This is my favourite kind of vegan apple pie: thick pastry, with a really deep apple filling that is just perfectly sweet without being overly so. Pie like this, I can’t get enough of. I have a preference for chilled fruit pie with a splash of vegan cream, and I am particularly fond of it at breakfast time. I have no idea why this is, only that it seems to start my day particularly well on the occasions when I am able to have it in this way.
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What’s in the vegan apple pie?
This is a shortcrust pastry recipe, using plain flour, vegan margarine and baking powder. The filling makes use of Bramley apples, that are peeled, sliced and soaked in water to prevent them from going brown. Half a teaspoon of cinnamon is also added, the perfect complement to any apple dish.
For this vegan apple pie, you don’t have to make the pastry from scratch. I prefer to but it’s not essential. A store-bought shortcrust pastry is a perfect alternative if you’re feeling lazy. You can eat it hot, at room temperature or chilled and it will happily keep for 4 days in the fridge. Serve it as a desert to go with my Vegan Courgette Rostis with Plum and Edamame Salad, or my Stuffed Peppers with Aubergine and Rice. Or, if you’re anything like me, save a slice of chilled vegan apple pie to have with your morning coffee.
Vegan Apple Pie
Prep time: about 30 minutes. Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes, plus cooling time.
For the Pastry:
450g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
100g unrefined sugar
75g gram (chickpea) flour
200g vegan margarine, plus extra for greasing
150ml plant milk, plus extra to glaze the pie
For the Filling:
2kg Bramley apples, peeled, sliced and soaked in water
25g vegan margarine
300g unrefined sugar, plus extra to top the pie
½ tsp ground cinnamon
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First make the pastry by putting all the pastry ingredients, apart from the milk, into a mixing bowl and rubbing together between your fingers, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add the plant milk and bring the mixture together with your hands. Knead for a couple of minutes to form a dough and then cover and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
While the pastry is chilling, drain the apples, then melt the butter in a wide but shallow pan. Add the drained apples and cook for 15-20 minutes on a medium-high heat. The apples will release a lot of water, which we want to get rid of before putting them into our pie. Drain any excess water that hasn’t cooked off at the end of the time. You want the apples to be slightly soft but not mushy. Add the sugar and the cinnamon and cook for another minute or two. Allow to cool.
While the apples are cooling, preheat the oven to gas 5/190C/375F and grease a suitable deep pie dish with margarine. Roll out just under two-thirds of the pastry large enough to line the pie dish and go up over the sides. Fill the pie dish with the pastry and press down gently, leaving a slight overlap at the rim of the dish. Line the pastry with greaseproof paper and then fill with dry rice or baking beans. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked through but not browned too much.
Remove from the oven and take out the rice and paper, then fill the cooked pastry with the apple filling
Turn the oven down to gas 4/180C/350F.
Roll out the remaining pastry to a suitable size for a lid, then place the lid on top of the pie. Cut away any excess pastry with a table knife and then press down the edges with either your fingers or a fork. Use a sharp knife to cut two slits in the top of the pie to allow steam to escape. Now roll out any remaining pastry to create shapes on top of your pie (I used a small star-cutter for this) and stick them on with a little brushed milk. Now brush the entire lid with plant milk and sprinkle sugar on top. Place the pie onto a baking sheet and then bake in the middle of the oven for 40-45 minutes, until the pastry is cooked and golden brown.
Allow to cool a little before serving, or chill completely and enjoy cold.