{Recipe}: Vegan + Allergen-Free Salted Caramel Apple Pie

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'Tis the season... for apple pie! 

My favorite dessert in the entire world is apple pie. Well, I love any pie in general, but apple pie takes the cake for me.  Warm, buttery, flaky crust filled with sweet, crisp apples in a cinnamon-y sweet sauce is definitely my favorite way to indulge. If making pies weren't so time consuming / tedious, I'd probably make one every week. 

So, I reserve the pie making for special occasions. Holidays, friend's birthdays, and, of course, Thanksgiving. For the past few years now, I've been making a version of a salted caramel apple pie for my family, and they love it. I've experimented with so many different recipes over the years, from a traditional gluten-and-butter filled crust, to one made of oats and dates, and everything in between.  But, I think this years' was by far the best, and my family agreed, too. 

And here's a little secret: there's no gluten, corn, dairy, eggs, nuts, soy, GMOs, or refined sugar. Yep, that's right. This pie is pretty much as healthy as a pie can get. It's vegan, it's free of literally all of the common allergens, and it's freaking delicious. Making this pie was so easy, and truth be told, I can't wait to make it again for all of my friends. 

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A funny little story about this pie: it didn't quite turn out the way I wanted it to. I had dreams of this perfect lattice crust, like the kind you'd see in Martha Stewart magazine, perfectly lined and with caramel sauce dripping out the edges. But alas, that didn't happen. One thing people don't tell you about gluten-free baking is that it's hard, so much harder than gluten-filled baking. The dough is a completely different consistency, and oftentimes, it just doesn't cooperate the way you want it to, especially if you're used to baking with gluten / traditional all-purpose flour.  I had made my lattice crust only for it to completely fall apart. I was so sad over it. I didn't want to resort to a sugar crumble crust, as I had done that every year and wasn't a particular fan of crumble crusts. Thankfully, my mom was there, and had a better idea. Her idea was to crumble apart the lattice, and scatter it over the top of the pie like a crumble. It was genius. Mom's are the best, aren't they? 

I loved this crust- it was perfectly flaky and "buttery" and didn't feel like it was lacking at all. If anything, the crumbled pieces made the topping the same size as the diced apples I had put inside, which made it a lot easier to eat. It actually ended up being perfect, and a lot less work, in the end. Sure, it's not the prettiest pie around, but it tastes good, so that's what matters! Just goes to show that sometimes, you'll get what you want in the end- a perfect pie- but just in a way that you didn't expect. :) 

Keep reading on for the recipe, and be sure to tag any recreations you make with @theroadtohannah on Instagram so I can check it out! I hope you love this recipe, and I hope it helps bring back this classic dessert for those of you "allergy kids" who have gone without it for far too long. :) 

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Salted Caramel Apple Pie (Vegan + Allergen Free)
This pie is oh-so delicious, and free of all the common allergens: gluten, corn, dairy, eggs, nuts, and soy.
Ingredients
  • FOR THE DOUGH:
  • 2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 6 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1-2 cups Ice Cold Water
  • 1/8 cup Tapioca Starch
  • FOR THE FILLING:
  • 4-6 Green Apples
  • 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 tbsp Tapioca Starch
  • 1 tsp Coconut Sugar
  • FOR THE CARAMEL SAUCE:
  • 1/2 can Organic Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 can Organic Coconut Cream
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
Instructions
FOR THE FILLING: 1. Preheat the oven to 325F/163C and lightly brush a standard 9.in pie tin with melted coconut oil. 2. Peel and dice the apples into quarter-sized pieces. Add to a large mixing bowl and toss to combine with cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, starch, and sugar. Let sit. FOR THE DOUGH: 1. Add the flour, coconut oil, and salt to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine until the dough becomes a paste-like texture. Make sure the coconut oil is firm- not liquid- before combining. If liquid, let it sit in the frige for 5-10 minutes to harden. 3. Slowly stir in the water, a little at a time, until dough begins to come together. Use only as much water is needed (approx. 3/4 cup) 4. Add in starch and begin to work dough together in your hands until it forms a ball. Lay out two sheets of parchment (or reusable silicon mats), sprinkle lightly with flour, and separate half of the dough onto each one, for a top and bottom crust. 5. Place another sheet of parchment over the top of each dough and with a lightly floured rolling pin, gently roll out the dough in a circular shape until it lightly drapes over the edges of a 9-in. standard pie tin. 6. Lay one half of the dough inside the pie tin and use a fork to lightly crimp the edges. Let sit. 7. Take the other half of the dough and place in the freezer for 5-10 minutes, or until slightly firm. FOR THE CARAMEL SAUCE: 1. Pour the coconut milk, cream, sugar, salt, and vanilla into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Watch closely, as the sauce can boil over fairly quickly. 2. Once the sauce begins to boil over, switch it to a low heat and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, every 2-3 minutes. 3. Once the caramel begins to turn a dark amber color, remove it from the heat and stir in the coconut oil until a thick, creamy consistency is formed. Let cool for 5 minutes. 4. Once cool, pour it in to the bowl with the apples and mix until the apples are fully coated in the sauce. Leave above 1/8 cup behind in the pan for later. MAKE THE PIE: 1. Pour the apple and caramel mixture into your prepped pie tin. 2. Take the second half of pie dough and slice vertically into 1 in. strips (approx. 8). Lay over top of the pie like a lattice, or break up by hand and sprinkle over the top like a crumble. 3. Drizzle the remainder of the caramel sauce over the top of the pie, and dust the top with coconut sugar. 4. Bake at 325F/163C for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Tent the edges with foil or with a pie tent about halfway through to prevent burning. TO SERVE: 1. Let the pie cool for 20 minutes, to ensure the caramel and sugars set. 2. Serve warm with coconut milk vanilla ice cream and enjoy!
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 9" Pie
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** This recipe was adapted from recipes from Minimalist Baker, Wallflower Kitchen, and Jessica in the Kitchen