For the Date Caramel Sauce
1. Soak dates in warm water for 5 min prior to using, then drain well before adding to blender
2. Remove the pits from the dates (if not already pitted)
3. Add dates to the blender jar along with the salt, vanilla, and ¾ cup light coconut milk.
4. Blend for about 15-30 seconds. Stop blender and scrape down sides, pushing unmixed ingredients down into the jar.
5. Cover and blend again for 15-30 seconds.
6. Repeat until all ingredients are well integrated and you reach the desired consistency. Add the additional ¼ cup of coconut milk to thin the mixture further. (¾ cup of coconut milk seems perfect for dipping/dollops, and 1 cup makes it a little thinner for drizzling)
7. Refrigerate until ready to use then pull out for a few minutes prior to serving.
8. With mixer on low, gradually add powdered sugar until completely combined.
For the Apple Filling
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, toss the sliced apples with the spices until evenly coated, then transfer to a baking dish and set aside.
For the Caramel Crumble Topping
1. Put all crumble topping ingredients in a food processor and pulse, until the nuts are coarsely chopped and the ingredients are well combined.
2. Push the mixture down sides of blender bowl if needed and pulse again. Don’t over process, you want the texture to be thick and crumbly. (This does not take long.)
3. Sprinkle the topping all over the apples to fully cover.
4. Bake in the preheated oven loosely covered in a sheet of foil for 50 minutes.
5. Remove the foil and bake 5-10 more minutes, until the apples are soft and the topping is slightly golden and crisp.
6. Let sit for 15-20 minutes to cool before serving.
7. Serve with a scoop of your fave vanilla ice cream and/or drizzle some of the date caramel sauce over the top for extra gooey caramelly goodness!
8. If you have leftovers, store in the fridge for up to 3-4 days and reheat before serving…enjoy!
*While Medjool dates are high in natural sugars, they are low on the glycemic index thanks to a balanced amount of soluble fiber. The complex carbohydrates found in Medjool dates are digested at a slower rate, making them a source of dietary fiber and releasing energy to the body over a longer period of time.