Vegan Apple Pie is the quintessential all American comfort food. It’s hard to beat a buttery, flakey crust, soft cinnamon flavored apples, and a big scoop of vanilla ice cream! (PIN it now!)
Fall brings an abundance of apples…which in turn has me cooking up all kinds of delicious apple treats! In the past month I’ve made Applesauce, Hard Apple Cider Bread, Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding with Apples, and Apple Streusel Muffins! But my very favorite thing to make is my Aunt Betty’s Vegan Apple Pie. It has a perfect buttery, flakey crust, warm apples swimming in cinnamon, and an amazing sugary crumb topping. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and I’m pretty sure that this is what Heaven will be like.
My Aunt Betty was actually not a true blood relative, but she was, for all intents and purposes, a surrogate Grandma to me. She and my Uncle George took my newlywed parents under their wings when they first moved to Boston. They hosted big dinners each week for all of the young 20 somethings from their church, my parents included. I’d like to think that my Aunt Betty might be partly responsible for my mom’s gift of hospitality—my mom can throw quite a party! My Aunt Betty and Uncle George were the very first people to meet me when I was born—they actually drove my mom to the hospital! Each year we would go to their house in Boston for holidays—I have such good memories of driving through the snow at Christmas, seeing the lights of oncoming traffic as my Dad drove through dark back roads in the Boston suburbs, overhearing NPR on the radio, and singing in my head “over the river and through the woods….to Aunt Betty’s house we go!”
My Aunt Betty was an incredible cook. She was Greek, loved garlic, and didn’t believe in “light” anything. Everything she made was the real deal. Including this pie. She first taught me to make this pie one summer when I was maybe 11 or 12? My sister Hannah and I (at the time our family was living in Philadelphia) had flown up to visit Aunt Betty for the week. I still have the recipe card, transcribed in my scribbly junior high writing, more than 25 years later!
^^^ My original copy of her recipe, complete with notes from my mom, who still uses this recipe herself!
It’s true that her original recipe called for lard rather than shortening, but really, who wants lard in a pie? Vegan shortening stands in perfectly well. This pie bakes up in just under an hour, with pretty minimal hands on time. This is a French style apple pie, which I happen to think is a whole lot easier to make. Because the crumb topping is loose, rather than structured like a traditional lattice top, it sits right on top of the apples. As they cook down and shrink, the crumb top goes right down with them, so there’s no ugly gap when you cut into it. However, if you are like Irving, and really prefer a crust on top as well, feel free to double up the crust recipe.
My Aunt Betty passed away nearly 6 years ago now. I think of her often, especially when I’m cooking. I’d like to think that she would be so proud of me and the hobby chef that I’ve become. And I think she’d be really happy that I’m still making her pie all these years later.
Will you join me in making Aunt Betty’s Vegan Apple Pie? While there’s no need for a special occasion to make a pie, this is my go-to for Thanksgiving each year. A little bit less traditional than a pumpkin pie, but even more delicious. Be sure to post a picture to social media so that I can see your gorgeous version of Aunt Betty’s pie! #frieddandelions // @frieddandelions
^^^ I love my notes at the end of the recipe, complete with smiley face exclamation marks. Desserts have always been very important to me!