What can I say? I love making pies. I probably enjoy making pies more than anything else…. and for a person who loves to cook, well, that’s sayin’ somethin’.
You know what else I love? Putting an interesting twist on old classics. I have mentioned on this blog before how much I love fruit and cheeze and throwing different herbs into desserts. Baking fresh herbs into your pie, whether they be rolled into the dough for the crust or mixed with the actual filling have the ability to bring your pie or baked good to the next level.
The Apple Rosemary Scones above marked the first time I decided to put apples and rosemary together….with a little idea/recipe help from vegan goddess Isa in Vegan Brunch. From that moment on, I knew there would be another future recipe where I would have to marry apples and rosemary again. So, now comes the Apple Rosemary Pie with Vanilla Hazelnut Crust! I have to say that I am very proud of this pie and truly hope that others are just as into as I am. It’s weird when you make something that you think is really good and want to tell people how good it is….but at the same time it’s not your intention to brag or be obnoxious… I just want people to know that pie never….ever….has to be bad. Especially vegan pie. It can always be the best pie you ever ate. Promise.
Apple Rosemary Pie with Vanilla Hazelnut Crust
Crust Ingredients: This crust recipe will yield one bottom crust, plus extra for some lattice or cutout shapes. It may not yield enough for you to completely cover the pie with a top crust, so go ahead and bump up the ingredients if you’d like two full crusts.
1 c + 2 tbsp unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 c + 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
1/4 c + 2 tbsp hazelnut meal/flour–just really finely processed hazelnuts. Ilike Bob’s Red Mill
2 tbsp vanilla sugar–VERY easy to make at home or available at The Spice Station–for homemade, just pour some of your unbleached pure cane sugar into a jar or container and add some vanilla bean pods. I use pods where I have already scraped and used the beans and just the hull or shell is left. You can also use your empty vanilla bean pods to make homemade vanilla extract with bourbon or vodka. Two great reasons to keep those little pods instead of tossing them in the trash.
9 tbsp refined coconut oil–refined just means that this type of oil doesn’t have a coconut taste. If you want to get the coconut taste, get the unrefined or virgin oil. Always make sure that your coconut oil is the non-hydrogenated stuff. Whole Foods 365 Brand now makes virgin and refined coconut oils that are never hydrogenated and a decent price. Spectrum also makes great quality coconut oil. Alternatively, you can also use an equal amount of Earth Balance Coconut Spread
1 vanilla bean–split down the middle and scraped with the back of your knife
6-8 tbsp ice water
Pie Filling Ingredients:
5-6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2/3 c vanilla cane sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or seeds scraped from one additional pod
2 tbsp unbleached all purpose flour
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped very finely or minced
1/4 tsp salt
Prepare the crust. For the crust, combine the flours, hazelnut meal, sugar, salt and vanilla bean seeds. Cut in your solid coconut oil or Earthy B Coconut Spread using a pastry whisk. Combine until your mixture starts to have that famous “wet sand” consistency. Now, you may not need all of your ice water, so don’t dump it all into your dough at once. Add about 2 tbsp at a time until you hit 4 tbsp. You don’t want your dough to be wet, you just want to use the cold water to bring it together. If you need more water after 4 tbsp, add very little at a time until the dough sticks together. Flatten your dough into a disk and refrigerate for about 30 min.
While your dough is in the fridge, prep the filling. Peel core your and your apples. Place your apples in a bowl with the remaining ingredients and give them a good stir to make sure the ingredients are as evenly distributed as they can be and all of the apples are coated. If you feel like adding a splash of fresh lemon juice for good measure, I won’t stop you. Go for it. 😉
Preheat oven to 425°F. Remove your crust from the fridge and roll that bad boy out into a big circle to fit your 8-9″ pie plate. You should have LOTS of over hanging crust. Take a pair of kitchen shears and trim off the extra. Now quickly roll the scraps out and cut some lattice strips or use a cookie cutter to cut out fun shapes. Place your decorations on the top of your pie and stick it in the oven. Bake for about 15 minutes, then decrease the heat to 350°F and continue baking for 20-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool a bit before you dig in. Would go perfect with vanilla coconut milk ice cream.
*Just a note, when you do a very open lattice or elect to use cookie cutout shapes on the top of your pie, it can give the illusion that your pie is drying out or that the fruit on top will be dry. The reason for this is just that a lot more steam is escaping from the pie than if it had a traditional top crust, crumb topping or tightly woven lattice. My pie was not dry at all, but if you’re freaking out a little, just cover the top with a bit of foil.