Apple pie + vegan + gluten-free pie crust = spectacular gluten-free vegan apple pie!
When I was developing recipes for Let Them Eat Vegan, I was so eager to share the recipe for this gluten-free pie crust and apple pie filling. Long before the book even hit print.
This recipe was a true labor of love. I worked through many (many) trials to finally strike gold with this gluten-free pie crust. Like some of my best and favorite recipes, the testing took a while, but the result was well worth it.
This pie crust was a big hit with my testers, and many people have reported back to me that this crust is now their “go-to” pie crust, vegan or not!
How cool is that?
This gluten-free pie crust has a beautiful nutty taste. It is also, more forgiving than traditional pie pastry dough – surprisingly, as it is gluten-free!
Then there’s the filling. The buttery, sweet, warmly-spiced apple filling. Even though it doesn’t have a drop of butter or margarine, it has this most magically buttery taste. The combination of spices is warm and beautiful, and yet doesn’t overpower the tender apples.
Unlike some pie fillings, this apple filling is not overly sweet. It’s just as sweet as it needs to be, as the apples deliver most of the sweetness needed (see notes in the recipe about types of apples to use).
The combination of this nutty, vegan gluten-free pie crust with this warmly sweet apple pie filling is perfection. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
Gluten-Free Apple Crust
Delectable, with a nutty, buttery flavor and delicate texture. Don’t pass this by, thinking it will be brittle and difficult — despite being gluten free, this crust does not crumble apart, is very easy to work with, and is very forgiving. My testers loved this crust, choosing it as their new go-to pastry recipe!
- 1 1/2 cups almond meal see note
- ¾ cup rice or sorghum flour
- ½ cup tapioca flour
- ¼ cup arrowroot flour
- ¼ cup unrefined sugar
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp xanthan gum
- ¾ cup + 2 tbsp organic extra-virgin coconut oil kept at room temperature, so it’s easy to measure, but not melted, see intro notes
- 7 1/2 - 8 tbsp icy-cold non-dairy milk add ice cubes to milk
- ¾ cup almond meal see note
- ¼ cup + 2 tbsp rice or sorghum flour
- ¼ cup tapioca flour
- 2 tbsp arrowroot flour
- 2 tbsp unrefined sugar
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 7 tbsp organic extra-virgin coconut oil kept at room temperature, so it’s easy to measure, but not melted, see intro notes
- 3 ½ - 4 tbsp icy-cold non-dairy milk add ice cubes to milk
- In a food processor, add the almond meal, rice flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot flour, sugar, salt, and xanthan gum. Process for a few seconds to incorporate these ingredients. Add coconut oil, and pulse through briefly to begin to break up and incorporate. Then, add milk, a few tablespoons at first (for double crust; one tbsp at a time for single), pulsing through, and then one tablespoon at a time after that, pulsing through until the dough has just come together and has started to form a ball (doesn’t have to be one unified ball, just until some of the dough has started to come together).
- Remove dough from processor and shape into a ball. For the double-crust, divide the dough in two (you can weigh each half if you like for precision, but it’s not necessary). If the dough has become warm, shape into a flattened disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 20-30 minutes. (You can also refrigerate this dough for a few days before using, and remove from fridge for an hour or two before rolling, long enough for the coconut oil to soften again in the dough).
- When ready to use, place flattened disc between two sheets of parchment (for easiest rolling). Roll the dough out to about 2- 2 1/2” larger than your pie plate (see note). Place bottom crust in greased (see note) pie plate.
- Place crust in freezer for 15-20 minutes while preparing filling (ex: Apple Pie, p.), or prebake crust (see note) if you will be using a no-bake filling in the pie.
- For a double-crust, roll out the second-half of dough, place over top of filling, and crimp edges (don’t trim edges, the baked crust is too tasty, and even if thicker in spots, is still fabulous, so keep things rustic).
- Follow directions for specific pie filling, and if using double crust, it’s a nice idea to brush the top with a little non-dairy milk and sprinkle a little sugar over top.
I use an almond meal that has been processed from natural, unblanched almonds (skins still intact). As a result, the crust has flecks of a nutty brown color, which is quite pretty in the finished pie. So, if you can buy this almond meal (or make it yourself), go for it! Refer to "Let Them Eat Vegan" for full notes and tips for pie-making, and also see the 'Apple-Of-My-Eye' Pie Filling, below!
Apple-Of-My-Eye Pie Filling
This is your stop for apple pie filling. The apples are sliced thinly and bake up tender in a fragrant, juicy sauce. You can choose your favorite apples for this pie, as there will always be varying opinions about the “best” apples for apple pie! I like to use more than one variety, such as a combination of Fuji and Spartan, or a tart apple combined with a sweeter, crunchier variety such as Gala. Regardless of the type of apple, this is heavenly with the Gluten-Free Piecrust, from "Let Them Eat Vegan", posted above.
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 3 tbsp tapioca flour
- 1/4 cup unrefined sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 - 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp allspice
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 6 cups apples peeled, cored, and sliced thinly (see note)
- 1 double pie-crust recipe ex: Dreena's Gluten-Free Pie Crust, above, or can use 2 prepared pastry crusts
- Splash non-dairy milk to brush pastry
- 1-2 tsp unrefined sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- In bowl large enough to hold the sliced apples, combine the lemon juice with the maple syrup and tapioca starch flour, stirring well to incorporate fully. Stir in the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. Add the apple slices to the mix- ture, and toss to coat.
- Transfer the filling to the bottom piecrust (you can prebake this crust for 10 to 15 minutes, if you like, but this is not necessary).
- Moisten the edge of the crust with water (you can skip this step if using the Gluten-Free Piecrust, as it easily holds to bottom crust), and place the top crust over the filling. Cut a few slits in the top crust to allow steam to exit while baking (alternatively, you can use cutout pastry shapes to form the top crust, or a lattice-top crust). Brush the top crust with the milk and sprinkle a teaspoon or two of sugar over the top.
- Place the pie in the oven (with a baking sheet on the rack underneath to catch any drippings) and bake for 20 minutes. Then lower heat to 350°F and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and the juices are thickened and bubbling, watching that the outer edges aren’t browning too fast (see “Making Vegan Piecrusts,” page 239). To check for doneness, pierce through the pie (where open or vented) with a skewer or sharp knife. If the apples are not tender when pierced, allow to cook for another 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, transfer to a cooling rack, and let cool for an hour or more before serving.
This pie is delicious served with vanilla nondairy ice cream, or "Lemon-Scented Whipped Cream" from Let Them Eat Vegan.
photos credit: Livvy Zimmerman
Hi Dreena, Can I use vegan butter for the crust? Thanks
Can I sub the sugar in the recipe for maple syrup instead? Will it still work?
Hi Sarah, it will make the filling more liquid, so you’d need to adjust with more arrowroot. Would be better to sub with another dry sweetener if you want like date sugar or maple sugar.
Anne Verstappen says
Found this apple pie recipe just last week. Haven’t tried it yet.
But yesterday I wanted to make cookies. And tried your crust dough with a few addings.
And THE COOKIES ARE SOOOO YUMMY TASTEFULL CRUMBLY
100 grams unrefined Palm sugar (nice caramelly flavour)
1/4 tsp vanilla powder
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp cinnamon
And I used white rice flower
and guar gum in stead of xanthan gum
Thank you so very much for this delicious recipe.
I will try the apple pie too.
Loving greetings from Anne Verstappen from Soerendonk, the Netherlands
Hi Dreena! This recipe looks great and i’ve read through most of the comments and it sounds like it works perfectly! I’m wondering if there is a way I can prepare the dough without using plastic wrap? I don’t buy plastic wrap (eco-reasons), but I do have some spare ziplock bags and bags from buying bulk that are still kicking around – i wonder if i could MacGyver one of those? Any suggestions would be appreciated. i’m going to make this for Canadian Thanksgiving, next weekend.
Thank you again for sharing this recipe!
Hi Jess, sorry for the late reply! You’ve already made the pie I presume, I’m late catching up on emails and comments. You can for sure use something else, I’d say if you have some larger ziploc bags you could place straight in those to wrap. You could also cut along the edges of the bag if needed to open up to a flat bag. Do share if you found a solution!
What size pie plate are you using to make this pie?
I can’t wait to make this for my Celiac aunt. PPF is my all time FAVORITE cookbook! ❤️
It did help and good to know. Thank you very much.
Hello ~ this recipe looks so good. We are grain-free as I have extensive autoimmune issues. What could we substitute for the rice flour or sorghum flour?
I haven’t tested it grain-free. My inclination would be to use coconut flour, however it is a “thirstier” flour and would likely need some liquid measure adjusting. Not sure if that helps any!
Did you say if there was another nut substitute that could be used besides almond meal? I’m allergic to almonds and dairy so this recipe looked good until I read the almond part.
There might be an option for you – if you grind cashews to a meal like almond meal (I’ve never seen it in stores but have ground it at home in food processor)- this might sub fine. I haven’t tested it so can’t say for sure, but I expect it would work.
I made this recipe twice last week, the dough is just so so delicious !!! The second time I used gum guar and actually it was better for the texture.
Thanks for the recipe !!
Rachel Taylor says
My sister is vegan gluten free and it is really challenging for me to find nice yummy recipes where she doesnt feel left out or eating the same thing every time. Do you have more recoipes or a book please help !
Hi Rachel, so glad to hear that! There are so many more options now for vegans that are also gluten-free. I do have books, you can visit my books info page here: http://bit.ly/TZaHNQ My most recent book, “Let Them Eat Vegan” has many gluten-free recipes (over half), and my Plant-Powered 15 ebook is entirely gluten-free. Enjoy, and thank you. 🙂
Is it possible to make the crust without a food processor?
Whoops, sorry Christine, I thought you were asking about a different crust recipe. You could do this one by hand, cutting in the coconut oil, just will take a bit of time.
Do you think this would work for a pecan pie too? Or do you have another crust you like to use for other pies? And, I have sweet rice flour, will that work, or is one specific kind?
Hi Laura, yes, I think using the single crust it would be fine for a pecan pie. I also have another crust, it’s an oat/spelt base, and that one is also in LTEV if you want to check it out. As for the sweet rice flour – think that would work too.
Hi! This is an amazing crust recipe. I did sub a few things because of what I had on hand, but I am anxious to try it straight up!
I have a question about the oven temperature: Why is it important to bake in a 400F preheated oven and then lower the heat to 350F? Does it depend on the type of pie you are making, and if it has a top crust? If I wanted to make pumpkin pie and the recipe says 325F for 50-60 mins, but I use your crust which temperature should I use?
Hi Katrina, thanks so much – glad you loved the recipe! For many pies, it helps to set the temp high at first to get the filling ‘going’, ie any thickening needing to take place, it helps to generate enough heat to facilitate those thickeners like arrowroot, cornstarch, etc. If you are using another pie recipe, for the filling, I’d follow the baking instructions for that filling. Hope that helps. 🙂
I was just wondering if I could freeze this pie and if so do I bake it first and then freeze it? I got carried away at the apple orchard and have lots of apples to use up!
Wow! That looks spectacular. Now I want pie.
We follow Engine 2 which is oil free, do you think I could substitute apple sauce for the coconut oil?
Hi Tracy, I think you asked this on my FB page. I answered there, but will copy here too… ometimes applesauce is a good sub, other times it isn’t. This is one of the “isn’t” times, unfortunately. If you were to sub applesauce, the pie crust would lose it’s texture completely, becoming more of a quick bread/muffin texture. I wouldn’t recommend it, instead I’d opt for an apple crisp or other recipe that isn’t naturally oil-free. If you want to search my blog for oil-free recipes, just hop on to the recipes page – then select “dietary” and you can click oil-free to retrieve a search of all the options… hope that helps!
Thank you Dreena, I’m sorry I missed the FB reply (I’m not the most savvy FB user ;-))
Thanks for the advice, we’ll try an apple crisp and I love your blog and today will be purchasing ‘Let Them Eat Vegan’ on Amazon, really looking forward to receiving it 🙂
Hello!! Do you think subbing the almond flour for coconut flour would work?
Hi Kaimia, no in this recipe I wouldn’t substitute coconut flour. I did many tests of this crust with other gf flours, and the only successful run was with the inclusion with almond meal. Coconut flour is a very ‘thirsty’ flour, so it doesn’t always substitute easily. Do you have a nut allergy?
Leah Sadler says
Looks wonderful but I follow a plant-strong diet and don’t use any processed oils – none. Is there anything I could substitute for the coconut oil in the pie crust that would be non-dairy, non-oil?
Hi Leah, I totally understand. In this case, substituting something like applesauce for oil in this recipe would just not be worth it. Will really alter the recipe too greatly. Many times I can offer subs, but for this one I’d say best to find a different dessert – OR, make the filling and serve it with a banana ice cream – that would be delicious! Also, here are the recipes classified as oil-free on my blog. I *think* I have most of them tagged, may have missed a couple! Here goes: http://bit.ly/Uox6Fj There are quite a few desserts in there, hopefully you will find some others to enjoy. 😀
Rooted Vegan says
Just thought you might want to know that we linked to you today. http://rooted-vegan.blogspot.com/2013/02/vegan-baked-good-link-roundup.html
Allison Wunderland says
Hello! I’d like to use this crust recipe for a savory tart, and I think it will work if I leave out the sugar. What do you think?
What’s the purpose of putting the crust in the freezer after smooshing it into the pie pan? Will all hell break loose if I move it directly from the freezer into a preheated oven? Do I need to bring it back to room temperature after freezing it?
Thank you for sharing your recipes and wisdom!
Hi Allison! It should work just fine, you can still add a tiny amount of sugar, about 1 teaspoon, just for some balance – but you can also omit it altogether. I would add another 1-2 tbsp of almond meal to replace the volume of the sugar. The reason you put it in the freezer is to chill the fat in the crust, it is a technique used to make crusts flakier (and also settle the gluten in crusts – but this one has none). So, it is fine if you chill it just 1/2 hr or so, or you can chill overnight… and best not to let it get too warm again before baking. If it’s been in the freezer overnight, you can let it thaw about 10 mins, if it’s only been in about 1/2 hr, go ahead and fill and pop in the oven – that make sense? The dough is more forgiving than gluten-based ones, so just go for it! 😀
Allison Wunderland says
Thanks for your quick reply as I was gearing up for Thanksgiving cooking. This crust was easy and delicious. It was so tasty that I kept nibbling at the dough while I was working with it. Coconut oil- yum! I left out the sugar, doubled the salt, and added an extra tablespoon of almond meal. I used Livvy’s technique of pressing the dough right into the pan instead of rolling/pressing it between parchment paper and plastic wrap, and it was simple and quick. My glass pie pan went from 30 minutes in the freezer to a preheated oven with no drama.
This is my go-to pie crust now. I liked it so much that I blogged about it.
What might be a substitute for the tapicoa starch (I’m not a big fan of it? More arrowroot? And could I use quinoa or amaranth for the sorghum?
Yes, Michelle, you can use arrowroot for the tapioca if you prefer. I wouldn’t sub quinoa flour as I find the taste is too distinctive and not always pleasant in baked goods. Amaranth has a better flavor I think – I haven’t tested it in the pie, but think it should be a-ok. 🙂
Can you make this ahead of time : cook, freeze and then defrost & serve?
Thinking ahead for Thanksgiving.
Hi Susan, sorry, I only just saw your comment – not sure why. It’s a bit late to answer you now! I haven’t frozen it, but you could certainly freeze the crusts ahead of time and then prep the filling and bake. Sorry again…
Brenda W. says
Just finished making this and all I can say is … WHAT a superb recipe!! I made the dough for one crust, and used it to make a free form apple pie (roll the dough out, pile the apple filling in the middle, and pull the sides up and over the top, leaving an opening at the top that is uncovered from dough).
The crust took all that handling perfectly, with no tears or pulling apart. Browned beautifully.
And the taste!! SO very good — the nuttiness of the almonds is just divine!!
I made a “regular” pie crust for me (hubby is GF, but not me), and quite frankly, this GF crust is WAAAAAY tastier. Similar to what some of your testers have told you, this is going to be my go-to pie crust now!!
Thank you Dreena, for sharing such a GREAT recipe, and Livvy … the photographs were a huge help, especially the steps involving the food processor, and what the dough should look like at various stages.
Woo-hoo! Thank you Brenda! Yes, I think seeing “gluten-free” and “vegan” in the same pie crust recipe makes one think the dough must be tricky to work with – but it’s just the opposite. Really appreciate you enthusiastic feedback – thank you. 🙂
Debby Sunshine says
Vegan and gluten-free too? Excellent! Great tutorial with explanatory photos! Well done!
Thanks Debby. 🙂
Stunning photos–and an apple pie I might actually love! Yay!
Not a fan of apple pie, or pastry pies in general Ricki??? I must admit, they aren’t my favorite thing to make, I enjoy quicker prep desserts – but so nice for a special occasion. Thanks for the note, dear! 🙂
O.M.G’sh! This looks absolutely divine! Must try this vegan/GF crust! Thanks for the recipe! And thanks Livvy for gorgeous photos!
Thanks Karen, and I know!! I’ll thank Livvy again too, her photos have just made my recipe come alive!
This looks great! I might have to try making it 🙂
I love this post!!!! Thanks for posting a beautiful xgfx pie. I’m sharing this!
Thanks Kittee! I hope you give it a try – thanks for the note, and for sharing. xo 🙂
Oh, and I just updated the post with the RECIpage links for easy sharing/printing, just fyi Kittee. 🙂