Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and with it the hustle and bustle of holiday baking. Pie has always been a must-have at our Thanksgiving dinners. And even more important than the traditional pumpkin pie, is a tender, flavorful, delicious apple pie. This vegan apple pie fits that description perfectly!
Apple pie has always been my favorite… It’s hard to beat the melt-in-your-mouth sweet/tart filling and the crumbly, buttery crust. Add a dollop of vegan ice-cream or whipped cream on top, and you have the perfect delicious dessert for any fall or winter meal.
Pies always seem daunting to me, until I get started and remember how easy they really are! The filling comes together in a snap, and with practice, the crust doesn’t take much longer.
One of the secrets to a good, flaky crust is to make sure you handle the dough as little as possible. The more you handle it, the tougher the texture will be. Another secret is to use ice cold water, and not too much of it! Your dough should not be wet, but simply moist and able to hold a ball shape. A perfect crust comes with practice, but with this easy recipe, I think you can have pretty near perfect results with the first try!
When rolling it out, I like to line the counter with plastic wrap to keep the dough from sticking. Once you have the first half of your dough rolled out into a thin disk, place your pie pan upside down in the middle of the crust. Then slide one hand under the plastic wrap, and carefully flip the crust and pie pan over right-side up. The plastic wrap peels off easily, and you won’t end up with tears in your crust from trying to pick it up and flip it.
Now roll out the second half of your dough, using the same plastic wrap trick. This will form your top layer of crust. Once again, slide your hand under the plastic wrap, and gently flip your top crust over the top of your pie. Center over your pie plate, and carefully peel off the plastic wrap.
Now comes the most challenging part of making a pie, in my opinion… Crimping the crust. Some people have mastered this art, but I for some reason still have a hard time getting my fingers to cooperate! There are a number of tutorials online for different designs, but I still prefer a basic crimp around the edge. Trim off the excess crust with a sharp knife after crimping.
Once it is finished baking, there’s only one step left… Enjoy it! 🙂 Hopefully this lovely vegan apple pie will find it’s way into your family holiday tradition just as it has ours!
- Apple Pie Filling:
- 8-10 firm baking apples (Granny Smith, Ida Red, Northern Spy, etc)
- ½ cup brown sugar (may use up to 1 cup, depending on the tartness of the apple)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp vegan butter
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- ⅔ cup vegan butter (I like using Earth Balance Baking Sticks)
- 5 Tbsp ice cold water
- Preheat your oven to 450º.
- Wash, peel, core, and slice apples.
- Mix all your pie filling ingredients (except the butter) together in a large mixing bowl. Set aside while you prepare your crust.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Next, using a pastry cutter or a fork, cut the vegan butter into the flour mixture. Work quickly so the butter doesn't become warm. The mixture should somewhat resemble coarse sand when done.
- Next, add your ice water one tablespoon at a time, gently folding the water into the mixture with a fork after each tablespoon.
- The mixture will begin to be damp, but will still look very dry after all 5 tablespoons have been added. This is normal!
- Gently begin working the dough into a ball. The dough will not be completely smooth, and will still seem somewhat lumpy, but this is ok. Once you have formed a ball, divide it into two equal sections (your top and bottom crusts).
- Line your work area with plastic wrap, and begin rolling out your bottom crust. Place your rolling pin in the middle of the ball of dough, and firmly but gently roll outward. Continue doing this, going in a different direction every time to form a circle shape. Keep rolling out your dough until you have a thin disc (about ⅛th of an inch thick) that is several inches larger than your pie plate.
- Place pie plate upside-down in the center of bottom crust. Slide one hand gently under plastic wrap, and with the other hand on the pie plate, carefully flip the crust and pie plate over and right side up. Gently peel off plastic wrap, and form crust to pie plate.
- Now, stir your apple mixture to mix all the juices that have formed, and pour into your pie plate, reserving most of the liquid. Dot with butter, and set aside.
- Repeat step 8 with the second ball of dough to form your top crust. Once again, carefully flip the crust on top of the pie. Center it, and gently peel off the plastic wrap.
- Crimp crust according to your preference, and trim off excess crust with a sharp knife.
- Make 4 small cuts in the top of the pie crust to prevent puffing up during baking.
- Place in oven, and bake at 450º for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350º for about 45 minutes.
- Pie crust will be crisp and golden-brown when done.
- Serve warm with vegan ice cream or whipped cream! Best when fresh, but keeps well in the fridge for a few days.