Apple Pie with Cinnamon Swirl Crust

For Thanksgiving a few years ago, I offered to do the pies, and cranberry chutney. As part of my duties, I was determined to create an over-the-top, unique apple pie that was also vegan. I wanted to figure out a way to combine apple pie with cinnamon roll cookies.

I know, right!?

Not only did it sound fantastic, I thought it would look really cool too! I pulled it off and it’s so good, I wanted to share it again this holiday season. Sure, this pie crust takes a little more time, but you can make it ahead of time and just bake it the morning of Thanksgiving. Have fun with it!

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Apple Pie Filling for 9″ pie:
1/3 c. organic sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
~ 10 cups of thinly sliced and peeled apples (pink lady or granny smith work best)
(Depending on size, the amount of apples varies. If they are small 9 apples, if they are large about 5.)

  1. Peel and thinly slice the apples. Toss in sugar and cinnamon and set aside.

Crust Ingredients for 9″ pie:
2 1/2 c. organic, sprouted spelt flour (can also use gluten-free)
pinch of salt (optional)
1 c. Earth Balance buttery sticks, frozen
1/2 c. very cold water
Cinnamon, as much or as little as you want
2-3 TBSP organic white sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F

Making the Dough

  1. Shave the frozen buttery sticks on a cheese grater, into a bowl
  2. Sprinkle the flour (and salt if using) over the grated buttery sticks. Toss with a fork to coat butter, with flour. Smash down with fork to combine.
  3. Add the 1/2 c. COLD water, and using your hands, smash and knead to combine into a buttery dough ball. (The goal is to still have chunks of butter, not to combine it all until mushy.)
  4. Flatten dough ball and coat with flour and place on a floured surface. Roll out dough until it is about 1/4″ thick.
  5. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
  6. Cut the rolled out dough in half, down the middle, to get the top and bottom crusts.
  7. Roll each half as tight as you can.
  8. Using a sharp knife, cut the cinnamon roll/crust slices about 1/4″ thick for each roll. Keep the two rolls separate to ensure you have enough for both the top and bottom of the pie.

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Forming the Crust Bottom

  1. Starting in the center of a 9″ pie dish, place a single slice of cinnamon swirl dough. Forming a flower pattern almost, place up to 10 more swirls around the center slice, ensuring the edges are close and touching. Gently push down and flatten into dish. Continue adding slices until you cover the whole pie dish.
  2. Make sure there are no holes, or the pie filling will ooze through and cause sticking when you slice and remove after baking. Once the entire bottom and sides of the pie dish are covered, add sugar and cinnamon coated apples.

Forming the Crust Top

  1. For the top crust. Tape a pice of parchment paper to your counter, or hold it down with weights so it doesn’t curl. Lay all the slices in a flat, circular layer, with edges slightly overlapping — similar to the bottom crust.
  2. Again, using your hand flatten the pieces into one another. To really flatten and roll it out, place another piece of parchment paper on top of slices. Using a rolling pin, roll over the slices, until they start to meld together and make the crust large enough to cover the pie. The rolled out slices should be about 1/4″ thick or thinner.
  3. Once it is sized correctly. Use the parchment paper that is taped to the counter to help you lift the rolled slices off the counter and quickly flip onto the apple topping.
  4. Pinch the edges of the top layer together with the edges of the bottom layer.
  5. Cut holes in the top layer to vent for steam.
  6. Bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes. Be sure to watch the crust closely so it doesn’t get too brown. (NOTE: If you make this ahead of time, cover it with foil before refrigerating. Once you are ready to bake it, let it sit on the counter for about an hour to bake, OR place in the oven while you preheat it. This will allow it to warm up a little before baking.)
  7. Let cool for 30 minutes before serving, if you can. 🙂

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Below is a slideshow, if you prefer visuals with your instructions. It was fun and easy, just takes a little time. 🙂

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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