You’ll LOVE this vegan apple pie recipe. It has a perfectly flaky, crisp and tender pie crust, and a deliciously juicy and aromatic apple pie filling. It’s also super easy to make, and you couldn’t possibly tell that it’s vegan! I’ve also included all my top tips for knowing when your pie is done and for preventing a soggy bottom.
Friends, I am in love. With this apple pie. I just can’t get enough of it.
It has everything I want in an apple pie: a ridiculously flaky, crisp and buttery pie crust, a juicy apple pie filling (where the apples are soft but not mushy!), the most AMAZING flavour thanks to an abundance of warming fall spices, the right balance between the sweetness and the slight tartness from the apples and the lemon juice, and importantly: no soggy bottom!
And you honestly couldn’t possibly guess that it’s vegan!! In fact, even my non-vegan taste testers couldn’t tell the difference (they just knew that they loved it.)
Ever since I perfected my Extra Flaky Vegan Pie Crust, a vegan apple pie recipe has been at the very top of my to-do list. And I’m so, so excited to share the recipe with you today because you’ll LOVE it. Yes, that’s awfully confident of me, but also: I’m 1000% correct because this pie is amazing.
Before we get to the bits and bobs of making this wonderful vegan pie – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!
Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.
How to make THE BEST vegan apple pie
Making a vegan apple pie is actually incredibly easy. Below, I’ve outlined all the most important steps and all the tricks that will help you get the most delicious results – and prevent that dreaded soggy pie bottom.
This recipe makes a 9 inch (23cm) double-crust pie with a lattice (though you could also make a lid instead).
The perfect EXTRA FLAKY vegan pie crust
This vegan apple pie uses my 100% reliable (and surprisingly easy!) recipe for Extra Flaky Vegan Pie Crust. I definitely recommend that you have a look at that recipe and blog post, as they’re filled with lots of information, detailed step-by-step photos and my top tips for vegan pie crust PERFECTION. To make this pie, you’ll need a double batch of the pie crust (as we’re making a double-crust pie with a lattice).
I like to prepare the pie dough a day or two in advance and keep it in the fridge, tightly wrapped in cling film. This way, you distribute the work over several days, which makes the whole process less stressful and much more fun.
Macerating the apples
The first step to THE BEST apple pie filling is macerating the apples – which is really just a fancy way of saying that you’ll toss the apple slices with the sugar and spices (a mix of ground cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg), and allow them to sit at room temperature for an hour or two. During that time, the apples will release a rather large amount of juice. For the amount of apples used in this recipe, I usually get about a generous cup (about 260mL) of apple juices.
Now, an important note about the apples: make sure that you slice your peeled and cored apples into relatively thick slices, about 4-5mm in thickness. This is the optimal thickness that will give you pleasantly soft apples that still have a teeny tiny amount of bite to them after the pie is fully baked. If you cut them much thinner, they will turn into mush during the relatively long baking time this pie requires.
Reducing the apple juices
The secret to a perfectly aromatic and juicy apple filling that doesn’t make your pie crust bottom soggy lies in reducing the apple juices that have been released during the maceration process. This serves two purposes:
- By reducing the apple juices, you’re concentrating all the flavours and also adding a slight caramelised note to the filling.
- You’re removing lots of moisture from the juices, which means you’re also reducing the likelihood of those juices making your pie bottom sad and soggy. As I mentioned above, my apples released OVER A CUP of juices – that’s an enormous amount of moisture and without reducing them down until syrupy, your pie would basically be swimming in them.
I’ve seen some people throw those juices away… for the love of apple pie, never ever do that. There’s so much flavour in those juices, and throwing them away is basically sacrilege.
Reducing the juices is easy: just transfer them to a saucepan and cook them over medium heat for 10-15 minutes with occasional stirring until syrupy (keep in mind that they will thicken further when cooled, so you don’t need to cook them all the way until they have the consistency of jam). Then, add a pat of vegan butter and cook for a further 30 seconds. And that’s it!
The reduced juices will be of a dark amber colour thanks to all the spices and the caramelisation, and you’ll be very tempted to “taste test” them (over and over again) – but try to resist that temptation.
The apple pie filling: bringing it all together
To finish off the apple pie filling:
- Add cornstarch (known as cornflour in the UK) to the apple slices.
- Mix well until all the cornstarch is evenly distributed.
- Pour over the reduced apple juices. If they’ve thickened too much during cooling, re-heat them briefly until warm to loosen them up.
- Mix it all together. Note that the reduced juices will remain in clumps/streaks throughout the filling as they’re fairly thick – that’s perfectly OK!
Assembling the vegan apple pie
Once your filling is ready, it’s time to assemble the vegan apple pie:
- Roll out the bottom crust (to about 3mm), transfer it into a pie dish (ideally metal, as it gives a lovely crisp, caramelised pie bottom), and trim the excess pastry so that you have about 1 inch (2.5cm) of overhang.
- Place the apple pie filling into the pie crust. Make sure that the filling is tightly packed.
- To make the lattice, roll out the other pie dough into an approximately 9×12 inch (23x30cm) rectangle about 3mm thin. Then, cut out 1 inch (2.5cm) strips, you should get a total of 12 strips.
- Arrange the strips on top of the filling to make the lattice.
- Trim the ends of the lattice strips. They should reach past the edge of the filling by a few millimetres.
- Fold the overhanging pastry inwards, so that it covers the ends of the lattice strips. Press it gently together along the fold, so that the layers of dough adhere to each other.
- And finally: crimp the edge.
Chill the pie before baking for optimal flakiness
For maximum flakiness, and also to prevent the vegan butter in the pie crust from leaking out during baking, I recommend that you chill the assembled pie before baking. You can either chill it in the fridge for about 30-40 minutes or in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
The finishing touches
As this is a vegan pie, you obviously can’t finish it off with an egg wash. Instead, use a mix of maple syrup and a non-dairy milk alternative, such as almond, soy, rice or oat milk. This “egg wash alternative” helps the pie crust brown beautifully in the oven.
Finally, sprinkle a bit of granulated sugar over the pie, for an extra pretty and sparkling end result.
The best apples to use for apple pie
To make this pie, you’ll need about 1.5 kg (about 3 ½ pounds) of apples. I personally prefer slightly tart, firm eating apples for my apple pie, such as Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Jazz or Braeburn. For best flavour, try using two (or more) different apple varieties.
These add a wonderful freshness to the pie filling and balance out the sweetness beautifully. Because they’re fairly firm, they also keep their shape and texture really well during baking – this way, your filling won’t turn into mush during the long-ish baking time of 1 hour 15 minutes.
After you’ve sliced up the apples, make sure to drizzle them with lemon juice. This slows down the browning and oxidation, as well as adding extra tartness to the filling.
At what temperature do you bake vegan apple pie?
I always bake my fruit pies (regardless of whether they’re gluten-free, vegan, or made with wheat flour and dairy) at 400ºF (200ºC). This gives the best flakiness and browning, while also ensuring that the pie filling bakes through properly in the time it takes for the pie crust to crisp up and get that gorgeous deep golden brown colour.
How long do you bake vegan apple pie?
This vegan pie needs about 1 hour 15 minutes in the oven. This is a relatively long baking time, but it allows the apple pie filling to reach the perfect texture, while also ensuring an even bake all over the pie crust – including on the pie bottom!
If the crimped edge of your pie starts browning too quickly, cut out a circle from a piece of aluminium foil and use the remaining foil to cover the edge (shiny side up). This prevents the edge from burning, while still allowing the central lattice to continue baking and browning.
Of course, if the whole top of the pie is browning too quickly, just cover it all with a sheet of aluminium foil (shiny side up) and continue baking until done. I like to bake the pie uncovered for the last 5 minutes of so, to ensure that the lattice top is perfectly crisp as it comes out of the oven.
How do you know when your apple pie is done?
There are a couple of signs that will tell you when your apple pie is perfectly done and should come out of the oven:
- Texture of the apples. If you insert a toothpick or a thin, sharp knife into the pie filling, the apples should feel soft but not mushy. If they still feel crisp, the pie needs more time in the oven.
- Juices bubbling through the openings in the lattice (especially in the centre of the pie). You should see visible bubbles rising up through the lattice. This means that the filling has reached the correct temperature. It’s very important that the filling starts bubbling, as the thickening action of cornstarch reaches its full potential only if the juices have reached boiling point and stay at it for at least a few minutes.
- Internal temperature. The pie is done when a digital food thermometer inserted into the middle of the pie reads 195ºF (90ºC).
Note that the colour of the pie crust isn’t the best indicator of whether or not your pie is done, as the lattice could already be nicely golden brown but the pie might still need a further 20-30 minutes in the oven.
Top tips for preventing a soggy pie bottom
I’m sure we can all agree that getting a soggy bottom on your pie is the absolute worst and we all want to avoid it. I’ve had my fair share of soggy-pie disasters, but over time I’ve developed a few tricks that help prevent it (with a nearly 100% success rate):
- Bake the pie on a pre-heated baking sheet or tray. This starts the bottom of the pie baking straight away and helps to make it extra crisp by the time the pie is done. It also has the extra benefit of the baking sheet catching any stray juices that might bubble up and out of the pie (and that might end up on the bottom of the oven, which is never fun).
- Use a metal pie dish. In my experience, I get the crispest and most evenly baked pie in a metal pie dish. On top of that, you don’t have to worry about a metal pie plate cracking or breaking if you take it out of the fridge or freezer and then place it immediately on a super hot baking sheet (which can be a concern for a glass or ceramic pie plate).
- Reduce the juices from your fruit filling. As I’ve mentioned above, reducing the juices from your fruit filling both concentrates the flavour AND reduces the likelihood of a soggy bottom. You can reduce the juices from most fruit fillings: be that from macerated fruit (like apples or cherries) or from thawed frozen fruit (like berries).
- Optional: Bake your pie on the lower middle or lower oven rack. Now, the three points above are usually sufficient to avoid a soggy bottom. However, if even after doing all of that you still get a soggy bottom on your pie, you could try baking your pie in the lower part of your oven. This way, the pie will be closer to the bottom heating elements, which should help to crisp up and dry out the bottom pie crust.
There you have it. This covers everything and anything you need to know about making the prefect vegan apple pie.
And if you don’t believe me that it’s perfect: go ahead and make it. And I’ll be here wait to tell you, “I told you so.”
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The Ultimate Vegan Apple Pie
- 2 batches Extra Flaky Vegan Pie Crust (You will need a double batch of the vegan pie crust – one for the bottom crust and one for the lattice top.)
- 1.5 kg (about 3 ½ pounds, 7-8 medium apples) slightly tart, firm eating apples, cored and peeled (Use two or more varieties for best flavour, such as Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Jazz or Braeburn.)
- 5 tbsp lemon juice
- 200 g (1 cup) caster/superfine or granulated sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¾ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 20 g (1 ½ tbsp) vegan butter (I used the Stork baking block.)
- 25 g (3 ½ tbsp) cornstarch (US)/cornflour (UK)
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp non-dairy milk (such as almond, soy, rice or oat milk)
- 1-2 tbsp granulated sugar, for sprinkling
Vegan pie crust:
- Prepare a double batch of the Extra Flaky Vegan Pie Crust, divide it into two equal pieces (for the bottom crust and for the lattice top), and chill it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until needed. You can also prepare it a day or two in advance.
- You will need a 9 inch (23cm) pie dish ready to have on hand. It should be about 1 ½ inches (4cm) deep. I recommend using a metal pie dish.
Apple pie filling:
- Slice the peeled and cored apples into 4-5mm slices.Tip: This is the optimal thickness that will give you pleasantly soft apples that still have a small amount of bite to them after the pie is fully baked. If you cut them much thinner, they will turn into mush during the relatively long baking time this pie requires.
- Transfer the apple slices into a large bowl, drizzle them with lemon juice and mix well.Tip: The lemon juice slows down the oxidation and browning.
- Add the sugar and spices, and mix well.
- Cover the bowl and allow the sliced apples to macerate at room temperature for 1-2 hours, or until they have slightly softened and have released a noticeably large amount of juices (you should get just over 1 cup or about 260mL of juices, but it will vary with the type of apples you're using).
- About 30 minutes before you start assembling the pie, transfer the apples into a sieve or colander placed over a bowl to drain the juices.
- Pour the apple juices into a saucepan and cook them over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, with occasional stirring, until syrupy. The juices will thicken further when cooled, so you don’t need to cook them all the way until they have the consistency of jam.
- Once reduced, add the vegan butter and cook them for a further 30 seconds. Then, remove from the heat and allow to cool until warm.
- To finish off the apple pie filling, add the cornstarch to the sliced apples and mix well until it's evenly distributed. Pour over the reduced apple juices. If they’ve thickened too much during cooling, re-heat them briefly until warm to loosen them up.Mix it all together. Note that the reduced juices will remain in clumps/streaks throughout the filling as they’re fairly thick – that’s perfectly OK.
Bottom pie crust:
- To make the bottom pie crust, roll out half of the vegan pie crust on a lightly floured surface into a rough circle about 3mm thin. The circle should be at least 2-3 inches larger than the pie dish.
- Transfer it into the pie dish and trim the excess pastry so that you have about 1 inch (2.5cm) of overhang.
- Transfer the apple pie filling into the bottom pie crust, making sure that the apple slices are tightly packed together.
- Make the lattice top: roll out the other half of the vegan pie crust on a lightly floured surface into an approximately 9x12 inch (23x30cm) rectangle about 3mm thin. Cut out 1 inch (2.5cm) strips, you should get a total of 12. Tip: To get perfectly straight strips, I recommend using a long ruler as a guide and a pastry wheel or pizza cutter to cut them.
- Assemble the lattice by weaving the strips together. Trim the ends of the lattice strips, so that they reach past the edge of the filling by a few millimetres.
- Fold the overhanging pastry inwards, so that it covers the ends of the lattice strips. Press it gently together along the fold, so that the layers of dough adhere to each other.
- To crimp the edge, form a V-shape with the thumb and index finger of your non-dominant hand on the outside edge of the pie crust. Then, use either the thumb, the index finger or the knuckle of the index finger of your dominant hand to push the pastry into that V-shape. Move around the edge of the pie crust to create a fluted rim.
Chilling the pie & pre-heating the oven:
- Chill the finished pie in the fridge for 30-40 minutes or in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.Tip: Chilling the assembled pie helps to achieve maximum flakiness and also prevents the vegan butter in the pie crust from leaking out during baking.
- While the pie is chilling, pre-heat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC) with a large baking sheet or tray on the middle oven rack.Tip 1: Baking the pie on a pre-heated baking sheet starts the bottom of the pie baking straight away and helps to prevent a soggy bottom. It also has the extra benefit of the baking sheet catching any stray juices that might bubble up and out of the pie.Tip 2: If you struggle with soggy bottoms on your pies, you can bake your pie on the lower middle oven rack instead.
- Mix together the maple syrup and non-dairy milk. Lightly brush the chilled pie with this vegan "egg wash alternative" and sprinkle it with granulated sugar.
- Place the pie onto the pre-heated baking sheet and bake at 400ºF (200ºC) for about 1 hour 15 minutes.If the crimped edge of your pie starts browning too quickly, cut out a circle from a piece of aluminium foil and use the remaining foil to cover the edge (shiny side up). This prevents the edge from burning, while still allowing the central lattice to continue baking and browning.If the whole top of the pie is browning too quickly, cover it all with a sheet of aluminium foil (shiny side up) and continue baking until done. I like to bake the pie uncovered for the last 5 minutes of so, to ensure that the lattice top is perfectly crisp as it comes out of the oven.
- The pie is done when the apples have softened (check their texture with a toothpick or a thin, sharp knife), the juices are visibly bubbling through the vents in the lattice and the pie filling has reached an internal temperature of 195ºF (90ºC).
- Allow to cool for at least 4 hours before serving.
- The pie is best on the day of baking, but you can keep it for up to 2 days at room temperature, covered lightly with with a clean tea towel or a sheet of aluminium foil. Don't wrap it tightly in cling film or keep it in a closed container, as that will soften the crust too much.