This Vegan Apple Crumble Pie is filled with cinnamon + sugar coated apples and topped with a decadent crumble topping.
Today I am sharing my third and final recipe for THE ULTIMATE VEGAN THANKSGIVING FEAST - an easy to make Apple Crumble Pie - in collaboration with Jocelynne of @jocelynneflor, Krystal Anne of @the.compassionate.life and Jane of @plantbasedjane. This week we have shared recipes for Thanksgiving that you can feel good about serving since they are 100% cruelty-free and equally delicious!
I know that it can be tough if you're the only vegan at the table, but in my experience bringing a dish or two to share is a great strategy - especially dessert, everyone loves dessert! Not only will you have something to eat, but you can also show your friends and family that vegan food can be delicious and satisfying. Preparing a dish to share is also a friendly, non-threatening way give non-vegans a taste - pun intended - of how great vegan food can truly be!
For this recipe, I turned to vegan and raw food chef, and my good friend, Liz Gallagher for guidance on how to make this Apple Crumble Pie recipe the best it could be. Liz is a Chef Instructor at George Brown College in Toronto and is the owner of Unbaked Cake Co., where she makes handcrafted, raw vegan desserts. Liz generously shared her recipe for the pie crust with me to use for this Apple Crumble Pie. Her pie crust is simple to make and the dough comes together quickly and almost effortlessly. This is likely the best pie crust I've ever made in my kitchen - it is so flaky and buttery too!
the apple of my eye
Apples have symbolized love and fertility throughout history. What’s not to love about apples? These super fruits are a natural, whole-food source of pectin which is a soluble fibre that cleanses the intestines by binding with waste products and flushing them out of the body. Pectin also supports gut health by encouraging the proliferation of beneficial bacteria (a healthy gut is vital for overall health). And there’s more, pectin helps keep cholesterol levels down and balance blood sugar levels. Foods that are naturally high in fibre keep you feeling fuller.*
Apples are also loaded with antioxidants which help prevent disease and help to boost your immune system, especially when you are feeling stressed. Still not convinced? Apples are alkaline, easily digestible and are hydrating as they are composed of 85% water. When purchasing apples, practice selecting organic fruits with the most vibrant, richest colours (this rule of thumb also applies to the majority of fruits and vegetables).*
You can really use almost any type of apple that you prefer for this recipe. Ideally they should be a firmer variety so that they don't break down too much. I used a combination of Macintosh and Gala apples, as they were really easy to find organic and they were the most reasonably priced at my local grocery store.
The topping for this pie is made with rolled oats (not the quick cooking kind), which is a versatile grain with many health properties. They are a great source of carbohydrates, in addition to being a good source of both soluble and insoluble fibre, meaning that they are digested slowly and will not cause your sugar levels to crash. They are also one of the richest sources of silicon which is necessary for healthy bones and skin.*
coconut oil as a dairy alternative
Cold pressed and unrefined coconut oil is used in this recipe as an alternative to butter. The coconut oil gives the crust and topping of this pie a creamy, butter-like flavour. In its most natural and unrefined form, coconut oil is healing, boosts immunity and is one of the few oils that is safe to cook with at high temperatures.
Apple Crumble Pie (gluten-free option)
Yield: 1 pie (9”) or 4 mini pies (4.5”)
1 cup + 2 tbsp flour (see notes below on making this gluten-free)
1/3 cup *cold* unrefined coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
4 tablespoon *ice cold* water
4 apples (about 1 + 1/2 lbs), peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 cup coconut sugar (or other vegan sugar)
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon true cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
1/2 tsp true cinnamon
1/2 cup rolled oats (not the quick cooking kind)
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp flour
1/4 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil, softened
The tiniest pinch of pink Himalayan salt
Optional finishing touch:
1 tbsp unsweetened plant-based milk (I used rice milk)
1 tsp turbinado cane sugar
(use organic ingredients)
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC).
Prepare the Pie Crust:
2. Combine flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry cutter (or fork), cut in chunks of cold coconut oil until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
3. Add in water 1 tablespoon at a time and gently mix until dough comes together (not to worry if it doesn’t form right away, the dough should come together when it is kneaded).
4. Use your hands to gently knead/form the dough and gather any loose scraps.
5. Transfer to a well floured surface and form into a disk shape. If you’re making 4 mini pies, divide dough into 4 and form each portion into a disk shape.
6. Lightly flour the top of the dough, as well as your rolling pin and roll into a circle about 1/8 inch thick. Add more flour as needed to prevent sticking. Transfer to your pie dish and form crust moving from the middle of the dish, outwards to the rim of the dish. Repeat if making 4 mini pies.
Note: This dough is very forgiving, it may break when you transfer it to the dish, but you can easily press it back together.
Prepare the Filling:
7. Combine apple filling ingredients in a large bowl - you can use the same bowl that you made the crust in to save time on clean up! Add filling to the pie dish(es), make sure not to include any excess liquid.
Prepare the Crumble Topping:
8. Combine crumble ingredients in a small bowl. Top the apple mixture in the pie dish(es) with the topping.
9. Optional: Lightly brush plant-based milk on any exposed pie crust on the rim of the pie dish(es) and sprinkle a small amount of turbaned cane sugar on top.
10. Place pie dish(es) onto a baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Check after the first 20 minutes and keep an eye on the topping and crust thereafter to make sure that it doesn’t overcook.
Serve warm. Pairs well with a scoop of dairy-free ice cream or coconut whip cream.
A Note on making this Gluten Free
The flour: I have tested out a number of gluten-free flours over the years and I’ve found the best results with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour (GMO-free). I like to avoid gluten-free flour mixes that contain conventional potato and corn starch. Be wary of non-organic potato and corn as these are are grown with pesticides and are commonly genetically modified.
The oats: In the fall of 2014 I attended a cooking demo at Gluten Free Garage, hosted by Ashley Wittig, the owner of local Toronto Bunner’s Vegan and Gluten-Free Bake Shop. During the demo Ashley Wittig explained that oats are gluten-free by nature but are sometimes contaminated during processing or even in the field during production. If you are celiac or have a gluten sensitivity be sure to select oats that have a “gluten-free” label on the packaging.
Be sure to check out the The Ultimate Vegan Thanksgiving Feast: Full Menu for all of the recipes that were shared as part of this collaboration.
Happy Vegan Thanksgiving!
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Carr, Kris. Crazy Sexy Diet: Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, and Live like You Mean It! Guilford, Ct: Skirt!, 2011. Print.
Savona, Natalie. Wonderfoods: The Best Nutrition and Recipes for Optimum Health. London: Quadrille Limited, 2006. Print.