Classic Vegan Apple Pie

No one will know this vegan apple pie recipe is plant-based: it’s just as good! The flaky lattice crust encloses a cozy-spiced apple filling.

Vegan apple pie

Want to make a show-stopping apple pie…that’s vegan? It’s 100% possible…and delicious. Meet this Classic Vegan Apple Pie! No one would guess that this pie is fully made of plants, because it’s so satisfying. A flaky, golden crust encloses a filling that’s so full of cozy spiced flavor, you won’t want the bite to end. Many of our meals are plant-based around here, so we thought it would be fun to try a vegan spin on our Best Apple Pie. Here are all the tips and tricks for making the most classic apple pie…with no butter to speak of.

The key to vegan apple pie: vegan pie crust!

The key to this vegan apple pie is vegan pie crust! Turns out, apple pie filling is easy to make with just sugar and spices. Where you need a little help is the buttery pie crust! You can use either coconut oil or vegan butter as a butter substitute in this pastry crust. Here’s what to know about each:

  • Coconut oil vegan pie crust (preferred): The pastry comes out beautifully crisp and crunchy! We recommend using refined coconut oil, which has less of a coconut-y flavor. This is our preferred method because it’s very consistent.
  • Vegan butter pie crust (optional): The pastry comes out flaky with a little more of a savory, buttery flavor than coconut oil. The exact texture and flavor depends on the brand of vegan butter and what it’s made of. When you’re shopping for vegan butter, check the ingredient lists and find one that is minimally processed with real food ingredients. We like Miyoko’s Vegan Butter, which is made with mostly cashews and coconut: it happens to be organic, too.
Vegan apple pie

Equipment you need for this vegan apple pie recipe

Outside of the butter substitute, making vegan apple pie is exactly the same as standard apple pie! The required equipment is simply a standard pie plate and a rolling pin. But a few additional items can be helpful to this recipe:

  • Standard pie plate: Use a standard 9-inch pie plate, not a deep dish pie plate! If you have one, a metal pie plate can help the bottom crust to come out crispier.
  • Pastry cloth and rolling pin cover: These can help to avoid sticking when you’re rolling out the dough. If you don’t have one, dust your work surface and rolling pin generously with flour as you go.
  • Food scale: In baking it’s helpful to weigh flour because it can change based on environmental conditions. If you don’t have one, just measure the flour in cups and adjust the water as needed.

Variation: vegan apple crumble

Feeling overwhelmed by the process? Here’s an idea: make a Vegan Apple Crumble instead! Apple crumble has a very similar flavor to this apple pie, and it’s loads easier to make. No dough rolling or lattice work necessary! But want to keep going? Keep reading…

Classic vegan apple pie recipe

Best apple for pie: Granny Smith!

What are the best apples for apple pie? We’re glad you asked. First off: if you can, use organic apples. Apples are one of the best fruits to buy organic due to the way that pesticides are used (see the Dirty Dozen list for more). Our favorite type of apple to use for pie is Granny Smith. It’s got the perfect crisp texture and sweet tart flavor. It’s what we recommend hands down. If you prefer using another apple, here are our favorites in order of preference:

  • Granny Smith
  • Honeycrisp
  • Jonathon or Jonagold
  • Gala
  • Ida Red
  • Golden Delicious (do not use Red Delicious)

How to slice apples…fast

Once you’ve got your apples for this vegan apple pie recipe, it can take a while to peel and slice them. But here’s a trick for how to cut them quickly! This method for slicing apples is so slick, you can slice one up in just a few seconds. Review the video below for how to do it:

How to slice apples

How to blind bake the crust

Blind baking is baking a pie crust without the filling. Why do this? It makes sure that crust is perfectly firm before you add the filling. This avoids the soggy bottom problem! It makes a pastry that’s firm and flaky. Here are a few things to know about blind baking this vegan apple pie:

  • Prick holes with a fork all over the crust. This helps it to puff up less while in the oven.
  • Add pie weights: like dried beans or rice! For the baking step, you’ll need pie weights to weigh down the crust so it doesn’t get too puffy. Guess what? You don’t need to buy anything! Use dried beans or dry rice to fill up your pie crust before blind baking. (It doesn’t harm the beans or rice: you can still cook them as normal.) You can also use ceramic pie weights.

How to make a lattice pie crust topping

The main part of this vegan apple pie recipe that requires technique is making the lattice pie crust. Once you’ve done it once, it’s easy to do; but lattice work can be daunting if you’ve never tried it before. Here’s a video showing how to do the lattice weave for the crust. The pieces in the video below are thicker than you’ll use for this pie, but it gives you an idea of the process.

How to make a lattice pie crust

Serving vegan apple pie

What’s the best way to serve this vegan apple pie recipe? It’s actually extremely tasty as is! The crunch of the pie crust with the tangy brightness of the apples doesn’t need much in the way of improvements. It’s perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or as a summer dessert! But if you’re a person who loves apple pie toppings, here are a few vegan ideas for topping it off:

  • Vegan whipped cream: This Dairy Free Whipped Cream is made with coconut milk: and light and airy! It has a faint fruity coconut flavor, but that doesn’t overwhelm the dish.
  • Vegan ice cream: There are lots of options for store-bought vegan ice creams these days. Even better, make our Cinnamon Vegan Ice Cream! It’s extraordinary.

This vegan apple pie recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

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Vegan apple pie

Classic Vegan Apple Pie


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

No one will know this vegan apple pie recipe is plant-based: it’s just as good! The flaky lattice crust encloses a cozy-spiced apple filling.


Scale

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup refined coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup water + 3 ice cubes

For the pie

  • 3 pounds organic Granny Smith apples (10 to 11 small)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest plus 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)

Instructions

  1. Make the crust: In a medium bowl, mix the all purpose flour, kosher salt, and baking powder. Drop small blobs of the coconut oil into the flour mixture. Then use a pastry cutter to incorporate it into the flour until pebbly (try to make sure there aren’t any large chunks of coconut oil).  Drizzle about 1/2 of the ice water into the flour and bring together with a fork. Continue drizzling until a dough is formed. Use your hands to make it into a dough ball, not too sticky (add a bit more water or flour if necessary). Divide the dough in two and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  3. Meanwhile, make the filling: Peel and core the apples, then thinly slice them about 1/4 inch thick (see the “How to slice apples” section above). Place the apples in a large pot with a lid or in a Dutch oven. Add in the cornstarch, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt, lemon juice and zest, and vanilla. Stir apples to combine. Cover and cook on high heat for 2 minutes without stirring. Remove it from the heat, remove the lid and cool the apples until the pie crust is done blind baking. 
  4. Roll out the first dough: If you have a pastry cloth, set it up and dust it with flour; otherwise, flour a clean work surface. Put on a rolling pin cover (optional) and coat the pin in flour. Remove one ball of dough from the refrigerator and roll it evenly from the center to the edge, until the dough is a large circle about 1/8-inch thick. If it starts to get sticky, dust lightly with flour. Rest the dough for 3 minutes. Then trim the dough to an even 12-inch circle with a pizza cutter (this corresponds to the 9-inch circle on the pastry cloth).
  5. Blind bake the crust: Gently place the dough into the center of the pie plate, using the rolling pin to transfer it. Use your fingers to press the pastry into the form of the pie pan. Then fold the excess dough around the edges under itself, so that it sits evenly on the rim of the pie plate, then crimp the edge with the tines of a fork. Prick the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork, then cover it with a sheet of parchment paper. Fill the inside with pastry weights like dried beans or rice (or another type of pie weight). Bake the crust for 18 minutes.
  6. Increase the oven temperature: Remove the blind baked pie crust from the oven and place it on a cooling rack. Add a baking sheet to a center rack and increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  7. Assemble the pie: Spoon the apple filling into the pie plate with a slotted spoon, leaving the liquid inside the pot. Heat the pot over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes to thicken the remaining liquid until thickened and syrupy. Then pour the syrup over the apples.
  8. Make the lattice: Roll out the second dough ball into another 12” circle. Cut into 1” strips and use 7 strips to make a lattice. Carefully lay out 4 strips of dough in the same direction on the pie (see the “How to make a lattice pie crust” above). Be careful to place the strips down without stretching. Weave the strips together to create the lattice with the remaining 3 strips. Trim the lattice on the pie to the edge of the pie, then place the remaining strips of the dough around the outside to form an edge around the rim of the pie.
  9. Bake the pie: Place the pie on a baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour until golden brown. Remove from the oven and place on a baking rack. Allow to cool for at least 1 hour until warm, or a few hours until it is room temperature. Then slice into pieces and enjoy! The pie is best eaten the day it is made. For make ahead and reheating instructions, see below.

Notes

Make ahead instructions: Pie is best eaten the day of making it. You can make the pie dough in advance: make it up to 3 days ahead, wrap well and refrigerate. Or, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze it for up to 3 months. When ready to use, remove from the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours.

Leftover / reheating instructions: Store leftovers at room temperature loosely covered with foil, plastic wrap, or with an overturned bowl. Reheat at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. 

  • Category: Pie
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Vegan apple pie, Vegan apple pie recipe

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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