This vegan caramel apple crumb pie is full of sweet, cinnamon-spiced apples, gooey date caramel, and it’s topped with an addictive crumb. Gluten free, fruit sweetened, and made with just 10 healthy ingredients!
Welcome to PIE WEEK!
Now that we’re over the halloween hump, it’s time for the two best holidays of all: thanksgiving and CHRISTMAS.
I promise not to unleash all things Christmas for at least a couple more weeks. But you can be damn sure I’m blasting Christmas music as you’re reading this. My start date for that is November 1st and I am so not sorry. Anyway, thanksgiving deserves time, too, so we’re focused on pies for a whole week!
Growing up, pie was probably my last choice when it came to desserts, and I don’t consider myself great at making them. But this year, I decided that had to change. Pies don’t have to be super complicated and fussy, and they don’t have to be loaded with unhealthy crap, either.
A quick note while I’m on this topic – it is ABSOLUTELY possible to make a traditional, exact replica of the pies you remember from your childhood, but in a vegan version. There are now thousands of vegan recipes online and substitutes for everything, and you’d never know the difference. If you want the sugar/fat/oil-filled, super decadent pie, you can for sure find one that’s vegan. And if you want that, you do you, boo! One crazy rich, unhealthy sweet a year won’t kill you.
But, the pies I’m showing you this week are not traditional. So, don’t compare these to traditional ones, or expect some super flaky, buttery crust, or over the top, artificially sweet fillings. What you CAN expect is a still super decadent tasting, perfectly sweet, soul-satisfying pie. I enjoy making sweets that are created with whole food, healthy ingredients, so I can feel good about having a BIG slice (or four).
Anyway, let’s talk about healthy pies! This week I’m sharing 3 brand new pie recipes, all totally vegan (duh), healthy, and super simple. Cause that’s what we need on the big day, right? Tons of other bomb food to make, let’s keep dessert simple but oh so sweet and delicious.
So, let’s start pie week off with a freaking bang, with a heavenly vegan caramel apple crumb pie.
This pie is definitely more complex than most of my recipes, but I promise it’s still not hard. There’s just a few different components, but all are easy to make. The first step is the crust, which is a simple mix of almond flour, oat flour, and date sugar. Stir those together, and add the flax eggs. It will look like hardly any moisture compared to all the dry ingredients, but just knead and press it together with your hands, and it’ll come together into a thick dough.
Next, you’re ready to press the crust into the pan. Honestly I think this is the hardest part of the recipe, and again, it’s not even hard, just takes a bit of time and patience! I use a glass pie pan, and because the almond flour has some natural oil, I didn’t need to spray it and it came out just fine. But if you think it might stick to your pan, you can spray it or use some parchment paper.
Anyway, plop the dough ball into the pan, and tear some off to use later for the edges of the pie. Press out the dough evenly along the bottom of the pan. I use my clean hands, but the bottom of a measuring cup helps to press it out evenly, too. Once you’ve got the bottom of the pan covered, press the remaining dough up the sides for the edges of the pie.
Once the crust is in the pan, poke some holes in the bottom with a fork, and bake it for 20 minutes. The holes are to help the bottom of the crust from puffing up in the oven.
While the crust is baking, you can make the caramel apple filling. We’re using 3 whole cups of chopped apple. I chop mine into really small cubes, because I prefer them in smaller pieces. This also helps them cook way faster in the oven, which means pie can be in your mouth faster – all good things.
Mix the diced apples with some smooth, rich, sweet date paste (the caramel element!), and of course, a generous amount of cinnamon. If you’re sensitive to the spice, feel free to add less, but I’m forever in love with the apple cinnamon combo, and I love using tons of the warm spices this time of year.
Once the crust is done with its first bake, carefully pour the filling into the crust, and bake it for another 20 minutes. Ovens can vary in temperature, so if the crust seems to be getting too brown, you can put some foil over the edges to avoid it getting too crisp.
While the filling is baking, we’re ready for the last step, and my personal favorite part of this entire pie! The crack topping. I mean, the crumb topping. Guys, this stuff is SO addictive! It’s the same as the one I used for these sweet little no bake bars, minus the chopped apples, since we already have tons of apple in the filling.
Pulse the crumb topping ingredients in the food processor just to break up the nuts and dates a bit. After a few quick pulses, it’s ready to become the pretty, crunchy, sweet crown on our vegan caramel apple crumb pie. Remove the filled pie from the oven, and carefully pour the crumb mixture on top. Press it down into the filling just a bit, remembering to be careful, the pie is hot!
Bake the whole pie for a final 10 minutes to get the topping nice and toasty, and that’s it! Sit back, relax, and enjoy the mouth-watering aroma coming from your kitchen. Once the pie is done baking, let it cool completely, for at least 1 hour. Otherwise you’ll end up with a goopy, caramely, delicious mess.
After 1 hour of cooling in the pan (the longest hour of your life), you can cut and serve. Be sure to use delicate, gentle hands when removing your slices. The crust is delicate, so just be sure to cut all the way through it. Then, gently use a spatula or fork to pull the edges away from the side, and it should pop out just fine. Also, the pie has a caramel apple filling, which is naturally gooey, and it has a crumb topping. As a result, you’re going to get a little messy when removing it from the pan. Some crumb topping will tumble off. Don’t fret! The messiest recipes are often the tastiest.
This vegan caramel apple crumb pie seriously could not be more perfect for thanksgiving dessert. The crust is just sweet enough, slightly crunchy, almost cookie-like. The apple filling is SO gooey and sweet, and the crumb topping gives such amazing texture. The topping alone will have you going back for bite after bite, or just picking it straight off the top of the pie every time you walk through the kitchen. Not that I know anything about that from experience.
My days of pie-hating/disregarding apples for dessert are LONG gone after this gem. I’ll be back later this week with 2 more incredibly decadent pies!
Have a happy, healthy week!
If you try this recipe, let me know how it goes/what you think! Take a picture and tag me @beamingbanana on Instagram. Happy baking!