The secret to the perfect vegan apple pie? Cook the apples before baking! This delicious pie is a plant-based twist on the classic dessert.
THIS RECIPE IS SPONSORED BY WEWALKA.
Oh, the apple pie.
Sweet, sweet apple pie.
It's an American classic.
A dessert that's perfect for any occasion.
It also happens to be my dad's favorite pie-- his eyes light up whenever he finds out that apple pie is on the menu.
And yet, making an apple pie from scratch can be intimidating.
Things can go wrong.
Will the dough turn out right? Will the filling and top crust meet up perfectly?
This vegan pie solves all your apple pie problems.
It's plant-based, but both your vegan and butter-loving friends will devour it.
The pie dough will be perfect-- because we're using pre-made dough.
And the filling will absolutely meet up with the top crust-- because we're cooking the apples first.
Plant-Based Pie Dough
Traditional pie dough (including most pre-made, refrigerated pie dough) uses lard (pig fat) or butter to make the pie dough rich and flaky.
Whether or not you're avoiding lard and butter, when you're serving pie, you're probably serving guests.
Guests who may not eat dairy or animal products such as lard.
The good news is, you can buy pre-made, refrigerated pie dough that does not contain either butter or lard.
Wewalka's pie dough is easy to work with and is flaky and golden when baked.
(As of 2022, Welwalka is now "Jus-Rol".)
What Kind of Apples Should I Use?
I like to use a mixture of both sweet apples (like Fuji or Gala) and tart apples (like Granny Smith).
Feel free to use a mixture of your favorite apples.
How Many Apples Should I Use?
Use about three pounds of apples (or about eight apples) for a traditional pie pan.
If you're using a deep dish pan, use a couple extra apples (about ten).
I like to have a few extra apples on hand, just in case my apples are especially juicy and cook down more than I expected them to.
Start By Cooking the Apples
Peel, core, and slice the apples.
Add them to a heavy pot with coconut oil.
Add some sugar, lemon juice and zest, maple syrup, spices, and a dash of bourbon.
You can skip the bourbon if you want to, but it makes this vegan apple pie a little extra awesome.
Bring the apples to a simmer, and cook until they're tender.
Next, whisk some cold apple or orange juice with a little cornstarch.
Pour the cornstarch mixture in with the apples, stir, and simmer until the liquid has thickened.
Fill the Vegan Apple Pie
Start with a prepared bottom pie crust, and add chopped pecans across the bottom of the pie (if you want nuts).
Next, scoop the cooked apples into pie, piling the apples until they reach the top of the pie pan.
How to Make a Lattice Top for Vegan Apple Pie
A lattice pie top is totally optional.
If you prefer, simply lay a piece of pie dough over the apples, crimp the edges, and add three to five slits in the dough from the center out.
But if you want to get fancy, keep reading!
To make a lattice top, cut your top piece of pie dough into 1" strips.
Use a ruler if you want-- I like to just wing it.
Place half the dough strips in evenly spaced parallel lines on top of the pie.
Fold up every other piece of dough from the middle of the pie.
Lay one piece of dough perpendicularly across the center of the pie. Fold down the pulled-up dough strips, and fold up the alternate strips.
Repeat with another piece of dough placed about 1" below the first perpendicular piece, folding the strips of pie around it. Repeat with the remaining strips of dough until you have formed a lattice.
Press the edges of the pie top into the bottom pie crust, pinching the dough together with your fingers.
Trim the edges of the pie, cutting off any extra lattice. Brush the top of the dough with non-dairy milk.
If you're feeling extra fancy, cut any leftover dough into circles, and add them to the pie as decorations. Brush those with milk too.
Sprinkle the dough with sugar.
Slide your vegan apple pie into the oven, and bake until the crust is golden.
Let the pie cool completely before serving.
Serve your pie with a scoop of (vegan) vanilla ice cream, and enjoy!
Want another vegan apple dessert? Try these Instant Pot Baked Apples from Imagelicious!
Vegan Apple Pie
- 2 packages pie dough, brought to room temperature
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil, divided
- 3 pounds apples (~8 medium apples), use a mix of sweet + tart apples (like sweet Fuji + tart Granny Smith) For a deep dish pie pan, use ~10 apples
- ½ cup sugar, plus more for dusting dough
- 1 lemon, zested + juiced
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground
- ½ ounce bourbon (optional)
- ⅓ cup apple or orange juice
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- ½ cup pecans, finely chopped (optional)
- 1 ounce non-dairy milk I used coconut milk
- Prepare one piece of pie dough by forming it into a pie pan. Set the prepared dough into the fridge.
Prep + Cook Apples:
- Add 1 TB coconut oil to a large heavy-bottomed pot or pan (enamel cast iron is perfect).Tip: Stainless steel cookware works too, but your apples will likely cook more quickly than the recipe indicates.
- Peel, core, and slice apples, adding to the pan with the coconut oil as you go.Add the sugar, lemon zest and juice, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, and bourbon (if using). Stir apples to incorporate all the ingredients.
- Bring apples to a simmer over medium-low heat, and continue simmering for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender (but not falling apart).
- In a small bowl, whisk together the juice and cornstarch. Add cornstarch mixture to the apples, stirring constantly while adding. Bring apples back to a simmer, and continue to simmer about 2 minutes, until the sauce begins to thicken. Turn off the heat.
- Remove the prepared pie dough from the fridge. Sprinkle pecans across the bottom of the dough (if using).
- Scoop the apples out of the pan and into the pie dough. Tip: Ideally, the pie pan will be completely full of apples (or mounded with apples). If your apples don't completely fill the pie pan (because your apples cooked down too much, your apples were small, or your pie pan is especially large), you can quickly fry a couple more apples in a little more coconut oil, and pile them onto the other cooked apples.
- Drizzle up to ½ cup of the cooking liquid over the apples (you might have leftover liquid).Tip: The amount of liquid left in the pan depends on how juicy the apples are. If you're using a stainless steel pan instead of enameled cast iron, you might have less juice left in the pan because it cooked off more quickly.
- Dot the apples with the remaining 1 TB of coconut oil (or drizzle the oil over if it melted).
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
Prepare Top Crust:
- Traditional apple pie topping:Top pie with remaining sheet of dough. Trim the dough to a ½" overhang (if needed), tuck the edges under the bottom pie dough, and crimp or seal. Cut 3-5 slits in the dough to allow steam to escape.Lattice topping:Cut remaining sheet of pie dough into strips (~1" wide, or smaller/larger as desired). Arrange half the strips in even parallel lines across the pie. Fold up every other strip at the mid-point of the pie. Next, place the longest remaining strip across the pie, perpendicular to the first strips, and just below where you folded. Fold down the strips.Fold up the alternating pieces of dough about 1" above the last piece of dough. Place another piece of dough, fold down the strips, and repeat until the pie is covered in a lattice pattern.Cut off over-hanging dough, and pinch the ends of the lattice into the bottom piece of dough.If desired, use a small cookie cutter to cut decorations in any remaining pie dough. Wet the bottom of any decorations with a drop of water, and gently press them onto the dough.
- Brush the dough with non-dairy milk, and sprinkle with sugar. Tip: If you used a lattice pie top, make sure to brush the milk over all the areas where the lattice strips connect with each other or the edge of the pie. Pay extra attention to brushing the milk over any decorations.
Bake the Pie:
- Bake the apple pie for 20 minutes at 400°F.
- Lower the temperature to 325°F, and bake another 30-40 minutes until the crust is goldCheck on the pie 20 minutes after lowering the oven temperature, and loosely tent with foil if it's getting too dark.
- Allow pie to cool 30 minutes before serving.
- Make Ahead / Refrigerate:Loosely cover pie with foil, and store at room temperature up to 2 days, or in the fridge up to 5 days.Make Ahead + Freeze:Allow cooked pie to cool completely. Wrap it tightly and freeze. Use within 2 months. To reheat, reheat your oven to 350ºF. Cook for 15-20 minutes until warmed through.