Man, Thanksgiving is the worst! Seriously, someone’s gotta say it. I’ve been putting off posting this recipe for apple pie for weeks because I could not for the life of me figure out how I was going to squeeze into one blog post exactly how much a celebration of imperialism and genocide over a feast of dead animals makes my heart hurt.
It makes my head hurt, too.
But you didn’t come here for the exhausted, post-political rantings of a disenchanted punk with a poli sci degree! You came here for pie, and I get that. And all right, it could be worse: unlike the fourth of July, hey — at least there’s pie.
It’s too bad apple pie has become synonymous with America, because apple pie really is tasty as heck if you do it right. You know the kind: a buttery, flaky crust enveloping warm, tender apple slices fresh from the orchard, vanilla ice cream optional.
This is that kind of pie. It packs in the apples, too, leaving you with layer upon layer of apple slices without an air pocket between the filling and the crust. This pie is a celebration of apples, so be sure to use the best ones you’ve got — I like to use a tart variety like Granny Smith.
Without further ado, this recipe is for those of you out there who still need a pie recipe for this week. And if not for Thursday, well, Friday is just as good. Or Saturday. Honestly, Sunday is also a fantastic day to eat pie. Let’s be real.
- FOR THE CRUST:
- 2.5 c flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 c vegan butter, sliced roughly into 1" cubes
- ¼ c vegan shortening, chilled, sliced roughly into 1" cubes
- 6 Tbsp ice water
- FOR THE FILLING:
- ~12 c apples, peeled, cored, and sliced ¼-1/8" thick
- 1 Tbsp vegan butter
- juice of half a lemon (~1.5 Tbsp)
- ½ c sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- a pinch each of cloves, nutmeg, and ginger, optional
- vegan milk and coarse sugar, for finishing the crust
- First, and preferably a day in advance, prepare the crust.
- Sift together flour and salt.
- Cut in butter and shortening.
- Sprinkle mixture with ice water one tablespoon at a time, stirring gently after each addition, until dough comes together into a ball.
- Divide dough into two equal parts.
- Shape each half into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or (preferably!) overnight.
- When you're ready, roll out both disks and arrange one in the bottom of a 9" pie pan.
- Refrigerate bottom and top crusts while you make the filling.
- Melt butter in a very large skillet over high heat.
- Add apples and toss to distribute butter.
- Reduce heat to medium and cover tightly.
- Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.
- Stir in juice, sugar and spices.
- Increase heat to high and cook, uncovered, until the liquid reduces slightly (2-3 minutes).
- Transfer apples to clean baking sheets or bowls and allow to cool fully.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Fill bottom crust with apple mixture; don't worry if the filling is taller than the crust!
- Arrange top crust as desired, making sure to seal the edges and leave slits or other openings for steam to escape.
- If desired, brush crust with vegan milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar (for color and texture).
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Without removing pie from oven, increase heat to 400F and continue to bake for 10 minutes more, or until crust is golden.
- Allow to cool completely, or until just warm, about 2-3 hours. A longer cooling time will ensure that the pie slices neatly.
- If pie has cooled completely, you can warm it up in the oven just before serving (about 15 minutes at 350F).