Quelling the Sweet Tooth

For ages Tyler has been wanting to figure out how to make a pie without processed sugar. He's a sugar-fiend who knows how bad sugar is for you. Bad combo. We don't eat tons of sugar these days, but he is looking to nix even the usual substitutes like maple syrup, agave, etc. In particular, he's had his little heart set on a fruit-sweetened pie.

When we were in high school and college, we were quite addicted to these little vegan hand pies made by Little Lad's. You could get them at our local natural foods store, and their fillings are entirely comprised of 100% fruit. They are delicious! So for his birthday, I've decided to finally tackle this project.

For our pie, I chose peaches. I know they're out of season and would probably be worlds better in the dead of summer, but regardless they are naturally very sweet. And on that same train of thought, I decided to pair the peaches with strawberries. Strawberries are also quite sweet, but they add a bit of tartness that peaches tend to lack on their own. We want some complex, layered flavors here!

Then I did several things to naturally enhance the flavors:
1.) Baked the peach slices at a high temperature to bring out their natural sugar and caramelize them.
2.) Added lots of lemon juice and zest to make the flavor pop.
3.) Cooked down 3/4 c 100% peach nectar to about 1/3 c - poured this over the cut fruit.
3.) Let the fruit sit in lemon juice/peach nectar for about an hour to let the flavors meld.

I can't say for sure how well it all worked just yet - Tyler's birthday party is tomorrow. But the smell was divine as it was baking, and you better believe I will keep you posted! And if all goes well, the recipe is yours too!