I love eating this apple pie – it is truly the best vegan apple pie. I think so, my husband thinks so, and even my non-vegan friends think so!
Baking pies is so satisfying. A lot of us remember our mothers and grandmothers rolling out pie dough with us at their elbows. Or watching through the oven window, waiting for our delicious cinnamon sugar crust scraps to brown. Pies are truly a comfort food, and none more so than simple fruit pies. I promise if you bake this apple pie, your family will adore you! They might go back to staring at their “devices” soon enough, but while they are eating that pie, all the love will be for you.
Apple pie is a good beginner pie, if you’ve never tried to bake a pie before. The homemade crust recipe is easy and the filling is something you can experiment with until you find your own perfect apple pie recipe.
I use cinnamon and nutmeg in my recipe, but you can also play around with using 1/8 teaspoon (a pinch) or 1/4 teaspoon of ginger or allspice in addition to the other spices.
When cutting the apples, the experts agree that 1/4-inch wide apple slices are the best. Thinner slices will be soggy; thicker slices or uneven slices won’t bake evenly. Once you have sliced the peeled apples, you toss them in lemon juice and then mix them with the rest of the ingredients. Some people mix the filling together, then set them aside while rolling out the crusts, to let the apples drain. If you use this method, be sure to place the apples into the crust with a slotted spoon, leaving any juice behind in the bowl.
With this recipe, however, I roll out the crusts, put the bottom crust in the pie pan, and then mix my apples and put everything from the bowl into the crust immediately. I never have a soggy bottom crust, because I don’t let the apples sit to drain. You can try both methods and see what you think.
When placing the apples into the bottom crust, try to layer them flat as much as possible. This removes any gaps and keeps the filling from shrinking as much when baking, so your pie will retain most of its height. Prepare enough apples that when stacked in the dough, they are about 1/2-inch above the sides of the pie pan, piling the apples slightly higher in the middle. You can make taller apple pies, but you will want to taste the crust as well as the filling in each bite. This way, you do.
When baking the pie, place a baking sheet on the bottom rack of your oven. Then place the other oven rack in the middle of the oven and place your pie on that rack. Occasionally, the pie filling will bubble over, so the baking sheet below will catch any filling. Alternatively, you can also place the pie directly on the baking sheet. This will make the pie crust crisper when done, but keep an eye on your pie – the baking sheet can speed up the baking process a bit.
Crusted pies slice cleaner after they are cooled to room temperature. They are delicious when eaten hot from the oven, but they slice cleaner and the apples stay inside the pie when allowed to cool. What I do is let the pie cool completely, then cut each perfect looking slice and microwave it for 30 seconds or so. The pie slice will stay completely together and look so beautiful.
The last tip I have, which I sometimes forget to do, is to put aluminum foil around the edges of the pie. Just cut the foil into strips about an inch wide, then fold them over the top of the crust edge and around the bottom of the pie plate edge. It will be loose, but hold the aluminum on until you get the pie into the oven. The aluminum foil will keep the crust edge from browning too fast and getting too dark. If you forget, don’t worry, it’s not a big deal, the crust edge will just be browner and a little dry. If you use the foil, remove it about halfway through the pie baking.
For this recipe, I use my own vegan pie crust – the recipe makes two crusts. If you don’t have time to make a crust, you can use the store bought, roll out kind. But try the homemade crust sometime – it’s easy!