The first day back after having time off, no matter how much or how little, is always a bit jarring. I'm awoken from a deep slumber by the obnoxious sound of my alarm, only made worse by the fact that that sun has not yet risen and my entire apartment is pitch black. I am sluggish getting out of bed, usually pushing snooze more times than I care to admit. It takes a warm shower to finally awaken my mind and body, though a steaming mug of tea helps, too. I start slipping back into the routine, limbs responding to familiar movements. Slowly, but surely, as the sun rises, so do I.
This morning was one of those sluggish mornings. Having several days off for Thanksgiving was lovely, but it's back to work I go. Speaking of Thanksgiving, I hope everyone had a lovely holiday. I enjoyed mine immensely, particularly because I was finally able to bake the apple pie I had been craving for what seems like months now. One of my sisters cannot have gluten, so I decided to go the gluten free route for this one. It also ended up being grain free because I thought the pecan meal would pair nicely with the apples. And, because I don't really bake with animal products anymore, it's vegan too! Hooray for pie!
Dutch Apple Pie (grain free/vegan)
notes: As you can see in the pictures, the pecan meal makes the pie quite dark in color. Don't be alarmed when you remove it from the oven. If you can't find pecan meal, you can use any other nut meal/flour you have on hand such as almond or hazelnut. Since this pie is grain free, it is best right out of the oven or on the day it's baked as the crust and topping tend to absorb moisture from the apples over time.
for the crust:
1 1/2 cups pecan meal
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
pinch of sea salt
for the filling:
2 pink lady apples, peeled and cored
3 granny smith apples, peeled and cored
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp arrowroot
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 heaping tsp apple pie spice
for the topping:
1 cup pecan meal
2 tbsp muscovado sugar or brown sugar
2 tbsp coconut oil, solid (not warmed!)
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease an 8 or 9-inch pie plate with coconut oil. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the crust until they start to stick together. Press the crust mixture into your pie plate, then set it aside in the fridge to firm up while you prepare the other ingredients.
Slice each apple into about 1/4-inch thick slices. If you make them too thick, it will affect the baking time of your pie. In a large bowl, combine the apples with the rest of the ingredients for the filling. Toss the apples until they are completely coated in the spice and syrup mixture.
Remove your pie plate from the fridge and carefully arrange the apples in it in layers. Pour any of the remaining syrup/spice mixture left in the bowl over the apples.
In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the topping. It is easiest to use a fork to mash the coconut oil into the other ingredients. Once a crumble-like topping forms, sprinkle it in an even layer over the apples. At this point, you can sprinkle a touch more muscovado sugar of the top for a bit of color contrast. Cover the pie with foil and bake it in the upper 1/2 of the oven for about 45 to 50 minutes until the juices start bubbling and the apples are tender. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes to crisp up the topping. Cool slightly, then serve. Makes about 8 servings.