There's nothing more satisfying than successfully making a vegan, gluten-free apple pie from scratch with apples freshly picked from the orchards. Dutch apple pie has always been my favorite. I love everything about it, from the flaky crust that gently cradles the spiced apples to the crispy crumble top. Making the appropriate ingredient substitutions is the main challenge in creating a dairy- and gluten-free version of it, and I knew I needed a recipe I could fully rely on.
Several recipes came to my attention, but seeing apples and ginger appearing together in Dolly and Oatmeal's recipe strongly appealed to me. Plus, I've had great success baking with sorghum flour and a crust made of that sounded promising. The crumble top is made by mixing oat and almond flours with rolled oats and walnuts. And coconut oil is used in this vegan recipe in place of butter.
- I used a mix of Honeycrisp, Mutsu and Newtown Pippin apples. Honeycrisp is a popular choice, and combining its pleasant sweetness with the bright and slightly tart quality of Mutsu and Newtown Pippin greatly enhanced the flavor profile of the pie.
- Because I used some tart apples, I added 1/4 cup of coconut sugar to the otherwise sweetener-free crumble.
- When I followed the recommended baking time, the crust and topping became too brown and the apples were too cooked. So I reduced the baking time, and covered the pie with aluminum foil in the final 15 minutes.
What makes this pie special for me is the ginger in the apple filling. It's subtle but significant, and works really well with the coconut sugar to create an apple pie that's not overly sweet and respectful of the individual flavors of the other ingredients used. The crust is scrumptious, and has a light cracker texture that stands up to refrigeration without turning soggy. This pie is just as good fresh from the oven for dessert as it is for breakfast the next morning.
1/2 cup (60g) sorghum flour
1/4 cup (30g) brown rice flour
1/4 cup (25g) gluten-free oat flour
1/4 cup (30g) arrowroot powder
1 teaspoon psyllium husk powder
1 teaspoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, refrigerated
3-6 tablespoons ice water
1 teaspoon dairy-free milk
In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients together. Using a pastry cutter, cut the coconut oil into the dry mix to get coarse crumbs. Drizzle in ice water one tablespoon at a time while gently stirring the mixture with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together and doesn’t crumble anymore. Lightly shape dough into a flat disk with your hands and wrap loosely with plastic wrap. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
Grease a 9-inch pan and set aside. Line a work surface with a large piece of parchment paper and flour it. Remove dough from refrigerator and let it rest on the parchment paper for 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle flour on the dough and a rolling pin. Use the rolling pin to gently roll out the dough to an 11-inch round, sprinkling with flour to prevent sticking.
Place pie pan on top of the dough and gently slide one hand underneath the parchment paper. Then hold the top of the pie pan with the other hand and quickly flip the paper so that the dough is now on the pan. Carefully peel the paper from the dough. Gently press the dough into the pan and trim the edges. Patch up any holes or tears with the trimmed dough. Shape the crust and refrigerate.
5 to 6 medium (750g) apples (I used Newtown Pippin, Mutsu and Honeycrisp)
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1
/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
Pinch of salt
Peel and core apples, then slice them into half moons with 1/4-inch thickness. Mix apples with ginger and lemon juice. In a small bowl, mix together coconut sugar, ground cinnamon, arrowroot powder and salt. Gradually add the mixture to the apples and toss until combined. Set aside.
1/2 cup (45g) oat flour
1/4 cup (20g) rolled oats
1/4 cup (20g) almond flour
1/4 cup (25g) chopped walnuts
1/4 cup (30g) coconut sugar
Pinch of salt 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted In a medium bowl, mix together oat flour, rolled oats, almond flour, chopped walnuts, coconut sugar and salt. Add coconut oil and stir until mixture resembles wet sand. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 400° F. Remove pie dough from the refrigerator and fill it with the apple mixture, arranging the slices evenly. Spoon any remaining liquid from the apple mixture into the pie. Using your fingers, sprinkle crumble mixture evenly on top of the apples. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the top of the pie crust with non-dairy milk.
Place pie in the center of oven and bake for 15 minutes. Then reduce heat to 375° F and continue to bake until crust and topping are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Finally, cover pie with aluminum foil and bake for another 15 minutes. Let pie cool completely on a wire rack before serving.