Guess who makes the best apple pie? My mom. You might think it’s actually your mom, but you’re wrong. It’s mine.
Just ask anybody.
So when I decided that I had to recreate the iconic dessert paleo-style, it was of course hers that I was trying to emulate. The result? It’s not exactly the same, but it’s pretty damn close. It’s buttery and flaky and has some bite to it. The crust is good enough to be eaten on it’s own, and the apples inside taste like fall itself. They’re barely sweeter than a fresh apple, and have just a hint of cinnamon. To me, it’s paleo apple pie, perfected.
Full disclosure: You are going to find yourself hating me while making this recipe. I wouldn’t even attempt to make this pie without swearing. The crust is not easy to work with. You will hopefully love, (or at least like) me again, once the smell of apple pie fills your home. And you might even do a happy dance when you pull it out of the oven And when you cut into it, you might say something like “Maybe Simone isn’t such an (insert expletive here) after all” Okay, ready? Let’s make apple pie.
After the egg yolks and vanilla get mixed in, the consistency will seem too dry to become a crust, but it should be able to do this when you squeeze it in your hand:
Once everything is mixed, the dough is divided into two disks, wrapped in plastic wrap, and refrigerated. While the dough is chillin’, peel and slice your apples, and toss them with the apple filling ingredients.
And now, it’s time to hate me a little. Take the pie crust out of the fridge and roll the first disk out. (the smaller of the two if they’re uneven) Lightly dust a sheet or parchment paper, and dust the dough, too. You’ll want about a 10 inch round. Transfer the rolled out crust by picking up the parchment paper and flipping it over into the pie pan. OR, you can try and roll it around the rolling pin and transfer it that way. I tried both, and I found the former easier. This is how mine landed in the pan:
But don’t throw it out the window, all is not lost!
And it’s ready for the oven! At this point, your kitchen should look something like this:
All that’s left to do is wait. (and clean) Please note: The following recipe is based on several attempts to get the desired result. There are potentially endless possibilities for substitutions, but without trying them (which I just don’t have time for), I cannot speak to how they will change the recipe. If you want or need to make substitutions, please do, and let me know in the comments how it turned out!
Paleo Apple Pie
For the crust:
3 cups almond flour
1 cup arrowroot powder, plus more for dusting
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar , plus more for sprinkling
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
4 eggs, separated
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the filling:
You will also need aluminum foil, parchment paper, and a pie pan
Preheat oven to 350.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, arrowroot, coconut sugar, and salt. Stir to combine with a whisk.
- Cut the butter into smaller chunks (see above) and add it to the dry mixture. Cut it in with a pastry cutter until it resembles coarse crumbs.
- In a small bowl, combine the egg yolks and vanilla and whisk to combine.
- In another small bowl, lightly beat the egg whites. Set aside. You’re saving them to brush on the crust.
- Add the wet ingredients (NOT the egg whites) to the dry, and stir / cut in until incorporated.
- Gather the dough into 2 balls and form into disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate. (meanwhile, prepare the apple filling, below)
- Once the apples are cut and mixed with the other ingredients, remove the crust from the fridge. If one is slightly smaller than the other, start with that one. To roll out the dough, dust a piece of parchment paper with arrowroot, and dust the dough as well. Roll out into a 10 inch round. Transfer to the pie pan by picking it up with the parchment paper, and flipping it into the pan. Pinch together, as necessary.
- Brush the bottom crust with egg whites.
- Pour the apple filling into the bottom crust and arrange to be as even as possible.
- Repeat step 6 with the top crust. Pinch and fold the edges together to form the outside edge. Brush with egg whites liberally, and sprinkle with coconut sugar. You will have extra egg whites. You can either toss them or save them for making pizza or plantain tortillas
- Peel and core the apples and slice them into 1/4-1/3 inch slices.
- In a large bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, coconut sugar, and arrowroot powder.
- Continue with step 6, above.
- Bake in the center rack of your oven for 30 minutes.
- Loosely cover the pie with a sheet of aluminum foil and bake another 30 minutes.
- Allow the pie to cool before cutting.