I’m really excited about this recipe. My boyfriend David is really picky about desserts, and pretty much doesn’t like anything that isn’t pure dark chocolate. To be honest though, he usually just thinks he wont like things, but is asking for second helpings once presented with the dessert item in question.
David does admit to enjoying the odd apple or berry pie, so I wanted to try out some kind of spiced apple pie. I know that cheese and apple is a classic combination, so I went wanted to try a mascarpone topping instead of whipped cream.
I used dates, not so much because of the flavor (which is actually pretty subtle in the final pies), but because I use them in a paste instead of adding sugar. Ever since I saw Fed Up a few weeks ago I’ve been on a “no sugar” kick. I’m even thinking of trying a month long sugar cleanse.
This recipe makes 6 hearty mini pies and there’s only 1/2 a tsp of granulated sugar between them. Even that sugar is part of the crust, as the apples are sweetened entirely by the date paste.
Apple pie filling:
3 granny smith apples
3 fuji apples
1 tsp canola oil
Dashes of nutmeg, cinnamon, and kosher sal
3/4 c all purpose flour
1/4 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c quinoa flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 c shortening
2 to 4 Tbsp ice water
2 tsp sesame seeds
2 Tbsp butter
2 tsp all purpose flour
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1. Start by peeling and slicing your apples, then soaking them in a bowl of cold water with the juice of half a lemon.
2. While your apples are soaking start on the crust. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl.
2. Cut in the shortening, then mix in your cold water. Do not over mix. Form into a ball then let rest in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Roll out the dough, then cut out circles, and press them into your pie pan. Use a fork along the edges, then poke a few holes in the bottoms.
Note, I’m using a 6 mini pie pan, but you could also use a regular pie pan or 12 cup muffin tin.
4. Parbake at 425 degrees fahrenheit (400 convection) for 10 minutes.
5. Chop dates into smallish pieces and remove seeds.
6. Pulse in a food processor, while stopping to scrape down the edges. Continue until you have a nice chunky puree.
7. Strain apples, then combine them in a sauce pan with your date puree, the juice of a lemon, the juice of a lime, canola oil, dashes of your spices, and a few splashes of warm water. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
8. Start on your topping by dropping cashews, sesame seeds, and roughly chopped dates into a food processor. Pulse a few times to break everything up.
9. Add butter, flour, and kosher salt. Pulse again.
10. Pile cooked apples into crust, then sprinkle with crumble topping.
11. Bake at 375 degrees (350 convection) for 20 minutes.
12. Remove from oven, then carefully transfer to a cooling rack.
13. In a small bowl, mix mascarpone with pinches of nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove. Scoop a hefty dollop on warm pies and enjoy!