Shhh! This apple crumble pie recipe is vegan, but you'd never guess it from the sweet apple filling and rich, cinnamon-spiced crumble topping.
This apple crumble pie recipe was the first pie that Jack and I made together. Even though we spent countless Thanksgivings together in Austin, we never baked pie. We’d either stay home and skip it, opting for a simple crumble or crisp instead, or we’d be head to a Friendsgiving, where someone else would supply the pie that year. But this year, we finally decided to take on the challenge! As Jack says, I have a “soft spot for soft apples,” so we knew that apple pie would be our pick. I also can’t get enough of baked fruit under a crumb topping (see here, here, or here), so it was decided. We were making an apple crumble pie recipe.
I’m not going to lie – we had our ups and downs making this apple crumble pie. But in the end, it ended up being fun. Jack did the crust, I did the filling, and it was great to see both of our hard work come together to make an apple crumble pie from scratch. Oh, and how could I forget? It came out delicious.
Apple Crumble Pie Recipe Components
First thing’s first: the crust! Everyone knows that a good pie starts with a good crust. When we were testing this recipe, we tried a few different versions. We found that we preferred the flakiness of a crust made with coconut oil over butter, which conveniently made this recipe vegan. To make the crust a bit more wholesome, we opted for half whole-wheat pastry flour and half all-purpose flour.
Don’t let this pie crust recipe intimidate you – it’s really easy to make. 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. For me, thinking about it like this took much of the stress away.
After you mix up the crust, pop it in the fridge while you make…
The crumble topping! Like the crust, this oat-y topping is vegan, made with oats, whole wheat pastry flour, brown sugar, and coconut oil. Spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cardamom give it a warm, cozy flavor. Pulse it together in the food processor, and then…
Make the filling. I wanted this apple crumble pie recipe to be all about the apples, so I keep this filling super simple. I use a bunch of thinly sliced apples, vanilla, and maple syrup. A little lemon juice balances the sweetness, and cornstarch keeps the filling from getting too watery.
Assemble the pie with the dough, filling, and crumb topping, and bake!
Apple Crumble Pie Recipe Tips
- Choose good baking apples. You want ones that have a sweet-tart flavor and firm texture that will hold their shape when they’re baked. Gala, Honeycrisp, and Granny Smith apples are my favorites.
- Slice the apples thinly. That way, the slices fit together better, so you end up with more apples in each piece of pie. Plus, they bake evenly. If the apple slices are too thick, they won’t cook at the same rate as the crust and crumb topping.
- Chill your dough. Sure, pie dough shouldn’t be intimidating, but you do need to chill it. The chilling time is essential for making a flaky crust that’s easy to work with. Here, I call for two 30-minute chilling periods in the fridge. Don’t cut them short!
- Spice it up. I don’t call for cinnamon in the filling here, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t add it. In fact, pinches of ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and/or cardamom would be delicious too.
- Let it cool before you cut it. Trust me, I know that it’s hard not to slice into the hot, fragrant pie as soon as it comes out of the oven. However, if you let it cool for an hour, the wait is totally worth it. The apple filling will be more cohesive and less watery, and the sweet, spiced flavor will only improve as the pie sits.
We highly recommend serving slices of this apple crumble pie with scoops of vanilla ice cream or coconut whipped cream. Thanksgiving, here we come!
More Favorite Fall Desserts
If you love this apple crumb pie recipe, try one of these cozy fall treats next:
- Pumpkin Bread
- Best Pumpkin Pie
- Cinnamon Apple Crumble
- Healthy Apple Crisp
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
- Or any of these 25 Super Fun Baking Recipes!
For more vegan dessert recipes, check out this post!
Homemade Apple Crumble Pie
- 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!