Vegan Dutch Apple Pie
You’re going to LOVE this vegan Dutch apple pie with crumb topping. It’s a sweet, tangy, ‘buttery’ pie covered with a crunchy, cinnamon flavoured streusel topping. A classic, warming, dairy-free recipe that will help get you through the rest of Winter!
Does anyone else struggle with that awkward period between the beginning of January and the end of March?
The excitement of Christmas and New Year is gone, but the weather outside is still cold and miserable, and there’s not much to look forward to except the countdown to Spring. Do you know what helps me get through it? This vegan apple crumble pie recipe.
It’s so sweet and satisfying, and I love the combo of warm fruit and cold ice cream. It’s true winter comfort food.
More Autumn/Winter vegan desserts:
To be honest, I’ve never really considered having or making an apple crumble pie. I always thought it had to be one or the other- either apple pie OR apple crumble. But I can confirm that combining the two results in the best dessert EVER.
Now, I’m not (and never have been) Dutch so my recipe might not be 100% the traditional way. But this is my own interpretation, and in my humble opinion, it is fantastic.
You start with a layer of shortcrust pastry on the bottom, fill it with a sweet apple mix then finish it off with lots of crumbly cinnamon topping. I have been working hard on my shortcrust pastry and think I’ve finally nailed it. It has just the right amount of sweetness, and it melts in your mouth while still being sturdy enough to hold the pie filling.
You can use canned apple pie filling for this recipe if you prefer but I highly recommend making your own. Nothing beats homemade!
How To Make Vegan Dutch Apple Pie
The first step to making vegan apple crumble pie is preparing the pastry. The following pastry recipe has never failed me but if you’d prefer, you can also use ready-to-roll pastry such as Jus Roll to save yourself time.
By simply switching dairy butter for dairy-free margarine, this whole recipe becomes vegan-friendly in an instant! Most ready-to-roll pastries are suitable for vegans too- just check the packaging before you purchase.
Step 1: Make (or buy) your pastry
Measure out 215g of all-purpose flour and place it into a large bowl. Then add 135g of COLD dairy-free margarine. Rub it into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs and there are no large lumps left.
It’s important that the margarine is cold here. Otherwise, it won’t rub into the flour and instead will become a sticky mess.
I strongly recommend using the spreadable type of vegan margarine and not the blocky type. If you use the firmer, more solid type, your pastry will end up too dry and crumbly. And adding extra water is not going to help!
Next, stir in 15g of icing sugar. If you’re in the US, make sure it doesn’t contain any additives like cornstarch.
Add 1 tablespoon of ice cold water to the bowl. It’s super important to keep the ingredients cold, to avoid melting the margarine.
Gently mix the water into the flour mixture using a spoon until it starts to stick together. Then use clean (and cold) hands to push it together into a ball of dough. It may look crumbly but will come together.
When your pastry dough is done, wrap it in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container and put it in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. This will help it to hold its shape while baking and prevent it from shrinking.
Once the dough has chilled for 30 minutes, remove it from the fridge and gently press it in your hands to get rid of any cracks or crumbly bits.
Be careful not to overdo this, otherwise the pastry will end up being really tough and chewy when it’s cooked.
Roll the dough out to fit a 9-inch pie or tart tin, cut off any excess with some scissors, then flute the edges using your fingers. I used a tart/flan tin to make this part easier.
Place a sheet of baking paper over the dough in the tin then pour over some baking beans, which will weigh the pastry down and prevent it from puffing up as it bakes.
If you don’t have any baking beans, you can use uncooked rice like I did.
Bake the pastry at 200°C/400°F for 15 minutes. If you’re using a fan or convection oven, it’s a slightly lower temperature, 180°C or 350°F. After this time, remove the baking beans and parchment paper and return the pastry to the oven for another 15 minutes. This process is called blink baking.
Leave it to cool completely. It should come out of the tin very easily once cool.
Turn down the oven to 180°C/350°F for the next step.
Step 8: Prepare the filling
Dutch apple pie filling consists of a few things… Apples (of course), cold water, cornflour (cornstarch), caster sugar, and lemon zest.
First, peel, core and slice 4 medium green apples. I like to use Granny Smith apples because they’re quite tart and go nicely with the sweetness of the crumble. As you’re peeling and chopping the apples, squeeze a little lemon juice over them to prevent them from browning as you go. Nobody likes rotten apples!
To a pan, add 330ml of cold water, 2 tablespoons of cornflour (cornstarch), 100g caster sugar, 1 teaspoon of lemon zest and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Mix well then turn the heat to medium-high.
It’s important that you mix this well BEFORE turning on the heat, otherwise the cornflour will cause everything to clump together.
Now add the sliced apples.
Stir often until the mixture thickens and the apples soften slightly. This should take around 5-10 minutes, depending on how hot your stove is. Cooking the apples in the mixture before baking results in a perfectly sticky filling once baked!
Pour the filling into the pre-baked pastry and spread it out evenly. Now we’re ready to add the topping!
Step 11: The crumble topping
The crumble is my favorite part of this recipe! I just adore the cinnamon flavour.
First, mix 300g all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 175g of light brown sugar together in a large bowl.
Then add 200g of cold vegan margarine. Rub it into the flour mixture, just as you did with the pastry, until it resembles breadcrumbs. This time, the breadcrumbs will be slightly larger and more stuck together but again, cold margarine is key here.
Sprinkle the crumb topping over the filling and cover evenly. Bake for 40-45 more minutes at the same temperature until the crumble becomes slightly firm on top.
- Squeeze lemon juice over the apples as you’re chopping and peeling them. This will prevent them from going brown.
- Pre-cook the filling mixture in the pan before baking. This makes the apples super soft!
- Blind bake the pastry first. This will ensure the heavy filling does not cause the pastry to become wet and sticky. Using rice or baking beans to blind bake also prevents the pastry from rising or “puffing up”.
- Use an aluminium tin for this recipe if possible, rather than ceramic. This will allow the heat to penetrate the dish more evenly and will prevent the bottom of the pastry from going soggy.
- This apple crumble pie has quite a crunchy and firm top. Reduce the amount of margarine in the crumble part of the recipe for a lighter and “fluffier” topping.
I prefer to eat my vegan apple crumble pie WARM. It’s so comforting- especially during the dreary tail-end of winter. If you’re not sure what to put on your apple crumble pie, here are some of my favorite things to have with it are:
- Vanilla ice cream (I love Swedish Glace)
- Vegan whipped cream (Food Heavenly is an amazing vegan spray cream)
- Pouring cream (Alpro soy cream is my favorite)
- Vegan custard
- Coconut whipped cream
I can’t promise that using canned apple pie filling will taste quite as good as making your own. But if you’re pinched for time, canned apple pie filling will definitely do the trick!
I would recommend at least adding some lemon zest if you’re using this. Although the recipe only calls for a tiny amount, it really helps to bring the flavours together!
Yes! Vegan apple crumble pie is perfect for freezing. I’d recommend baking it first and allowing it to cool completely before freezing. You can wrap the pie tightly with foil or place it in an airtight freezer bag. Then, when you’re ready, just remove it from the freezer and remove the foil or bag.
Put the pie onto a baking tray and bake in a 150°C/300°F oven for 45-60 minutes. Check the center with a knife every so often, and you’ll know it’s ready when it’s warm all the way through.
I hope you enjoy my take on dairy-free apple crumble pie. If you make it yourself, please leave a comment or rating below to let me know how it went. Happy baking! xo
Vegan Dutch Apple Pie
Dairy-free apple crumble pie. A sweet, cinnamon flavoured apple pie with crumbly streusel topping!
For the pastry (sub store-bought shortcrust pastry if desired):
- 215 g Plain flour (~1 + ¾ cups)
- 135 g Vegan margarine*, cold (½ cup + 1 tablespoon)
- 15 g Icing sugar (1 tablespoon)
- 1 Tablespoon Ice cold water
For the filling:
- 4 Medium green apples (I used Granny Smith)
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- 330 ml Water (1 + ⅓ cup)
- 2 Tablespoons Cornflour/cornstarch
- 100 g Caster sugar (½ cup)
- 1 Teaspoon Lemon zest
- 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon (the ground, dried powder)
For the crumb topping:
- 300 g Plain flour (~2 + ⅓ cups)
- 175 g Soft light brown sugar (¾ cup + 2 tablespoons)
- 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- 200 g Vegan margarine, cold (~¾ cup + 1 tablespoon)
For the pastry:
Rub the margarine into the flour to form breadcrumbs. Stir in the icing sugar.
Add the water and stir until the mixture starts to stick together. Use your hands to gently press it into a ball of dough. It will look crumbly at first but will come together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill it for 30 minutes in the fridge.
Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F (or 180°C/350°F if you're using a fan or convection oven).
Once removed from the fridge, gently press the dough in your hands to get rid of cracks or crumbly bits. Be careful not to overdo this or you may end up with tough pastry.
On a floured surface, roll out the dough until it's just larger than a 9-inch pie or tart tin. Do not stretch the dough to fit your tin or it will shrink while baking.
Cover the pastry with baking paper then add baking beans (or uncooked rice) on top.
Bake for 15 minutes, remove the paper and the rice/beans then return to the oven for a further 15 minutes.
Turn the oven down to 180°C/350°F (160°C/325°F for fan or convection ovens) for the next stage.
For the filling:
Peel, core and slice the apples to around ¼ of an inch thick. Squeeze the lemon juice over them to prevent browning, then place to one side.
Add the water, cornflour, sugar, lemon zest and cinnamon to a large pan. Mix well before placing over medium-high heat. (Make sure to mix in the cornflour while the mixture is still cold to prevent lumps forming.)
Add the apples to the pan and gently simmer for around 10 minutes. Stir often until the mixture becomes slightly syrupy and the apples have softened. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
For the crumb topping:
Mix together the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Rub in the margarine to form large breadcrumbs.
Pour the filling into the pre-baked pastry case. Spoon over the crumble topping, covering the apple mixture and pat it down into place using the back of a spoon.
Bake for 45 minutes.
Leave it in the tin to cool completely before attempting to cut into slices. Once sliced, you can warm it back up in the oven or microwave to serve.
- *Use a spreadable vegan margarine as opposed to the blocky, “buttery” style. I used Vitalite.
- Can be stored in the tin, covered with foil, in the fridge for up to 5 days.