Deconstructed Apple Pie



I DO. And frankly, I’ll fight over the last piece of my grandmothers’ banana cream pie or her apple strudle (holy strudle-we’re Czech I’ll have ya know).

To my family members that might read this, “there will be a good fork stabbing coming your way if you think you get more then one slice this year.” To my brother Dave, “I know not to dare touch a piece of your pie-it’s like we’re twins”, and to my husband, “you know I’ll steal some off your plate when you’re not looking.”

While I’m at it, p.s. nana, make two pies, will ya? Wow, I’m a bully. Nana knows this.

Anyway, I was never a fan of pie crusts (I know, it’s sort of like I’m committing a crime). I always scoop out the middle (recently did this to a friend who got quite annoyed at me). That is the best part anyway, the innards (is that even a word?).

Back to the recipe. This is superbly simple, crustless, with a kick of spice (optional kick of course) and not like a kajillion calories that will smack right onto your bum (not that one piece of pie would do that, but you know who you are when you eat more then one slice of a pie cause it was lyin around all up in your face, then you have pie for breakfast, lunch and dinner-oopsie!).

OKAY, here goes. A dessert, or snack without all the guilt. Good for adults and kiddies.


Serves: 2 or more (easily doubled-or serve as one big bowl of goodness)

Time: 30 minutes for apple baking. 5 minutes for crumbly topping. Like 1 minute for yogurt whip.


For the filling:

  • 2 apple, cored, and cubed, I used Jonagold (keep the skin, fiber people, fiber)
  • 1 pat of butter ( I used Earth Balance-and a pat is not half the tub, got it?)
  • 1 teaspoon of apple pie spice (or make your own)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (alternatively, honey or rice syrup work here)

For the raw crumbly topping:

  • 1 cup Walnuts
  • 4 Medjool Dates, depitted
  • 3-4 chunks of crystalized ginger (optional, but gives a spicy kick)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (or more)

For the white whipped stuff: (I know, you want to top it with Hagaan Daaz ice cream, but try this instead).

  • 6 ounces of Fage Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Procedure (as though it’s surgery):

Pre-heat the oven on 350 degrees F.

  • Place apples, spices, butter and maple syrup in the dish. I had my camera in hand, but chose to put that down for a sec and use my hands to mix this all up (trust me, it’s easier then using a spoon). Bake for 30 minutes.

To make the crumbly topping:

  • Place all ingredients in a food processor and whirl it up until a gorgeous crumble forms. Avoid sticking a spoon in it and eating it all. Set aside.

To make the maple whip:

Just combine the greek yogurt with maple syrup. Duh.

SERVE when it’s still warm, but you can always reheat for the next day.


  1. The walnut crumbly topping is awesome. And You can actually use it as a crust by pressing it into a pie dish (raw crust of course) but fun nonetheless. You might just need to add one more date, or simply process it a little longer until it clumps up nicely.
  2. Use the walnut crumbly topping to add into a yogurt or into your oatmeal.
  3. Make this into an awesome Apple Pie Parfait! Layer yogurt, then nutty topping, then apples, do it again. Omgomgomgomg.
  4. Try other nuts for the topping. Might I suggest almonds or pecans? Maybe even toast them first. That takes all of 7 minutes in a skillet on the stove.


xox Jen

So, what’s your favorite pie?


What’s your favorite use for apples? 

p.s. don’t forget to subscribe for zen jen updates from ME! No spam, just kale.