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It took me a while to come up with a good apple pie recipe, because boy, am I picky! I like a thick, flaky crust paired with perfectly seasoned but not mushy filling. Was that possible with AIP ingredients? Turns out, with a couple of extra steps, it is totally possible to make a pie that satisfies those requirements, and one that is allergen-free to boot!
Here I use the hot-water-pour-over method to pre-cook the apples ever so slightly, which I learned from this post over at The Food Lab. Like I said, I detest mushy pie, and this extra step at the beginning yields apples that are perfectly cooked, yet still a little firm and not soggy at all!
Before you start this recipe, make sure you read through the instructions for sequence and give yourself enough time for the cooling/drying steps (they are important to making the pie come out properly!). I recommend melting the coconut oil to measure and then placing it in the refrigerator to harden, which can add some time if you forget. I also want to reiterate not to fuss with the crust too much–get it to the shape you want, and then leave it alone. The little bits of coconut oil are what create the flakiness in the crust, and if you over mix or fuss with the dough with your fingers your pie will lose this quality.
I tested this on a bunch of non-Paleo/AIP family and friends and they all gave it a seal of approval, so you can serve it at your holiday meal with confidence!
- Filling ingredients:
- 5 tart apples, peeled, quartered, cored, and sliced thinly
- ½ cup coconut palm sugar
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ½ lemon, juiced
- Crust ingredients:
- 1 cup arrowroot starch
- ½ cup coconut flour
- 2 tbsp coconut palm sugar
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¾ cup coconut oil, cold
- ½ cup water, cold
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. If you haven't measured out your coconut oil and water and then placed them in the refrigerator to cool, do it now.
- Place the apple slices in a large bowl. Fill a large pot with enough water to soak all of the apple slices, and bring it to a boil. When it is hot, pour the water into the bowl with the apples until they are just covered. Let them sit in the hot water for 8 minutes, and then place in a colander to drain and set aside while you make the crust.
- To make the crust, combine the arrowroot, coconut flour, palm sugar, and sea salt in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Using a pastry cutter, butterknives, or your fingers, cut in the cold coconut oil until you have pea-sized lumps. Add the cold water, and mix gently. The mixture will be crumbly and not like regular dough--don't over mix!
- Place the mixture into a 9-inch pie dish. Using your fingers, spread it evenly across the bottoms and up the sides. Prick some holes in the bottom of the crust with a fork. Again, the dough will not behave like regular pie dough, and the less you handle it the more flaky it will come out. Bake for 15 minutes and then set aside while you make the filling.
- Lay out a clean kitchen towel and pour the apple slices on it, blotting them dry. Combine the coconut palm sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl, and then add the dry apple slices and mix gently. Pour the mixture into the crust, arranging the slices as needed.Sprinkle the pie with lemon juice and place in the oven to cook for 30-35 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
- Let cool for 10-15 minutes and then serve.
Sounds fantastic; if only I could tolerate coconut. Is there any substitute for coconut flour or sugar?
I have not tried this pie with substitutions, but you may be interested in this coconut-free holiday cake: https://autoimmune-paleo.com/pumpkin-spice-cake-with-gingersnap-crust/
Wow, this looks delish, Mickey; thanks!
I sure appreciate all your efforts for us!
I made an apple pie using the crust from this cake, because of the same coconut problem. While not the same as a regular crust, it is yummy [I crumbled up some extra crust on top like a crumb topping.] One thing I will do different, I will try oiling my pie pan first with some palm shortening, because it was kind of hard to get the pieces out still looking nice.
I also made the pumpkin cake instead of pie, and it was delicious!
Thank You for your recipes, that made my Thanksgiving treats possible [I will repeat for Christmas.]
Thanks for stopping by to share your subs, so happy you liked it with the pumpkin! 🙂
If I couldn’t have coconut, I would either omit the coconut sugar altogether and use a sweeter apple OR use date sugar or organic cane sugar (some people on AIP use this VERY sparingly and infrequently like for a once-a-year pie like this one!) Honey or maple may add too much moisture. Coconut flour is really tricky to substitute, so I would try to find a coconut-free crust and use Mickey’s apple filling method because it’s really high quality! Beyond the Bite is an AIP blog with a coconut-free pumpkin pie you can steal the crust recipe from! 🙂 – Alaena
Thank you very much, Alaena; that crust looks promising!
Have you tried it with the coconut sugar omitted?
Try the coconut-free crust from this AIP website: https://healmedelicious.com/aip-pumpkin-pie/ It uses frozen shaved palm shortening for flakiness.
For the coconut sugar you can substitute maple sugar or sucanat.
Wow! Looks amazing! Getting ready to make your pear-caramel pie from your cookbook and wondering if you recommend using this crust instead? I really like a flaky crust as well. Last question, thoughts on hot water per over for pears? Thank you so much for all your hard work! Happy almost Thanksgiving!! – Rachael
Alethia, the crust is very similar but I think this one is better.
You can try the pour-over for the pears, but I have personally not done it before. I don’t know why it wouldn’t work the same!
Okay, so I’m making it with 1/4 cup coconut sugar because my husband bought Fuji apples and those are so sweet to me already. I’ll let you know how it turns out!!
Yay! Please do so 🙂
I’m sure you get sick of baking novices like me asking silly questions but here goes…
I’m not on AIP so was wandering if I could sub the coconut oil for ghee, butter or possibly beef suet or is the coconut oil essential for the dough consistency?
I only ask because much prefer the flavour and I’m planning on making this at the weekend as it looks DELICIOUS!
Many thanks in advance and PS I love your photos!
Of course you can make those substitutions, but I cannot tell you if your pie will turn out! You always run the risk of getting something different making substitutions. 🙂 Good luck!
Substitute for cinnamon? I’m going to try cloves and maybe a little ginger. Thank you for this recipe!!!!!
That sounds like a great plan!
I know I must be mistaken but I thought coconut sugar was considered a non nutritive sweetener and so an AIP no no. I am looking for clarification on this. The whole “natural” sugar thing and AIP confuses me…tho I am clear on the fact that standard processed sugar is out. Thanks 🙂
Colleen, coconut sugar is not a non-nutritive sweetener and fine on AIP.
Thank you for the reply. I remember now where I got this idea from. An article on thepalemom.com called “Is sugar Paleo?” and I think this is why I’m confused, as I’ve seen a few AIP recipes using coconut sugar. To paraphrase……”Fiber-bases sweeteners like coconut sugar, which is predominanty inulin, seem to be a good solution for many people since the glycemic index is very low. However, these concentrated sources of souble fibers can irritate the gut”. It goes on to say that coconut sugar is ok in small doses if you have a very healthy gut. There is also a list of paleo foods on the downloads page that has coconut sugar listed with non nutritive sweeteners under ‘no’. I am sorry to be a pest, Just trying to get it all straight :):AIP is a little overwhelming.
Sounds wonderful, Mickey.
Hi made this and enjoyed it a lot. I felt like it provided everything i needed flavor-wise, and truly felt comfortable serving as “apple pie”. It was simple in taste, and true to the basic profiles. Now that i have a better understanding of the recipe’s workings, next time I will cut my perception of limited-handling even more. The crust is light, buttery (the oil), and sweet. Filling was perfect. I use the free recipe section so i do thank you for the satisfying, traditional-expectations fulfilled dessert recipe.
Thanks for the feedback! I am so happy you liked it. 🙂
the way to measure the coconut oil is to put one and one quarter cup of cool water in a 2 cup measuring cup. Spoon the oil in, until it reaches 2 cups and pour out the water.
I love eating this for breakfast!
I just made two more……do you think one can be frozen?
Carrie–I’m sure it will freeze just fine, just be sure to wrap it up nicely so that it doesn’t get freezer burn!
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How many carbs our in this classic apple pie? Thank you for your time.
I don’t provide nutritional info for my recipes, but you can plug the ingredients and servings into a tracker like cronometer.com to find out!
How do you store this pie? Can I leave it on the counter or will that mess up the crust?
I keep mine in the fridge, wrapped with plastic. You will want to take it out to soften a bit before serving. Good luck!
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The crust is kind of rubbery and hard to cut. What’d I do wrong?
Did you follow the instructions for mixing the crust? It sounds like it was overmixed or worked together too much. I hope it still tasted OK for you!
Turned out really well! I’m impressed with how well the crust holds together. I will definitely make this crust again with other pie fillings! Thanks for the recipe! 🙂
Alyssa, I’m so glad!
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The recipe worked well even with cornstarch since I did not have any other (and I am not a paleo I just like healthy cooking so it was not issue for me). The only problem was my baking form – I have one with separable bottom (so there is small gap in it) what resulted in coconut oil dripping down in the oven as lumps got hot and started thawing… but it was not big disaster. Thank you for the recipe.
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Hello. Can the lemon juice be skipped or substituted with apple cidar vinegar?
Michelle – I would sub with cider vinegar, but yes!
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We’ve been making this pie almost weekly. However, we use a pre-made Graham Cracker crust made by Mi-Del. Love this recipe!
Van you leave out the sugar in both, crust and filling?
Its sometimes hard to find snacks!
Hi Maartje, that would be significantly altering the recipe, so no guarantees it will work!
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Can I eat everything that is gluten free? like noodles, chips,etc??
Hi Sam, no, not all foods that are gluten-free are suitable for AIP. For a comprehensive beginners guide, check out this post: https://autoimmunewellness.com/what-is-aip-the-definitive-guide/
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Can i make double crust and place it on top?
Lisa – sure!
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I’m about to attempt this, so wish me luck! I’d like to suggest that for novice bakers like myself, a picture of the crumbly pie crust would be extremely helpful, so we can see what it should kind of look like.
Hi Amanda! I’ll consider it for when I update these photos, but just know it won’t come together like a traditional, gluten pie crust. Good luck!
[…] (AIP) Classic Apple Pie from Autoimmune Wellness […]
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Tried this today. Not really super happy with how it turned out. I want to do it again, and this time, boil the apples instead of soak. They were still not done and soft after 35 minutes baking. The crust also might be better if pressed more thin in the pie pan. The flavor was amazing though.
Hi Liz! I’m sorry your pie didn’t turn out the way you wanted… are you sure your oven is cooking at the right temperature? It sounds like your oven may be cooking a little “cool”. I’m glad the flavor worked out for you though!
Hi Mickey! I have a doubt; on step 3 where do you put the water and the coconut oil?
Should I put the coconut oil into the bowl and afterwards the water?
Hi Isabel! If you read the instructions carefully, you will see that you drain the water after the apples soak. Hopefully that helps clarify for you!
I’m looking forward to trying this, maybe for a special occasion, or maybe just for a treat. I just wanted to say that my kitchen scale is my best friend for measuring coconut oil – 3/4 cup is 157g. Conversions can be found here (I have it bookmarked and wrote up my commonly used amounts and put it on my fridge): http://www.coconutoil-online.com/Volume_to_Weight_Conversion_Table.html
Smart Amy! I have never used my kitchen scale for coconut oil, but that makes things so much easier!
I’m looking at several of your recipes and some call for coconut sugar. I am unable to have coconut sugar would maple syrup be an okay alternative?
Hi Taelor, if you can’t tolerate coconut sugar, I recommend searching for a different recipe. Maple syrup will not work here.
Hi Mickey! This recipe sounds amazing. Planning on trying it for a dinner party tonight.
Do you think I could sub arrowroot starch with tapioca starch?
Hi Ines, I haven’t tried any substitutions, but if you experiment and it works out, will you write back and let me know how it goes?
Looks like a great recipe. Simple and easy. Love the few healthy ingredients.
First of all, I want to say that this pie filling is so good! I’m not a big pie fan since most pies are so goopy and overly sweet, but this really lets the apples shine. I’m having a bit of a problem with the crust though. I’ve made it 3 times and find it is pretty tough, or I will under work it and will be too thick in areas. I think my biggest problem is that I don’t understand your directions around cutting the oil in. I haven’t really made many (if any) pie crusts in my life so the learning curve is steep. Should the oil be pea-sized lumps within the flour or should it in combination with the flour be pea-sized lumps? A video showing the process would be super helpful, or just some extra clarity written into that step. The pie has always been deliciously edible though – I just want to get a perfect (or closely so) crust!
Hi Amy! Thanks for the feedback, I’m so happy you love the filling. OK, so AIP pie crust can be tricky – and to be honest, it will never come out like a gluten-filled, flaky traditional pie crust. With good technique though, you should be able to get a nice crust that works well with the apple filling. The fat should be cut in using a food processor until it forms pea-sized lumps with the flour. The most difficult part is not overworking it. The less it is worked, the more it will come out a flaky consistency. It feels a little weird placing a crumbly dough into a pie pan, but this really is the way with this flour combination. Let me know if you have any more questions, or if you need more clarity. I do have this one on my list for a video recipe in the future!
Don’t dump out your apple water! Strain it into a container to have really wonderful apple tea.