

  5. Bake at 400° for 30-35 minutes, until apples are fork tender and topping has crisped. (If the topping crisps too fast, cover with foil and continue to bake.) Let cool for 15-20 minutes before serving.

All images ©Jennifer Love.