Flaky vegan pie crust, gooey apple filling, and healthy nourishing ingredients; this vegan apple pie one of my favorite desserts. I love making it with whole spelt flour and having it for breakfast, or with part white spelt to make a lighter dessert. Add a spoonful of coconut whipped cream and you have an amazing plant-based dish!
A Freshly Picked Apple
With the first bite of the pink lady apple, I was transported back to my childhood…The air in the North of Israel was crisp and cold like an Autumn day in my New York hometown. The apple itself was cold and had the freshest taste you can imagine like I could tell that it had still been growing just a moment before. I suddenly got a flashback of picking apples in an orchard as a 5-year-old; trying to climb the trees, filling up a big basket. Our apple picking tradition always ended with hot apple cider and apple cider donuts from the local farm stand.
I didn’t know that there were apples that good in Israel. Apples so sweet, crisp, and juicy that I’d choose them over mangos or raspberries. Apples with no hint of mealiness, softness or bruised spots. Perhaps you can imagine their perfectly red or pink color. Empire or pink lady are two of my personal favorites. Most often the apples I buy in the market in Tel Aviv disappoint. So, when I tasted that first bite of crisp goodness from the tree it felt like a bit of heaven.
I also missed the cold weather. This winter started so late, I actually started wishing for autumn to end and the cold to finally arrive. Just so that everything would feel normal. As we drove up North to go apple picking, the further we drove the cooler and cleaner the air became. When we arrived at the orchard I began running like a child, suddenly filled with a burst of adrenaline from the fresh air and the sight of the beautiful pink laden trees. After excitedly munching on apples and filling up our basket we set up a picnic with my favorite vegan apple pie.
Flaky Vegan Apple Pie Crust
When the weather starts getting chilly one of my favorite baking recipes is apple pie. It’s so comforting on cold days. I recently found this vegan tart crust on a great blog called Little Sweet Baker. Besides being very healthy, the crust is also really quick to put together and absolutely delicious. The original crust recipe from Little Sweet Baker calls for all-purpose flour, milk, and vegetable oil. I prefer using oat or almond milk, grape seed oil, and spelt flour. These slight changes don’t affect the tastiness but make me feel better about having a giant slice for breakfast. I’ve tried preparing it with a few different kinds of oil and grapeseed is my favorite so far, it makes the flakiest crust with a gentle flavor.
If I’m baking the apple pie for dessert, I’ll use part white spelt as the pie comes out a little bit lighter, but for snacks and breakfast, I like whole spelt or whole wheat. Then it’s more of a meal. Sweet Little Baker claims that the secret to the flakiness of the crust is sifting the flour twice. I love that the dough doesn’t need to be frozen but can be baked straight away, it makes the pie very quick to prepare.
The Apple Filling
For the filling, I slice up the apples and spread them out on a baking sheet. Then I bake them for about 10 minutes. This slight softening of the apple slices allows the pie itself to be in the oven less time. I’ve found that this vegan pie crust is way flakier and more delicious when slightly under-baked, so I began pre-cooking the apples. I like baking them as opposed to steaming because it allows them to hold their shape, and not become mushy. I then mix them with lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla extract, flour, and cinnamon. The entire pie only contains 1/3 cup of maple syrup and no other sugar. It’s very sweet and delicious, you may be surprised! Feel free to add some raisins or toasted walnuts to the filling.
Assembling Your Vegan Apple Pie
I recommend rolling out the dough on baking paper. It can be a bit crumblier to work with than butter dough, but you should still be able to pick it up with your rolling pin, by gently rolling it partway on and then carefully spreading it over your pie dish. I often roll out the dough for the top and then use cookie cutters to cut out pretty shapes to decorate it with. The leaves that you see here I actually hand-cut with a knife in order to create a more rustic feeling.
If you love vegan desserts I recommend checking out our coconut and rose vegan malabi recipe!
We recently discovered the sweetest little flower shop in my neighborhood in Tel Aviv. Kami’s store is small but has a lot to choose from. Einav and I both love the types of flowers that she brings, many that have a wildflower delicate look like they were just picked from a field. The owner Kati is very enthusiastic about her work and happy to help. Stop by Kami’s Flowers in Florentin and treat yourself to some beauty.
Vegan Apple Pie
- 9 inch pie dish
The Apple Filling
- 9 large apples We used pink lady for this pie, but all different types will work well.
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 3 cups (375 grams) spelt flour I love using 100% whole spelt and enjoying this pie as a filling breakfast. If you're making it for dessert try using half white spelt in order to make the crust lighter.
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup grapeseed oil
- 1/3 cup milk (plus 1-2 tablespoons if needed) I like using oat or almond milk, but any kind should work.
The Apple Filling
- Preheat oven to 190 C/ 375 F
- Peel and thinly slice the apples.
- Spread across a baking paper lined tray and bake for about 10 minutes or until the apples are slightly bendable, but not mushy.
- Put the baked apple slices in a bowl along with the maple syrup, flour, vanilla, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Mix together.
- Sift the flour twice. This is an important step in ensuring that the dough turns out extra flaky.
- Whisk in the salt.
- Create a well in the center of the flour and pour in the milk and oil.
- Mix together with a wooden spoon and then with your hands until a cohesive dough is formed. If the dough isn't holding together well enough add 1-2 tablespoons of milk.
- Cover with a towel and set aside until the apples are ready. The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Assembling the Pie
- Preheat the oven to 190 C/425 F
- Divide your dough into two portions, one slightly bigger than the other.
- Roll out the bigger half with your rolling pin, pinching the dough back together if it breaks apart. I find that sometimes rolling quickly with your rolling pin works well with this type of dough.
- Carefully lift up your circle of dough with your rolling pin and place it on your 9-inch pie dish. Pinch together or patch any cracks that formed. Leave the extra dough along the sides to later roll in to create the pie's edge.
- Add the apple filling.
- Roll out your second ball of dough for the top of the pie. Either use the same technique as you did for the bottom, placing it on the apples, or cut out leaves with a knife or cookie cutters to decorate the top as we did. Make sure to cut slits for ventilation if placing a whole sheet of dough on top.
- Roll the extra dough from the bottom dough inwards to create the pie edge.
- Bake for 12 minutes on 220 C/425 F, then reduce oven temperature to 190 C/375 F and bake for about another 30 minutes. The pie dough should turn slightly golden but not brown. It is much flakier when not over baked. Cover the edge if necessary.
- Let cool for an hour before eating.
- Enjoy along with vegan or regular whipped cream or ice cream or have a slice as is for breakfast.
- It can be kept in the fridge for about 3 days.