Gluten-Free Apple Pie At Its’ Best (Dairy-Free and Vegan Options)

Apple Pie At Its' Best

Making any kind of gluten-free pie is done in two steps. One step focuses on making the dough into a flakey crust and the other step on preparing a crowd-pleaser filling. And that is so true when you make our scrumptious Apple Pie At Its' Best recipe. And, good news, this recipe can be made both dairy-free and vegan. You may also want to decide whether to make it over two days or all in one day. Both approaches are covered in our Apple Pie At Its' Best recipe.
To start, here's a Master Hack: once prepared, our Inspiration Bakery and Mixes Pie Crust Mix gluten-free dough should be chilled in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Overnight is even better. 
Here's why. What makes a pie crust flakey is how it bakes in the oven. The colder the shortening, butter, or margarine gets in the refrigerator, the more flakey the crust will be. Whatever you decide to use for the fat, it ends up in chunks within the dough. That’s why you can use a dough cutter or a fork to cut it in, making small pea-sized dough balls. Those little "peas" pop when the oven cooks the pie and makes the crust flakey.
And then there's the filling.  Some people like tart pie apples and some like them sweet. There are certain apples suggested in many apple pie recipes. For example, many people suggest using tart Granny Smith apples and others recommend sweet Honey Crisp. So, it all comes down to taste. And that means if you don't know what you like, experiment!
Founder Debbie likes Fuji apples because they are not too tart and not too sweet, making a pie that everyone can enjoy. 
The other common difference in pie fillings is to either have the baked filling very soft or firmer with a little crunch to it. Founder Debbie likes some crunch in her filling. She likes to be reminded of a firm apple when she bites into her pie and not of applesauce, even as good as that texture is for many people. 
Our recipe for Apple Pie at Its' Best is based on one of Debbie's treasured family recipes. If you like your apple pie filling a little crunchy, then follow that direction in the recipe as it is shown below. If you want your apple pie filling softer, then anticipate cooking the filling mixture in a saucepan for some extra minutes. This is also explained in the recipe.
Whatever you prefer, just know that this recipe has been handed down by Debbie's grandmother, through her mother to Debbie herself. And It very likely could have come from her great grandfather...a real family food treasure! So, please enjoy Debbie's Apple Pie at Its' Best!
Find more recipes like this in Debbie's Cookbook for Charity and her new cookbook coming out with lots of great recipes for Breads, Pastries, Pies and of course Cakes.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Dough Chill Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 6


  • Oven
  • Stove Top
  • Bowls (1 large, 1 medium, 1 small)
  • Dry Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Liquid Measuring Cup
  • Pastry Knife or Large Dinner Fork
  • Pie Pan (9-inch)
  • Plastic Cling Wrap
  • Cutting board or Other Flat Surface
  • Rolling Pin (or Glass Bottle if you don't have a rolling pin)
  • Pastry Brush
  • Large Spoon
  • Saucepan (large, 3 quart)
  • Sheet Pan
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Wire Rack


Pie Crust

  • 1 Bag Inspiration Bakery and Mixes Pie Crust Mix
  • 2/3 Cup Shortening, Butter (omit if dairy-free or vegan), or Margarine Founder Debbie uses 1/2 butter and 1/2 palm oil shortening for her pie crusts
  • 1/2 Cup Water (cold) 1/4 cup if you are using a vegetable shortening
  • 1 Egg (whole) or 1/4 Cup Applesauce for Vegan
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Pie Filling

  • 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg (ground)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon (ground)
  • 6 Cups Apples (chopped, not sliced)
  • 2 Tablespoons Instant Tapioca
  • 1 Egg White (omit if vegan) For egg wash on the top crust
  • 1 Tablespoon Water For egg wash on the top crust


Pie Crust

  • Put your Inspiration Bakery and Mixes Pie Crust Mix in a medium bowl.
  • Add your shortening, butter (omit for dairy-free or vegan), or margarine. Cut it in with your pastry knife or dinner fork until you form pea-sized pieces in the mixture
  • In a small bowl, lightly whip egg (or applesauce for vegan), water, vanilla extract, and apple cider vinegar together
  • Pour your wet mixture into the dry mixture. Using your large spoon, gently turn the ingredients until the pie crust dough is consistently moist
  • Spread plastic cling wrap. Put the pie dough on it and shape it into a rectangle about 1 1/2 inches thick. Wrap the dough in the cling wrap and put it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight
  • When you are ready to roll out the dough, remove it from the refrigerator, unwrap it, and divide it into two equal pieces. Note: if you left the dough in the refrigerator overnight, let it warm up for about 1/2 hour before using it
  • When you are ready, spread plastic cling wrap over a cutting board or another flat surface. Put the first piece of dough on the plastic wrap and cover it with another piece of plastic wrap
  • Use your rolling pin to flatten the dough and roll it out into a circle until it will fit in your 9-inch pie pan
  • Remove the top layer of plastic wrap. Place your pie pan over the dough and turn the dough over into the pie pan. Note: to make this turn easier, sometimes we slip a plate under the bottom plastic cling wrap and dough, place the pie pan over the dough, and then turn everything over together in one smooth movement. If you use this method, don't hold the plate too tightly against the plastic wrap, dough, and pie pan; you can split the dough if it's held too tightly
  • Later on, after you've put the filling in your pie pan, you will repeat the rollout process for the other half of the dough

Pie Filling

  • Note: consider how you want to make your apple pie filling. One way is to mix it up the night before you want to use it and keep it in the refrigerator overnight, occasionally stirring it to blend in the spices and bring out the flavors. This method works especially well if you are also leaving your pie dough in the refrigerator overnight. Or, you can prepare your dough and pie filling on the same day, and that works well, too.
  • Cut up your apples and place them in a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and instant tapioca and mix thoroughly. Let sit for at least 15 minutes if using the fast method or place covered in the refrigerator overnight
  • Preheat your oven to 425° F
  • Once your apple mixture is ready, if you are looking for a softer filling, put the mixture in a large, 3-quart saucepan and cook over medium heat until you have the consistency you want, about 10 minutes. Note: the apple filling will cook quite a bit more as you bake the pie; so, don't overcook it in the saucepan. Make sure the filling is cool before placing it in the pie pan
  • Pour your cool pie filling into the pie pan. Be careful not to overfill
  • Dot the top of the filling with some butter (omit if dairy-free or vegan) or margarine
  • Roll out your second dough circle. Turn it out over the top of your pie. Crimp the edges of the dough together with your fingers, a fork, or a manual crimper
  • Using a knife, slice some slits into the top pie crust in several places. This allows the filling to bubble up without lifting the top crust off of the pie
  • Put your Apple Pie at Its' Best on a sheet pan to prevent any drips from falling into your oven. Cover the crimped edges of the pie with strips of aluminum foil so that the edges won't burn while baking.
  • Put your pie into your oven and bake it for 30 minutes.
  • Remove your pie from the oven and take off the protective aluminum strips. If you are using egg wash on your pie, put the egg white and water in a small bowl and mix well. Use your pastry brush to spread the egg wash over the top crust
  • If you want to add more flavor, sprinkle sugar and cinnamon across the top of the pie
  • Return your pie to the oven and finish baking it (about 15 minutes or until some of the filling bubbles through the slits you cut in the top crust)
  • Remove your pie from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool. If you want to test how well done the apples are, gently poke inside one of the slits with a fork. Be careful not to push too far into the pie filling. You might poke through the bottom crust and cause the filling to leak out. And remember that the pie will keep cooking as it cools, making the apples a little softer
  • Okay! You should now have your scrumptious Apple Pie At Its' Best ready to serve hot or cold and with ice cream or non-dairy topping! A real crowd-pleaser! Yummm!
Keyword Apple Pie, Dairy Free, desserts, Gluten-free, Gluten-free Apple Pie, Non-GMO, Pie, Vegan, Vegan Apple Pie

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