Apple pie is the quintessential Americana dessert – whether it’s the 4th of July or Thanksgiving, any time of the year is a good time for apple pie.
Growing up, I remember making a particularly spectacular apple pie for Thanksgiving. My parents knew all of the secrets of an apple pie (they were chefs, remember?!)
Granny Smith apples are without question the best apples for the job. The reason was because they are actually a much firmer apple than any other variety – others tend to get mushier very quickly during the baking process. Granny smith’s on the other hand, remain well in tact for this pie. So if you prefer your pie filling to turn out more like applesauce (which, to each their own!) use a red variety apple.
Another thing my parents were incredibly gifted at when it came to pie making in general, is the crimping and styling of the dough for the crust. Granted, they were using traditional white flours for baking while I’m using alternative varieties, but still, the crimping of the crust was never something I felt like I had down! And in this case, I’ll be honest, I screwed up my attempt at the top layer crust and needed to turn it into a crumble crust versus the grid crust like I hoped.
It was a simple mistake, but I’m still kicking myself a little about it! Ah well, we’re only human. Silly me, I forgot to put foil on top of my pie. And… well… the top burned quickly!
So if you’re doing a full layer crust or a grid top or a purposeful crumble (which if you do a full layer or grid, I highly recommend adding one egg yolk for an egg wash on the top) please please please remember the foil!
Since I’m not one to waste food – it seriously pains me to throw anything out – I simply removed my just-starting-to-burn grid crust, set aside and let it cool, then placed it in a little plastic baggie and used my rolling pin to break apart. Then voila! A decent crumble crust.
Hey, it was still delicious, which is all that really matters! In this recipe, feel free to use stevia or another sweetener instead of honey. Since I buy my honey locally I love using it in recipes. It’s a fantastic alternative to refined sugars, but you can certainly adjust this recipe to stevia or others instead. I would start with 1 tsp where honey is called for in this recipe and add more from there for taste. Since stevia is very sweet tasting, you won’t need much!
Also gluten-free and paleo!
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Take your apples (8 cups is about 6 apples) and peel. Slice around the core, and then slice apples. Set aside
Make crust by adding all ingredients into a large mixing bowl, and stirring with a large wooden spoon. Since the ingredient list includes both the top and bottom crusts, feel free to halve the recipe and make the other half when you're ready for the top crust. Press the crust to the bottom of a pie pan, pierce with a fork several times, and bake the bottom crust for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In another large mixing bowl, add honey, ghee, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and mix well. Add almond flour. You can either hand whisk or use an electric hand mixer here. When mixed well, add the apple slices and coat the apples thoroughly. Note, you can always use stevia instead of honey if that is your preference. You won't need much stevia - start with a tsp and go from there if you would like added sweetness. In order to add a little more liquid to the mixture, add some melted coconut oil if you're going the stevia route.
Add the apple mixture to the bottom pie crust. Next, prepare your top layer dough. You can either use one large whole piece (like my chicken pot pie) or slice into thin strips to make a grid pattern. Either way, for these, you'll need to place the dough on wax paper to roll out. If you are going for the grid look, you'll want extra almond flour or coconut flour to give the dough more structure when trying to move it to the pie.
OR you can do a crumble-style, which I ended up with by accident! I was doing the grid style, but completely forgot to add my tin foil to the top, and it browned WAY too much!! You can also do a purposeful crumble style top by skipping the dough rolling part and just sprinkling the dough on top of the pie mixture. Regardless of the type of top you choose to do with your pie, don't forget the foil on top! Bake for approximately 30 minutes.