Who can guess where I first said “Pie Hole”? Anyone, anyone? Bueller? That’s right, it was here! That was fun. Paleogasms are fun. This recipe is fun. And delicious. I am actually quite shocked that it turned out this well. It really does have all of the essence of the flavors of apple pie: rich, deep apple flavor, spicy notes, and the nuttiness you find in the butter of the flaky crust. And then theres the fact that it also has none of the crap in many pies: no gluten, no grains, no sugar, oh, and no baking! And they make a great snack! And they’re filled with healthy fat and protein! Zippidy-doo-da!! Without further ado, I give you…
Caramelized Apple Pie Balls
2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
2 1/2 cups Fuji or other tart/sweet apple, shredded (#2 cone on Saladmaster, with a box grater, or a food processor attachment)
3 cups pecans, soaked in water 6-8 hours
1 1/4 cup pitted dates
1 1/4 cups dried apple rings (not fried)
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup flax seeds
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
Melt coconut oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add shredded raw apples. Cook down for about 30 minutes, or until apples are a rich caramel color and much of the moisture has been absorbed. The longer it goes (dont let burn though!), the richer the apple flavor will be, so dont skip this step!
In the meantime, strain, rinse, and pulse pecans in food processor in 2-3 batches, adding chopped nuts to a large mixing bowl as you finish. Pulse dates and dried apples and add to bowl with remaining ingredients. Add finished (cooled) caramelized apples and combine well with hands. Taste for desired sweetness and spice, adding more as you like. Pack about 2 tablespoons with your hands like a little snowball and lay on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment (not necessary, but will prevent sticking). Allow to chill in refrigerator for a couple hours. These will keep well for at least 2 weeks, maybe longer!