The best thing about reading blogs is connecting with like-mind people around the world.
The second best thing about reading blogs is becoming inspired to try something new in your own life because of something shared by a fantastic friend online. I am always bookmarking recipes and recreating the fabulous meals I’ve seen documented on some of my favourite blogs. Today, I have a special treat that is all about unique inspiration.
At the end of May, Vegan On The Go announced an interesting raw recipe challenge (called Be Inspired). As you know, I’m always up for a good culinary throw-down. The guidelines read: Create a raw dish inspired by your favourite book, movie or television show.
Hmmm…you might think this kind of creative endeavour would take hours of contemplation and careful consideration. But actually, this time I was hit with inspiration immediately.
When I was in high school one of my very favourite movies was When Harry Met Sally. I watched it on rainy Sundays, when I was feeling sick, when my boyfriend decided to date the girl with the trampoline instead, and whenever I wanted to hear Billy Crystal say “paprikash”.
If you’ve seen the movie then you know there is a very memorable scene in a diner:
Sally: I’d like the chef salad, please, with the oil and vinegar on the side. And the apple pie a la mode….But I’d like the pie heated, and I don’t want the ice cream on top. I want it on the side. And I’d like strawberry instead of vanilla if you have it. If not, then no ice cream, just whipped cream, but only if it’s real. If it’s out of a can, then nothing.
Waitress: Not even the pie?
Sally: No, just the pie. But then not heated.
Being vegan, I always related to Sally’s struggle to order exactly what she needed. When I remembered her request for an unheated apple pie I quickly decided that it would be the perfect dish to recreate.
To make the crust: In a high powered blender, blend the oats until a fine flour is achieved. Pour the flour into a medium bowl. Repeat this process with the cashews and coconut flakes, adding all of the resulting flour to the same bowl. Add the agave syrup and stir to combine. Separate the batter into four portions. Roll into balls. On a silpat, parchment paper or soywax paper sheet press each ball out into a thin circle. Use a rolling pin to achieve a very thing crust – approximately 1/4 inch thick. Allow the crust to chill as you prepare the filling.
To make the filling: In a food processor combine one apple with the remaining ingredients. Pulse until a texture similar to a chunky applesauce is achieved (stop and scrap down the sides as necessary). Add the remaining apple and pulse until it is almost broken down into small pieces (you don’t want all the apple bits to disappear – leave some texture to be enjoyed!)
Assembly: Peel one of the crust circles off of the sheet and press it into a mini tart pan – removing any excess crust. Repeat to line the other tart pan. Using a paring knife cut long thin strips of crust out of the remaining ovals. Fill the tart pans with the apple batter and then carefully apply the thin pieces of crust on top to create a lattice-like effect.
If you’ve seen the movie you’ll understand why I’ve called these OMG apple pies. One bite and you’ll understand how this dish could elicit such enthusiasm. No faking necessary.
Are there any movies, books or televisions shows that have inspired you to try something new in your own kitchen? I certainly think of scenes in Chocolat when I’m playing with raw chocolate making. If only Johnny Depp stopped by for a taste. Sigh.