Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Did someone say apple pie?

It's the last day of VeganMoFo and I'd like to share with you, my pride and joy, my strategy for a superior apple pie.

Disclaimer: This is not a recipe, it is a way of manipulating any apple pie recipe into what I consider a good apple pie. Constructive criticism is welcome.

I used to use the Pillsbury ready made dough, but since becoming vegan I just make my own. It's not difficult, it tastes more homemade, and you usually end up with a little extra dough which I'll explain why that's a good thing later.

I've tried out a few pie dough recipes, but lately I really like the one in Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's The Joy Of Vegan Baking. I use the 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated margarine, 1/2 cup shortening variation of her recipe. It gives you that perfect balance between flakiness and workability. If you don't own the Joy Of Vegan Baking, which I suggest you do, Martha Stewart also has a good basic pie dough recipe, just replace the butter with non-hydrogenated margarine. I add a little more sugar to both of these recipes because I like a sweet dough.

You need about 5-6 apples for a pie. I use only granny smith apple and I cut them as thin as possible. This is entirely up to your preference.

For the cinnamon/sugar/flour/nutmeg/salt mixture, I typically start with any recipe I can find just for the basics. I use the Pillsbury perfect apple pie a lot. Taste the mixture, keep the sugar and cinnamon out, add more cinnamon, taste it again. If it gets too cinnamony, add more sugar. Wait until mixture makes your mouth water just a bit, then it's ready! Put a thin layer of the sugary mixture at the bottom of the pie before the apples. Add a layer of apples, then more of the sugary mixture, continue layer by layer.

Sugary apple mountain...

Here's an easy way to make your pie crust look pretty.

Poke holes, make slits, have fun with it. Sometimes I like to put my initials in the pie.

When the pie is in the oven, to prevent the end crusts from over baking, I put some foil on the edges and then when the pie has about 15 minutes left in the oven I take them off to give it some color.

Now while your pie is in the oven and you have a little extra pie dough lying around. Take those extra pieces and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar or any leftover sugary mixture on top and pop it in the oven after the pie comes out. (My mom put a little almond milk on the dough before the cinnamon and sugar, but that's not necessary.)

After the pie, turn the oven temperature down a bit and cook them until they get a golden brown. This is the perfect treat while you patiently wait for the pie to cool down.

The finished product!

Look at that awesome flaky crust... LOOK AT IT! To the left is an equally delicious pumpkin pie yet again from The Joy Of Vegan Baking. On the right is my delicious apple pie.


  1. That looks like one awesome apple pie.
    Is that pastry recipe online anywhere? The Martha Stewart one uses impossible measurements for me (seriously - do people measure butter by the Tablespoon??).

  2. Thanks. I can't find the other pie dough recipe online. For the Martha Stewart one, 16 TBS equals 1 cup or 240mL. I use 2 sticks of the EarthBalance Buttery Sticks which are equivalent to 1/2 cup per stick.

  3. Nice spin, I must say. Alot of apple in the middle, like it should be! :)

  4. Did your apple pie come out soft and flaky? I've made apple and apple/pear pie in the last month and the dough came out hard.

  5. What kind of dough are you using? I'm not an expert, but I believe using the buttery sticks or any non-hydrogenated margarine will give you a softer/flakier dough as oppose to using 100% shortening.