Five Layer Apple Pie


Photo by Grace Vance

Grace Vance

Walking through the produce section of Clover’s this weekend I was welcomed by the usual rainbow of colors: the bright yellow hue of lemon, the radiant glow of the oranges, and the earthy brown of the mushrooms, but before I could turn my head toward the next section of fruit, I smelled the wonderfully sweet and distinct aroma of apple, but not just any kind of apple. It was Fuji.
There is something so wonderful about fuji apples. They are so amazing that their slight hint of vanilla and fruity flavor inspired this Five Layer Apple Pie recipe.
The pie. Sweet, crisp apples mingles with freshly pureed apple and warming undertone of vanilla contrast with the brightness of lemon, and to sweeten the deal, the rich and nutty crust holds it all on it’s shoulders. I seriously cannot tell you how amazing this pie is.
Lately I have been dabbling in raw food, particularly desserts, as you might have seen with my last post. So you might be asking, “Why raw?” There are numerous health benefits to increasing your consumption of uncooked foods like fruits and vegetables in their most simple state. These foods provide the body high level of nutrients because they are untouched by high heat levels, and are generally lower in calorie. They aid the body with digestion efficiency, because of the usual high fiber content, and normal bowel function, according to an article from
Along with this, you can prevent heart disease, stroke, certain types of cancer, and control blood pressure — without any medicine or pills! Although these raw foods are healthy, this does not mean that cooking all food is bad for your health, but I do think it is great to incorporate more raw fruits and vegetables in one’s diet.
Let me tell you guys, this pie is different. Most desserts generally have one flavor that dominates the rest, but with this apple pie, every flavors compliments the others. It’s like a dynamic dance where even when one person has the spotlight, the rest are still in the background enhancing the performance and creating movement for the eye. The same thing happens here, except instead of people, the crust, the filling, and the freshly sliced apple complete each other, but yet are whole by themselves. I know it sounds silly to compare a pie to a dance, but once you try it, I swear it will have you coming up with ways to describe how amazing it tastes!
Five Layer Apple Pie
serves 4
½ cup raw walnuts
7 large dates (½ cup)
¼ tsp cinnamon
3 apples (any variety could would like. I used a mix of fuji and pink lady)
1-3 dates
½ tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 inch piece of fresh vanilla bean (the pod + beans)
⅛ tsp cinnamon
add a splash of water as needed
1 apple, sliced finely
To make to crust: process the walnuts, dates and cinnamon in a food processor until the mixture is pliable and sticks together. It should resemble a cookie dough like consistency. Empty into a small bowl and set aside.
To prepare the filling: Add the apples, dates, lemon juice, vanilla bean and cinnamon into a high speed blender like a Vitamix and blend until smooth. You may need to a few splashes of water to facilitate blending (but be sure to add no more than ½ a cup at the most because you’ll be straining the liquid out later.)
Cut the apple into thin slices and set aside.
To make the layers: Take a small pie or baking dish and line the bottom with parchment paper (if you don’t have this, it is OK to omit). Once the dish is lined, press half of the crust into the bottom evenly. Then, arrange half of the apple slices over the crust. (It is okay if you need to use more than half of the apple slices, the rest will be used as garnish. Just make sure you cover the whole area of the pie.)
Photo by Grace Vance
For layer three, take the other half of the crust and crumble it evenly onto the apples slices, then press it in slightly.
Photo by Grace Vance
For the next layer, pour the filling onto the pressed crust crumbles and smooth over with a spoon. (You might have some left over filling and that is OK, you don’t have to use all of it for this recipe.)
Photo by Grace Vance
For the last layer, garnish the pie with the remaining apple slices.
Set the pie in the freezer or refrigerator for at least an hour for all the layers to set properly, but if you’re going to store it in the freezer, be aware that the frozen apple slices, once fully thawed, have a soggy texture, so if you choose to keep this pie in the freezer, serve it only slightly thawed but not room temperature.
I cannot believe how well this pie turned out, but after one bite, I knew I had to share it with you guys! Once you taste this, I promise you will not miss the cooked version one bit!
By Grace Vance
Photos by Grace Vance