Dairy Free Apple Pie Recipe
The best homemade dairy free apple pie recipe features a flakey buttery crust and a beautiful lattice design. Easily make it a vegan apple pie by omitting the egg wash. Serve with whipped coconut cream or dairy free vanilla ice cream.
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Is Apple Pie Dairy Free?
In a traditional apple pie recipe no, there is most often dairy. However, if the crust was made with vegetable shortening or lard it could be a dairy free crust. A classic apple pie is made with butter or a lard-based crust.
- Dairy Free Pie crust: All purpose flour, vegan butter, salt, sugar, ice cold water and lemon juice or vinegar.
- Apples: I use gala, pink lady or honey crisp for this recipe.
- White & Brown Sugar: Using both renders a unique rich flavour. Substitute the white for coconut sugar and the brown for maple syrup for a more healthy apple pie.
- Cinnamon & Nutmeg: Creates that classic apple pie taste.
- Salt: Brings out the flavour.
- Lemon Juice: Use fresh lemon juice if you have it. A nice addition to compliment the apples and warm spices used.
- Cornstarch: Thickens the pie filling.
- Water: Makes the filling syrupy.
To make this recipe gluten free just swap out the flour for a gluten free one.
What type of apples for a dairy free apple pie filling?
Since I don’t have an orchard, I do my apple picking at the grocery store. And late fall is when your grocery store will start bringing in some sweet crisp apples.
Personally, I’m a fan of what’s affordable so I use gala apples. Because they bake well and have a medium sweetness level. Honeycrisp or pink lady are good too.
Tart apples like granny smith hold their shape well and have a good taste. If you use a tart apple add in another ⅛ cup of sugar to the filling. Macintosh and cortland don’t hold shape as well when baked so avoid them.
Dairy free apple pie crust
In order to make any great homemade apple pie, we first need to prepare our dairy-free pie crust recipe. Here are the most important tips: plant butter needs to be frozen and cubed, use ice cold water, gently mix by hand and don’t use a food processor because it can result in an overmixed dough.
An American apple pie is made with butter or lard. So I like to emulate a butter crust using vegan butter. For more detailed instructions on how to make the flakiest dairy free pie crust read this post. Some recipes call for a coconut oil crust which I have yet to test. If you try this, freeze the coconut oil and keep your crust cold throughout.
How to Make Apple Pie Without Dairy
You’re going to love how simple it is to learn how to make apple pie without dairy! The main components are the crust and the filling. By using a dairy free butter for your crust, you can quickly make an apple pie recipe that is dairy free. I like to use Country Crock plant butter. And follow my recipe to whip up the most scrumptious dairy free apple pie filling.
How To Make a Dairy Free Apple Pie Recipe
Step 1: Prepare Pie Crust
First we need to make our dairy free pie crust. One recipe makes a top crust and a bottom crust.
- Mix together the flour and salt, then cut in the frozen plant butter using a pastry blender until it resembles coarse crumbs. With a fork gently mix in the ice cold water and lemon juice.
- Divide the dough into two portions and make into a dough ball. Then flatten into a disc, wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Roll out your bottom crust and chill until ready to use.
Step 2: Cook Filling
Prepare Apple filling by measuring out the apples, spices, lemon juice and salt and cooking them. Then add in the cornstarch mixed with water and cook until bubbles. Let cool slightly (5-10 min.) and pour into the prepared pie crust.
- Create a lattice crust design for the top by cutting strips of pie dough and weaving together.
- Tent the pie crust.
Baking Temperature and time
I bake dairy free apple pie at 350F for about 60 minutes. After 45 minutes I remove the tenting and continue to bake it. I can tell when my apple pie filling is bubbling and the flakey crust is a beautiful golden brown.
A baked apple pie can be stored at room temperature overnight covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container. I actually store mine at room temperature for up to three days. If storing longer be sure to refrigerate.
Can I freeze an apple pie?
Yes you can! Freeze unbaked or baked and completely cooled. Wrap in a double layer of tin foil or cling plastic wrap. Then place in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. You can freeze whole or in individual slices. This article covers all the details you need to properly freeze apple pie.
Substitutions & Tips
- Vegan Butter: Coconut oil, vegetable shortening, or lard are other dairy-free options. Substitute for regular butter if you don’t need it to be dairy free.I like to use country crock for my baking. Some other vegan butter options are: Myoko’s or earth balance.
- Corn Starch: Use flour but if you are using this filling recipe to make a gluten free apple pie you need to use cornstarch.
- White & Brown Sugar: Use coconut sugar.
- Gluten Free: Make this recipe gluten free and dairy free by replacing the flour with the same amount of gluten free flour.
- Crust & Filling: Both the pie dough and the vegan apple pie filling can be made ahead of time. I like to make them both the day before and so that I only need to roll out the crust and assemble the pie the day off. Or I at least have my crust prepared the night before.
Dairy Free Apple Pie Recipe
- 1 9 inch Pie Plate
- Mixing Bowls
- 3 cups flour
- 1 ¼ cup vegan butter frozen and cubed*
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- ½-¾ cup ice water
- 1 ½ TBSP lemon juice or 1 TBSP vinegar
Apple Pie Filling
- 4 cups apples diced (peeled if desired, it took 3 ½ apples for me)
- ⅓ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1 TBSP lemon juice optional
- ⅛ tsp sea salt
- ¼ cup water
- 1 TBSP cornstarch
- 1 egg white
- 1 TBSP water
- In a medium-sized bowl mix flour, salt and sugar. Using a sharp knife cut frozen plant butter into small ½ inch cubes. With a pastry cutter or a fork cut the butter into the flour until it resembles pea sized crumbs. A way to tell if it’s done is to squeeze a handful together. If it forms a clump in your hand it is mixed.
- Pour in ⅓ cup of water and the lemon juice. Using a fork, fold together until your dough has a shaggy texture. If there is still a lot of loose flour, add in more water 1-2 tablespoons at a time. It should still look rather crumbly and will be somewhat dry at this point. If it is not holding together when you pick up a handful and squeeze it together it needs more water.
- Take a large handful of the dough and gently form it into a ball. Repeat so you have two dough balls.** Place each ball onto a sheet of wax or parchment paper. Flatten each ball into a disc about 1 inch thick. Wrap both in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- When you’re ready to make your pie, remove dough from the fridge for 5-10 minutes before rolling out. Using a rolling pin and a well-floured surface, roll to 12–14-inch crust. I make mine just under ¼ inch thick and 12 inches across. Gently flip the crust into a 9 inch pie plate.
- Roll out top crust when you are ready to weave the top crust. Roll it out and use a pastry cutter or a butter knife to cut into ½-1-inch strips to make a lattice top.
Apple Pie Filling
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Dice and peel apples. Measure the sliced apples, white and brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg lemon juice and salt into a saucepan. Cook together and stir over medium heat until apples start to soften and juices are bubbling.*
- Add in the ¼ cup water mixed with cornstarch. Stir occasionally and cook until it starts to bubble. Remove from heat let cool for 5 minutes before pouring into bottom crust.
- Finish rolling out the top crust and place on top of the pie. I like to do a lattice top then mix together the egg white and the 1 TBSP water and brush top with egg wash. Then tent the edges of the pie with a 3–4-inch strip of foil.
- Bake for 45 minutes at 350F and then gently remove the foil.***
- Bake additional 10-20 minutes so that you have a flaky crust that is puffy and golden brown. Remove from oven and serve warm. If serving the next day you can reheat it by placing it in the oven at 300F for 10-15 minutes, the top should feel warm.
**You don’t want to overwork the dough. There should be a few clumps and spots of butter. It will become more cohesive while it rests in the fridge. Apple Pie Filling & Pie *The apples need to be just warm and the juices bubbling and syrupy. Don’t need to be overly soft.
**I have poured the filling directly in, but it tends to melt and soften the pie crust which makes it harder to weave a lattice top crust.
***If you just rip off the foil, it will tear off small pieces of your crust and make the presentation less beautiful.
Any leftover pie crust strips sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Then bake for 13-15 minutes at 350F and eat as a snack.
I have several other dairy free recipes that are perfect for thanksgiving dinners and Christmas celebrations.