Hi all, this is Jeanine’s husband Jack and, well, it’s fall. We all know what that means… pie! Lots of it.
Pie was a fixture for my holiday meals growing up. My mom made it, my sister made it, I’m pretty sure most of the family made it. There was always more than enough pie to go around. Of course, there was one person who never, ever made pie: me.
It turns out that Jeanine had a similar story – all of the pie she ate was made or brought by other people. This felt like a perfect project for our partnership with Wolf and their Reclaim the Kitchen initiative. The goal of Reclaim the Kitchen is to inspire people through practical meal ideas and tips to get in the kitchen and spend quality time with loved ones by preparing and enjoying food together. What’s fun about this recipe is that we split the pie responsibility in half – I did the crust, she did the filling, and it was great to see both of our hard work come together to make a homemade apple crumble pie from scratch.
This is a Vegan Apple Pie Recipe!
While pumpkin pie might be more popular at this time of year, Jeanine has a soft spot for soft apples, so our filling choice was quickly decided. As for the crust, we tried a few different versions. We found that we preferred the flakiness of a crust made with coconut oil over butter. Also, to make it a bit more wholesome we opted for half whole-wheat pastry flour and half all-purpose flour. So we somehow stumbled into making a vegan apple pie.
How to Make Apple Pie
We wouldn’t have guessed it, but making apple crumble pie is actually much easier than it looks. The process can be broken down into several main steps:
- Making the crust
- Tossing together the filling
- Whizzing up the crumble topping
I have to admit – the crust intimidated me at first. People talk about a lot of things that can ruin a pie crust, and reading pie crust recipes makes it sound like a really stressful experience. Well, it doesn’t have to be. At the end of the day, pie dough is just dough. If (when) there’s a hole or a thin spot, just tear off dough from somewhere else on the crust and patch it up. If (when) you set it in the pie plate and it’s not perfectly centered, just slide it. If (when) there’s a crack, just push the dough together. Thinking about it like this took much of the stress away.
But I do have one major crust-making tip: chill your dough. It’s essential for making a flaky crust that’s easy to work with, so make sure you leave yourself enough time to have your pie crust in the fridge for a full hour before you want to bake it.
Our Easy Apple Pie Filling Recipe
While I was testing out my first pie crust (yes, I baked a pie crust with no pie), Jeanine worked on her filling. She kept it super simple and sliced up a bunch of apples (feel free to peel them if you like) and tossed them with lemon juice, vanilla, and just a bit of maple syrup. Cornstarch is the final filling ingredient – it helps make the apples moist & gooey, but not too watery.
Tip: when you’re making homemade apple pie, the kind of apples you choose matters. Gala and Granny Smith are some of the best apples for apple pie. Not only are they widely available, but they also both have a good firm texture, so they’ll hold their shape as they soften in the filling.
Apple Crumble Pie Topping
Instead of a top crust, Jeanine made an oat crumble with lots of cinnamon and nutmeg. We loved the sweet, oaty crumb topping over the baked apples, and it also happens to be super easy to make. Simply pulse together flour, oats, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and coconut oil in a food processor until a crumbly texture forms. Then, sprinkle it over your apple crumble pie and bake!
So here you have it – our first homemade blog pie. We highly recommend serving slices of this vegan apple pie with scoops of vanilla ice cream or coconut whipped cream. Thanksgiving here we come!
If you love this apple crumble pie recipe…
- ¾ cup whole-wheat pastry flour (3.25 ounces)
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour (3.25 ounces), plus more for rolling
- 1 tablespoon cane sugar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon coconut oil, solid, but still scoopable*
- 3 to 5 tablespoons ice water
- ¾ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- ⅓ cup whole rolled oats
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, cardamom, or ground ginger
- ⅓ cup firm coconut oil*
- 3 pounds (8 medium) Granny Smith or Gala apples, peeled & thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- For the crust: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, and salt.
- Transfer half of the flour mixture to a food processor and scoop in the coconut oil by large separate tablespoonfuls, about 8. Pulse until the mixture starts to crumble, 12 to 16 pulses, then add the remaining flour and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse sand, about 8 more pulses.
- Transfer the crumbly dough back to the original bowl. Sprinkle in the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and use a rubber spatula to fold and form the dough until it sticks together in a cohesive ball. Knead the dough a few times to get it to come together in a smooth ball, but be careful not to overwork it. Form the dough into a 1½-inch thick disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes.
- Place the chilled dough onto a lightly-floured surface, or floured parchment paper. Roll the dough into a 7-inch circle, then flip and dust your surface with a bit more flour before placing it back down. Continue to roll into a 12-inch circle. If the dough is too firm, let it sit for 10 minutes at room temperature. If it’s too sticky, add more flour. If the dough cracks, patch it and continue rolling. Gently transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate. Trim the overhanging to about ½ inch, then tuck it under and crimp the edges with your fingers.
- Lightly cover the pie crust and chill for 30 minutes while you make the crumble topping and filling.
- For the crumble topping: In a food processor, pulse together the flour, oats, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and spice until combined. Add the coconut oil and pulse until crumbly. If it's too dry, add cold water 1 tablespoon at a time until larger crumbles form. Set aside.
- For the filling: Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- In a large bowl, combine the apples with the lemon juice, vanilla, maple syrup, and cornstarch and toss well to coat. (You could also add a few more pinches of cinnamon, if desired.)
- Fill the pie crust with the apple mixture and sprinkle evenly with the crumble topping. Bake for 30 minutes and then lightly cover with foil and rotate the pan in the oven. Bake 15 to 20 more minutes or until the apples are tender and the crust is golden brown.
- Cool 1 hour at room temperature before serving. Serve with scoops of vanilla ice cream.
Crust recipe is adapted from Vegan for Everybody by America's Test Kitchen.
Special thanks to Wolf for partnering on this post!