Friday, May 20, 2011

Dutch Apple Pie!

I've recently been trying my hand at baking. I've never been much of a baker; I've always preferred the process of cooking. A very wise friend of mine described it perfectly when she said that cooking is more of an art whereas baking is more of a science (she is a nursing student so naturally, she prefers the latter). When you bake, you measure something carefully and then you put it into a device where it is then compositionally changed to become something new. Something can taste great as a liquid form (batter) and then look or taste awful by the time you pull it out of the oven and there is really nothing you can do (except get mad at the laws of science). This is probably why I often fail to make even the simplest of boxed baked goods (WHY can't you add raspberry preserves to the boxed brownies though?! Rise damnit!) I don't like following directions and I like to have my hands in the whole process and constantly make adjustments until it turns out the way I want it. That methodology doesn't work so well in baking until you really understand the chemistry behind it. Which I don't. Naturally.

Nonetheless! I have been working on it. I believe being a successful baker is necessary to being well-rounded in the kitchen. For my birthday a year ago I wanted a Kitchen Aid. For Christmas I wanted a breadmaker. Armed with these baking implements, I have slowly but surely begun improving my skills as an oven master. Actually now the bigger problem that I have is that baked goods go bad in my house - I would rather eat fruits and veggies than cookies, cakes, breads or pies so I often find they get stale before they are eaten. So, when Colin said he was craving apple pie, I took the opportunity to work on my pie skills.

And I do think it turned out beautifully. Probably the best pie I have ever made. It's more of a Dutch Apple Pie than your traditional A-mur-i-can pie because I only had one frozen pie crust, but that's okay; I prefer pies in their European fashion.

Vegan Dutch Apple Pie! Noms!
So here you have it:

Dutch Apple Pie
  •  1 frozen pie crust (or if you have a favorite recipe for crust, please use it)
  • 5 medium apples (I used Gala because I like their consistency but there are mounds of internet debates as to what the best pie apple is)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbs orange juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbs corn starch
  • 2 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg or other preferred spices
For the Topping
  • 1 cup prepared frosting (optional)
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup quick (not instant) oats
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs agave
  • 1/3 cup Earth Balance, softened
Preheat your oven to 415 degrees. Yes, I said 415. Just trust me.

Peel and slice your apples into thin slices and place them in a large mixing bowl with your sugar and toss until coated.

In a separate bowl, whisk together your corn starch, vanilla extract and orange juice. When whisked until there are no lumps, pour the mixture over your apples. Then add in your spices and, using your hands, toss the apples until all the ingredients are mixed and coated evenly. Spread the apples into the pie crust.

If you have frosting (I had left over frosting that was just sitting in my fridge waiting to be used from my cupcakes last week) use it as a layer between the topping and the apples. It's sooo good this way. Simply spoon the frosting into a ziplock bag (I just used a quart sized one) and cut off a corner of the bag so that it becomes like a piping bag. Then, in a criss-cross pattern, pipe a thin layer of frosting over the top of the apples. I don't think I used a full cup, but use your discretion.

Then, on top of your optional frosting layer goes your topping. For the topping, combine the flour, oats and brown sugar in a bowl. Slowly add the agave and softened earth balance, mixing the ingredients together with a fork until they start to have a crumbly consistency. It's okay if there are some thinner crumbs on the bottom of the bowl, don't worry about it. You don't want the mixture to be too wet or it won't have the right effect. Spread the crusty topping over your pie/frosting layer!

Cover your pie loosely with tin foil, making sure to either leave some holes or poke holes in the top to assure that steam can escape. Cook your pie this way for about 20 minutes and then remove the tin foil and continue to cook for another 5-10 or until the top turns gold brown.

Top with some amazing banana ice cream (frozen bananas blended in a food processor until they turn into ice cream) or some coconut bliss and devour!

(I don't have a pie server so the individual pieces did not come out photo worthy but it tasted amazing. Scout's honor)

Live Long and Prosper! With baking skills!


  1. Hey you called me wise! Thanks for the mention, I feel famous :)
    This pie looks AMAZING. I must make it. On Friday.

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this recipe! I made two of these pies the other day for a friend's picnic and they turned out absolutely fantastic. The crumble topping is sooooo yummy. I made it with 6 apples instead of 5 as the apples at my market were a little on the small side. 2 Granny Smith and 4 Galas. Also, I found that I needed to bake the pie for about 20 extra minutes than the time on here. Not really sure why. Anyway, hands down the best dutch apple pie I've ever had :)

    1. You are so welcome!! I'm glad to hear that it was a success!
      Interesting about the cooking time...I will have to make the recipe again and watch the time carefully and perhaps adjust :)