Here’s a fancy vegan spin on the classic apple pie. Of course, I would never pass up a homemade-looking pie, imperfections and all. But this variation is just too pretty to not try at least once. And I bet after you make it, you’ll make it again and again! Be forewarned: This is a weekend dessert that takes a lot of time. This is the kind of dessert you bring to your significant other’s parents the first time you meet them. Get my drift? This is the kind of dessert that will leave people talking, you feel me? As it turns out, this is the kind of dessert that is just as delicious as it is gorgeous, which, as most of you know, isn’t always the case.
Apple Rose Tart
Double Buttery Crust (see recipe below) or one 9-inch store-bought vegan pie crust
½ cup roughly chopped toasted walnuts
1¼ pounds Granny Smith apples
1¼ pounds pink-fleshed apples
1 large lemon, halved
¹⁄³ cup vegan butter, melted, plus more for brushing
½ cup vanilla sugar (see note below)
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Fit the pie dough into a regular pie dish. Poke holes in the dough with a fork and place a piece of parchment on top. Fill the pie shell with dried beans to prevent bubbles. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the beans, sprinkle in the toasted walnuts, and set aside. Leave the oven on.
- Using a mandoline, slice the apples into ⅛-inch-thick rounds. Then slice the rounds in half. Transfer the slices to a bowl and squeeze the lemon juice on top to prevent browning.
- Pour steaming-hot water over the apples. Let them soak for a few minutes, until they are soft enough to manipulate. Drain off the water and leave the apples in the bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, vanilla sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and sea salt. Pour the mixture over the sliced apples and gently toss.
- Delicately roll the slices into rose shapes, placing them into the pie crust as you go. Once tightly filled, transfer to the oven and bake until the apples are tender and the kitchen smells like apple pie, 25 to 35 minutes. Brush with melted butter and serve.
Vanilla Sugar is simply granulated sugar that has been infused with vanilla bean pods. Simply add your desired sugar (preferably organic and unbleached) to a jar and throw in one or two vanilla bean pods. You’ll be amazed when you open a jar after only a few days to find the sugar bursting with vanilla flavor. In my kitchen, I keep a small jar of granulated sugar for savory recipes and one very large jar of vanilla sugar for my desserts and sweets.
Double Buttery Crust
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
¼ cup cold vegan butter, cut into ½-tablespoon chunks
¼ cup cold vegan shortening
½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Mix in the sugar. Add half the butter and shortening, cutting them into the flour with your fingers or a pastry blender, until the flour appears pebbly. Cut in the remaining butter and shortening.
- In a measuring cup, mix together 2 tablespoons of ice water and the vinegar. Drizzle the mixture into the flour by the tablespoonful, gently mixing it after each addition. Knead the dough a few times, adding more water until it holds together. You may need only the 2 tablespoons, but add up to 1 more tablespoon, if needed.
- Roll the dough into a ball, then press it into a disk, and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough until ready to use in the recipe.
Reprinted from Mississippi Vegan by arrangement with Avery, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2018, Timothy Pakron