Despite the sprinkling of snow this week, it’s still too early to call this season winter. That means there is still time to indulge in your favourite fall desserts. The smell of roasted squash, sweetened fruit, and perhaps a bit of pumpkin spice is too much to resist. I will literally follow that smell to the nearest bakery or coffee shop. There is something addictive about these flavours, and I’m not ready to give them up just yet!
My personal favourite is an apple crisp or an apple crumble. There is a great recipe for a vegan (with gluten-free options) version of this fantastic dessert, provided to Women’s Post by Avra Epstein, founder of Love Wild Live Free. Give it a try and let us know what you think!
Recipe Apple Crumble Pie (gluten-free option)
Yield: 1 pie (9”) or 4 mini pies (4.5”)
1 cup + 2 tbsp flour (see notes below on making this gluten-free)
1/3 cup *cold* unrefined coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
4 tablespoon *ice cold* water
4 apples (about 1 + 1/2 lbs), peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 cup coconut sugar (or other vegan sugar)
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon true cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
1/2 tsp true cinnamon
1/2 cup rolled oats (not the quick cooking kind)
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp flour
1/4 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil, softened
The tiniest pinch of pink Himalayan salt
Optional finishing touch:
1 tbsp unsweetened plant-based milk (I used rice milk)
1 tsp turbinado cane sugar
(use organic ingredients)
- Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC).
Prepare the Pie Crust:
- Combine flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry cutter (or fork), cut in chunks of cold coconut oil until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add in water 1 tablespoon at a time and gently mix until dough comes together (not to worry if it doesn’t form right away, the dough should come together when it is kneaded).
- Use your hands to gently knead/form the dough and gather any loose scraps.
- Transfer to a well floured surface and form into a disk shape. If you’re making 4 mini pies, divide dough into 4 and form each portion into a disk shape.
- Lightly flour the top of the dough, as well as your rolling pin and roll into a circle about 1/8 inch thick. Add more flour as needed to prevent sticking. Transfer to your pie dish and form crust moving from the middle of the dish, outwards to the rim of the dish. Repeat if making 4 mini pies.
Note: This dough is very forgiving, it may break when you transfer it to the dish, but you can easily press it back together.
Prepare the Filling:
- Combine apple filling ingredients in a large bowl – you can use the same bowl that you made the crust in to save time on clean up! Add filling to the pie dish(es), make sure not to include any excess liquid.
Prepare the Crumble Topping:
- Combine crumble ingredients in a small bowl. Top the apple mixture in the pie dish(es) with the topping.
- Optional: Lightly brush plant-based milk on any exposed pie crust on the rim of the pie dish(es) and sprinkle a small amount of turbaned cane sugar on top.
- Place pie dish(es) onto a baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Check after the first 20 minutes and keep an eye on the topping and crust thereafter to make sure that it doesn’t overcook.
Serve warm. Pairs well with a scoop of dairy-free ice cream or coconut whip cream.
A Note on making this Gluten Free
The flour: I have tested out a number of gluten-free flours over the years and I’ve found the best results with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour (GMO-free). I like to avoid gluten-free flour mixes that contain conventional potato and corn starch. Be wary of non-organic potato and corn as these are are grown with pesticides and are commonly genetically modified.
The oats: Oats are gluten-free by nature, but are sometimes contaminated during processing or even in the field during production. If you are celiac or have a gluten sensitivity, be sure to select oats that have a “gluten-free” label on the packaging.
Avra Epstein publishes organic vegan lifestyle living resources on her blog lovewildlivefree.com where she shares everything from nutritious recipes, to health & wellness information, while showcasing the best of Toronto vegan businesses and local food along the way. Her meal-time inspiration, with an emphasis on healing foods, will make you feel good, inside and out! LoveWildLiveFree was recently featured on Blog TO’s list as one of “15 Instagram accounts for Toronto vegans to follow.”