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Apple Crumble Pie with Date Caramel Filling

I love baking. I love nutrition. I don't force myself to make my desserts too "healthy" though. Sometimes a little indulgence is key. This pie, however, checks both categories: indulgent and "healthy." I use air quotes around healthy because it is such a subjective term. Here's what it means for this pie:

-Low in added sugar

-High in potassium

-Low in saturated fat

-Made with whole grains

-Gluten-free (Use GF oat flour if desired)

-Vegan option

-High in fiber

I did make a version of this pie that had no added sugar. It honestly just wasn't as good, so I opted for this low sugar version instead. To make that version, I used date caramel for the sweetener in the crust and topping and reduced some of the oil. Although I didn't love it quite as much as the recipe written below, it is still yummy for those trying to avoid all added sugar.


Date Caramel:

-6 Pitted Medjool Dates, roughly chopped or torn

-1/2 cup milk of choice

-1/4 cup water

-1/4 teaspoon salt

-1 teaspoon cinnamon

-Pinch of nutmeg (optional)

-1 teaspoon vanilla extract


-2/3 cup almond flour

-2/3 cup oat flour

-2 tablespoons brown sugar

-2 tablespoons date caramel

-2 tablespoons avocado oil (grapeseed, coconut oil, or butter will also work)

-Pinch of cinnamon and salt


-1/2 cup almond flour

-3/4 cup oat flour

-1/4 cup brown sugar

-2 tablespoons cold butter or coconut oil, cut into several pieces

-1 teaspoon cinnamon

-Pinch of salt


-5-6 medium apples, peeled , and sliced into thin pieces

-Remaining date caramel

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Optional: to make serving easier, cut a circle out of parchment paper and line the bottom of desired pie plate. I used a cast iron pan.

  2. Make date caramel: In a small sauce pan combine milk, water, dates, salt and cinnamon. Bring milk to a simmer and allow to cook at a low heat until dates are very soft, ~15 minutes. Break up large pieces of dates with the back of a wooden spoon. Once dates have broken down and softened, turn off the heat and add vanilla. Using an immersion blender, blend mixture until completely uniform and smooth. If you don't have an immersion blender, carefully transfer the mixture to a regular blender and blend until smooth.

  3. Make the crust: Combine flours, sugar, caramel, oil, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Stir until combined. Using slightly wet fingers, press dough into the bottom of the pan to form a crust. Save bowl to mix topping in to cut down on dishes. Bake for 10 minutes until barely beginning to brown.

  4. Make the topping: While the crust is baking add flours, butter, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in the bowl used to mix the crust. Using clean hands, work the butter into the other ingredients until a crumbly mixture is formed. Alternatively, a food processor may be used to combine ingredients.

  5. Assemble: Combine the apples with the date caramel (except for the 2 tablespoons used in the crust). The caramel should coat all of the apples. Pour the apples over the crust into the pie pan. Crumble the topping evenly over the top of the pie. Bake for ~50 minutes total. Check pie about halfway. Once beginning to brown on top, lay a piece of aluminum foil over the pie to prevent excessive browning.

  6. Serve: Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

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