Confession: as a child, I loathed fruit. At the sight of a classmate peeling an orange in the cafeteria, I would hastily scoot to the opposite end of the table to avoid the burning sensation I assumed would ensue if the juice of Satan touched my skin, while I refused to eat a strawberry until the age of thirteen. Somehow, though, the apple appeared to me as a tame enough fruit for human consumption and alone satisfied my daily requirement for its particular food group from my childhood to adolescence.
At an ambiguous point in my early teens, I began hesitantly peeking into the world of fruit beyond apples, transforming from a fruit-phobic into an avid smoothie-blender shortly before becoming vegan. Now there exists not a fruit whose juicy, succulent, natural sweetness I don’t enjoy—bring on the mangoes, pineapples, blueberries, and peaches!—though the apple will forever inhabit a special place in my heart.
After growing up eating an apple a day, as the old adage goes, I experience a certain nostalgia during the peak of apple season in autumn, gazing lovingly upon the wooden crates brimming with apples of all varieties at the farmers market. Advertised as incredibly sweet and impeccably crisp, the banana apples, sporting a pastel yellow hue tinged with blushes of rose, intrigued me and seemed like an similarly flavored substitute for the rather pricey honeycrisps I adore.
I decided to craft a raw pie layered with the thinly sliced banana apples infused generously with cinnamon, the recipe for which I’ll feature in my upcoming article for the Miscellany News that highlights the various apple varieties available in the Hudson Valley region that Vassar calls home. Ideal for penniless, overscheduled college students, this pie utilizes sunflower seeds and raisins—both cheaper alternatives to other types of nuts and dates you’ll usually find in raw crusts—and requires less than 20 minutes to construct. Considering also the money I saved from forgoing the honeycrisps, this pie basically paid me to make it! Okay, not really.
5-Ingredient Raw Apple Pie (Raw, Soy Free, Oil Free, Low Sodium)
Makes one 9″ pie.
- 3 cups sunflower seeds
- 1 1/2 cups raisins, divided
- 4 medium apples, thinly sliced into half moons
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the sunflower seeds and 1 cup of the raisins until finely ground.
Press two-thirds of the dough into the bottom of a pie pan, reserving the last third to form a lattice topping for the pie, and place the pan in the freezer to firm up.
Meanwhile, place the apple slices in a large bowl. Blend the remaining 1/2 cup of raisins, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, and 3 tbsp of water in the food processor until smooth and pour over the apple slices, stirring well to coat.
Remove the pie crust from the freezer and, working in circles from the outside in, layer all of the coated apple slices into the pie pan.
On a cutting board or counter, press the remaining dough into as thin of a rectangle as possible. Cut the dough into strips and arrange them on top of the pie in a criss-crossing pattern to form a lattice crust.
Comment Provoking Questions: Did you refuse to eat any foods as a child? What were your favorite childhood fruits? What are some of your strategies for saving money on food?
Until next time, Ali.