Homemade apple pie.
It sounds so intimidating. So unnatainable. So pleasantville.
Apple pie is for sweet old grandmothers, cool hipster bakeries and stay-at-home moms.
Apple pie is not for the casual cook who works a 9 to 5.
And it’s definitely not for Paleo health nuts who don't eat a lot of sweets.
Well, I guess I must’ve knocked my head on a street sign (true story). Because I decided that I wanted – no, I needed – to make an apple pie this fall.
Needless to say, this is not one of those recipes where I say, “It’s so easy! Just toss in random ingredients, mix it together, throw it in the oven and you’re done!”
Nope. Apple pie is not easy. It’s not quick. It’s not simple. And it's totally not necessary.
But damn, is it good. And for a straight-arrow like me, who always makes the "sensible" recipe, sometimes unnecessary IS necessary. (mind: BLOWN)
Paleo Apple Pie Of My Eye Recipe*
Grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, organic, and low sugar. Oh, and did I mention delicious? (You can tell because I didn't do my usual "Wait, wait, wait! I have to take a picture first!" Me and my fiance just dug in).
- 4 cups almond flour – I use good old Bob's Red Mill
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed – Bob, again
- 1 tablespoon tapioca starch – love this stuff
- 1 egg
- ½ cup coconut oil – Thrive has my favorite for a great price
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract – on sale right now at Whole Foods!
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon – The Spice House is where it's at
- 5 medium-sized apples, peeled and diced (whatever kind you have, I'm sure will work)
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar – I got this one at Mariano's
- 1/4 cup of honey
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour – I like this brand
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice – Spice House baby!
- ⅛ teaspoon cloves
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
THINGS YOU'LL NEED:
- 2 big sheets of parchment paper
- A "rolling pin" (I just used a bottle of extra virgin olive oil – I don't even eat bread, why would I own a rolling pin??)
- 9-inch pie pan (yeah, I bought this just for this pie. Mariano's for $5. #worthit)
MAKE THE CRUST:
- Mix the almond flour, flax seed, tapioca starch, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together with a spoon.
- Add in egg, melted coconut oil and vanilla extract.
- Get in there with your hands, and knead into a dough.
- Lay out your parchment paper (2 sheets) on the counter so it's ready for your dough.
- Take half the dough and place on paper. Then lay the other half on top of it, making sure the dough is centered on the paper.
- Using a rolling pin (or a bottle of olive oil), roll the dough into a large circle so that it'll fill a 9-inch pie pan.
- Peel off top parchment paper. Place the pie pan upside down over the flattened dough, and carefully flip into the pie pan. You will inevitably cause a few holes here. Just smooth it down with your hands and fill up any holes or cracks with small pieces of dough.
- You want the dough to meet the top rim of the pan. Trim off the excess and add to your other pile.
- Take the remaining half of the dough and roll into a rough rectangle the same way you did the first one.
- Cut the flattened dough into one-inch wide strips. This part is not easy. Especially if your dough is a little dry. It may fall apart. It may look hideous (see above picture for proof). But it'll still taste amazing.
- Place the dough into the refrigerator for a tick – I waited an hour.
MAKE THE FILLING:
- Melt the coconut oil in a pot on medium heat.
- Add in your sliced apples, coconut sugar, honey and spices.
- Stir the mixture to drench those apples in your yummy cinnamony stew.
- Add in the coconut flour and mix well.
- Add in the vanilla extract and turn off the heat.
- Leave to cool for 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Spoon in the apple pieces and sauce into the pie crust.
- Now comes the hardest part (in my opinion). This is the part that determines whether your final pie will look Pinterest Perfect. Or will look like a 2nd grader's art project, but still taste amazing. Mine was somewhere in between. Bust out those strips of pastry from the refrigerator, and very, very carefully – with a big spatula, peel them off the paper and lay one after the other over the filling. Ideally, you want them to reach both ends (mine didn't). And you want to create a criss-cross pattern – lay four down one way, and the other four on top the other way.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
- Let them eat pie!
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*Inspired by this post from Louise Hendon. Thank you dearly Louise for teaching me how to make a pie.