Crispy Apple Pie

Apple pie is a dessert that pretty much everyone loves. If you're trying to work out what to make for a party or tasked with catering an event, apple pie is usually a safe bet. My Crispy Apple Pie is vegan and rivals any standard version you've tried, and though it does take time to make and requires over 1kg of apples, it's definitely worth the effort. The base is crispy, the filling is sweet and it's big enough to share with group of hungry friends! Make fresh or bake in advance in sections or as one big pie, and freeze until you're ready to devour.

Ingredients for the pastry

  • 675g plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tbs caster sugar
  • 270g vegan butter
  • 100g vegetable shortening or hard coconut oil
  • 115ml cold water
  • 35ml vodka, or water if preferred
  • Demerara sugar, to taste

Ingredients for the filling

  • 1 tbs vegan butter
  • 175g brown sugar
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1.2kg Granny Smith apples (or apples of choice), peeled, cored, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp vanilla paste
  • 2 tbs cornflour
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp all spice

Instructions for the pastry

  • Combine flour, salt and sugar in a bowl, mix well and set aside a large pie tin.
  • Add butter and shortening and rub with your fingertips to create thick crumbs (different sizes are okay!).
  • Slowly add water and vodka and mix until dough comes together. Don't over mix.
  • Place dough on cling wrap or baking paper, wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. If you leave it for longer, you'll need to let it rest on the bench until it's warm enough to handle. It should be cold but not hard.
  • Make the filling.
  • While filling is cooling in the fridge, remove pastry from the fridge and set aside 2/3 pastry. Place the remaining 1/3 back in the fridge.
  • Knead dough until smooth (don't over-do it!) on a lightly floured bench.
  • Carefully place dough in tin and place baking paper with pie weights (or dry beans) into the middle.
  • Cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
  • Roll out remaining dough and cut into 10-14 strips and preheat oven to approximately 180 degrees Celsius.
  • Remove apple from the fridge and carefully spoon into tart shell. If the mixture has a lot of liquid, set aside 1-2 tablespoons.
  • Place 1/2 the strips onto the tart shell, then fold every second one back. Place one strip across the pie, so it sits on top of the strips laying flat and once the folded back strips are put back into place, sits under those. Continue this process, alternating as you go.
  • Top with demerara sugar and bake in the oven for approximately 40 minutes, or until the top is nice and brown.
  • Leave to cool for at least 1 hour prior to slicing. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days, or in the freezer for 1 month.

Instructions for the filling

  • Meanwhile, place butter, sugars and lemon juice in a saucepan over a low heat and mix until butter is melted.
  • Add apples, vanilla, cornflour, cinnamon, ginger and mixed spice and mix to combine.
  • Cook for approximately 20 minutes, or until mixture is thick but not runny and apples are starting to soften. Continue mixing regularly.
  • Once mixture is ready, transfer to a bowl, cover and place in the fridge to cool for 1 hour.

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