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Classic Vegan Apple Pie

vegan apple pie on a wood table

This classic apple pie recipe is completely vegan but you’d never guess it! Cinnamon apples baked to perfection beneath a flakey, all-butter pie crust. It’s the ultimate holiday dessert that everyone will love!

vegan apple pie on a wood table

This classic apple pie recipe starts with the all-important homemade pie crust. This style of pie crust is called an “all-butter” pie crust because it’s made with vegan butter instead of shortening or lard. I use this vegan pie crust recipe to make my Old Fashioned Blueberry Pie recipe too! It’s flakey, buttery and slightly salty which helps to compliment the sweet and spicy apple pie filling.

peeled apples on a cutting board

Vegan Apple Pie Ingredients

You’ll just need a handful of Fall baking staples to make this apple pie! The complete recipe can be found on the recipe card below but here’s a snapshot to give you an idea:

  • Apples – I like to use a mix of firm baking apples like Granny Smith and Fuji or Honey Crisp apples. They hold up well while baking and provide great flavor!
  • Lemon – a touch of fresh lemon juice brightens the natural sweetness of apples.
  • Cane Sugar and Brown Sugar – the combo adds lots of flavor without making the pie too sweet.
  • Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Cloves – cozy warming spices that taste like the holidays!
  • Vegan Butter – I like to use Earth Balance sticks for baking. I get the salted kind, not unsalted, and recommend butter sticks vs the tub variety.
  • Vegan Pie Crust (listed below)
sliced apple pie on white plates

How to Make Vegan Pie Crust

Making homemade pie crust only requires 5 simple ingredients! The full recipe in on the recipe card below, but here’s an overview to give you an idea:

You’ll need

  • All Purpose Flour
  • Kosher Salt
  • Cane Sugar
  • Vegan Butter
  • Water
vegan butter on a marble counter

Start by cutting the vegan butter into small cubes. I like to use Earth Balance sticks for this recipe and highly recommend it! I wouldn’t use the tub kind for this recipe if you can avoid it. Keep the butter in the fridge until ready to use because we want it to be as cold as possible.

Then add the flour to a large mixing bowl and mash in the butter with a fork until the pieces of butter are about the size of almonds and peanuts. Then set the fork down and use your hands to gently work the flour into the butter.

Add the water and gently knead just until the dough holds together. Form it into a ball and cut the ball in half. Then form each half into a disk shape and wrap tightly with cling wrap to lock in moisture and prevent the dough from drying out. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour but you can chill it for up to 2 days or freeze until ready to use.

How to Make Apple Pie Filling

Start by peeling 12 medium apples, then slice around the core and cut into thick slices, about 1/3in. Place in a large mixing bowl.

Note: In this video, I sliced the apple slices in half to make large chunks rather than slices, but I think it’s better when the slices are left in tact, so don’t copy what I did there. The apples bake more evenly and hold their shape better when they are sliced rather than cut into chunks so slice for best results.

Next, add cane sugar, brown sugar and fresh lemon juice to the bowl with the apples. Then mix in the cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and flour. Mix well, then transfer to the pie crust using a slotted spoon to drain an excess apple juice.

Homemade Apple Pie Recipe Tips:

Use Good Apples – I prefer using mostly Granny Smith apples because they’re firm and very tart. Even though they’re a bit too tart for snacking in most cases, the extra acidity works well in baking because it stands up to the sweetness and spices nicely. I also love the texture of Granny Smith apples because they hold their shape while baking. I also like to add a few Fuji or Honey Crisp apples to the mix. They’re also nice and firm so they hold up well but the sweetness adds a bit of variety and extra flavor to the pie filling. The combo is just delicious!

Chill the Pie Dough – the trick to perfect homemade pie dough is to keep it cold. if you find the dough is getting soft, floppy or shiny, pop it bake it the fridge to firm up. Cold pie dough equals flakey crust, so keep that in mind while assembling your pie!

Use the Correct Size Pie Plate – I used this 10.5in pie plate to make this recipe, so using a smaller 9 in pan will mean you’ll want to use fewer apples because over-filling the pie will lead to a soggy pie. If you have leftover apples you can sauté them in a saucepan and serve on your oatmeal in the morning or chilled with vegan yogurt and granola and a fun Fall breakfast treat!

Bake the Pie on a Cookie Sheet – I place a cookie in the oven first and then preheat the oven. Once it’s at 425, I set the pie plate on top of the hot cookie instead of directly on the rack. This helps to catch any of the caramely apple juices if they bubble over a little while baking. It also helps to ensure that the bottom of the pie crust is nice and golden brown.

Cool before Slicing – I know it’s hard to be patient but all of that hard work you did to prep the pie will be wasted if you cut into it while it’s still hot. Cutting a hot pie means all of the juices will run out of it aka: your filling won’t taste as good and the crust will get soggy. To avoid this, let the pie cool completely before slicing. Trust me, it’s worth the wait! I often make this pie the day before I want to serve it because it actually tastes even better that way and the filling is perfectly set.

vegan apple pie on a wood table

Vegan Apple Pie

Nicole Vranjican
Flakey homemade pie crust and delicious apple pie filling made from fresh apples and cozy warming spices!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Resting time 4 hours
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Vegan

Equipment

  • 1 10.5" pie dish (10.5" Dia. x 2.36" H)
  • 1 Rolling Pin
  • 2 cookie sheets

Ingredients
  

Pie Crust

  • 2.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt I use Morton's Kosher Salt
  • 2 tsp cane sugar
  • 2 sticks cold vegan butter 1 cup, sticks not tub
  • 6-7 tbsp cold water

Filling

  • 5 lbs firm apples I use a mix of Fuji, Honey Crisp, and Granny Smith
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ cup cane sugar
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • tbsp flour

Toppings

  • 1-2 tbsp unsweetened soy milk
  • 2 tbsp turbinado sugar optional but so yum!

Instructions
 

Make the Pie Dough

  • Start by cutting the vegan butter sticks into small cubes. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Next, combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Whisk to combine and then add the cold butter cubes.
  • Use a fork to mash the butter into the flour. You can also use clean hands to gently squish the butter and flour together to incorporate.
  • Stop mixing when a shaggy dough appears with some chunky pieces of butter in pea and almond sized shapes.
    Tip: If the pieces are too small/uniform the crust won't be as flakey.
  • Make a well in the center of the bowl and add the cold water. Start with 6 tbsp and add another if needed. Mix for just long enough to bring the dough together into a crumbly mixture (it doesn't need to stick together yet) and then turn it out on to a lightly floured countertop.
  • Gently knead the dough for just long enough to bring it together and then stop.
    👩🏻‍🍳 You don't want to over-work the dough at this point or the crust won't be tender and flakey.
    Next, shape the dough into a ball, working quickly so that the butter doesn't get too soft. Then cut it in half and shape into two disks. Then wrap each disk tightly in plastic wrap and refrigeratefor at least 1-2 hours. 
  • 👩🏻‍🍳 Tip: If at any point the butter starts to get soft, melty or shiny, place the whole bowl in the fridge for 5-10 minutes to prevent the butter from softening too much.

Roll Out the Dough

  • Place a cookie sheet on the center rack of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees.
  • Unwrap the pie dough disks and allow them to come to just under room temperature so it's easy to roll out without cracking.
    👩🏻‍🍳 This means it should be soft enough to roll out without cracking, but still cool to the touch so that the butter doesn't melt inside the dough.
  • Lightly flour the the countertop and a rolling pin, and then roll the first disk of pie dough into a 14 inch circle. I start with the rolling pin in the middle of the disk and roll forward, backward, to the side and then to the other side. Then rotate the dough 90 degrees and repeat. 
    👩🏻‍🍳 For a perfectly flakey crust, roll out the dough then fold it in half. Fold in half one more time to create a little stack, and then roll it out into a 13-14in circle. This stacking and rolling process will create more layers!
    Tip: Flip the dough over every fourth rotation to prevent sticking and a light dusting of flour to the counter as needed. This helps a lot! 
  • To transport the pie crust, roll it around the rolling pin to help lift it off of the counter. Then unroll it into a pie dish (10.5" Dia. x 2.36" H) and let it drape down into the bottom edges of the pan.
  • Gently press the dough into the walls of the pie dish and make sure there are no gaps and make sure there's some overhang to prevent the pie crust from shrinking while baking. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and place the pie crust in the fridge while you roll out the second disk.
    Repeat the same process with the second disk pie of dough, rolling it out into a 14 inch circle. This time, transfer to a cookie sheet, cover, and place in the fridge to chill while you make the pie filling.

Make the Apple Pie Filling

  • Recipe update: in the video above from 2022, I reduced the apple juices into a thick caramel sauce and added it back to the pie but since then, I prefer to skip this step, because it improves the texture of the apple filling! Plus, this new method is WAY easier! Love that 🙂 Here's what I recommend now:
    Simply peel the apples and slice in to 1/4 in slices. Place in a bowl and add 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice on top. Toss to coat. Then add the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cane sugar, brown sugar, and flour. Gently mix.

Assemble

  • Use a slotted to transfer the apple filling into the pie crust. Using a slotted spoon to keep as much of the apple juices in the bowl as possible, and that prevents a soggy pie. Discard any remaining juice.
    👩🏻‍🍳 Optional: dice 1 tbsp of cold vegan butter into small cubes and place on top of the apples for a little extra flavor and richness.
  • Then remove the pie dough from the cookie sheet in the fridge, and place it on top of the apples. Trim off the excess dough if it's more than 1 inch of overhang, and then tuck the pie crust under itself on the top lip of the pie plate to create a thick rim.
  • Then use your fingers to crimp the edge of the pie crust to create a pretty design. Lightly brush the top and crust with soy milk, sprinkle with turbinado sugar for sparkle and crunch!

Bake

  • Place the pie dish on top of the preheated cookie sheet in the oven.
    Bake at 425 for 15 minutes then, while leaving the pie in the oven, reduce the heat to 375 and bake for 1 hour or until deeply golden brown. The kitchen should smell amazing at the point 🤗

Chill to Set

  • The filling needs to set or it will seep out all over the place when you try to slice the pie, so allow the pie to cool completely, at least 2 hours.

Serve

  • Serve with vegan vanilla ice cream and enjoy!
Keyword apple pie, apple recipes, dessert, pie, pie crust, vegan pie

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Nicole Vranjican

Hey! I’m Nicole and I make practical vegan recipes for REAL life. I cook with simple, easy to find ingredients and I’m passionate about creating delicious plant-based meals that everyone will love!

I hope you enjoy my recipes and videos :) Happy Cooking!

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