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Upside Down Apple Pie – Vegan & Gluten-Free

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Making apple pie always reminds me of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Even making an upside-down vegan and gluten-free version of apple pie, thoughts of the Disney princess would drift into my head especially while I rolled out the dough before draping over the apple filling.
Another thought that comes to mind is the term “easy as pie”…which is true only if you have a couple tricks up your sleeve. The easiest method I’ve found is by using very cold butter that’s been sliced into small cubes, then making the dough using the food processor, and gathering up the dough into a large plastic bag to gather into a ball, that way the warmth of your hands doesn’t start melting the butter pieces dispersed in the pie dough. Another important step that’s helps making pie easier is to roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper…you avoid any dough sticking to the rolling pin, and then helps make it easier to transfer the dough where it needs to go.
I’ve followed the same method I usually use for traditional pie dough, however using coconut oil instead of the butter, and a mixture of gluten-free flours to replace the all-purpose wheat flour. The recipe has been adapted to make it simpler from the gluten-free baking book Alternative Baker. If you are gluten-intolerant then I highly recommend this book. I’m absolutely loving it. It does have some vegan options, but most of the recipes are not. You will probably find more vegan options on the author’s website The Bojon Gourmet.
If you’re planning to use the dough recipe with another type of filling, keep in mind the coconut flavor is quite evident. If you’re not vegan and more interested in the fact that it’s gluten-free then replace the coconut oil with cold unsalted butter cutting it into small cubes, then follow the method as below for the dough. You can also do the same in the pie filling, but this time using melted butter.
The taste of this pie is a cross between apple and pecan pie. So if you prefer pecans, go ahead and replace the walnuts. Either way let me know how you get on when you try this recipe. I know the list of ingredients is a bit long, and there are many steps, but it is certainly worth it. I’m having a slice two days later as I write this post and it tastes just as good warmed up in the oven. You can always make the dough a day ahead to save you time the day you plan to make the pie.


Upside Down Apple Pie – Vegan & Gluten-Free

Cook Time: 0min
|prep Time: 0min
| total Time: 0min
| servings: 0

 Pie Dough: 
  • 3/4 cup (90g) rice flour
  • 1/2 cup (55g) oat flour
  • 1/4 cup (30g) tapioca flour or cornstarch
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons (15g) ground chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 100g cold coconut oil
  • 120ml ice water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
 Filling & Topping: 
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar), divided
  • 60ml Coconut Oil, divided
  • 4 cups thinly sliced green apples (about 1/8 inch thick)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons tapioca flour or cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Coconut oil or cooking spray for the pans
  • Dairy-free milk to brush the pie dough
  • 2 tablespoons apricot jam (optional)

To make the pie dough: 
  1. Prepare the coconut oil first especially if it’s either melted or too cold to start off with. If it’s too cold warm it up a little, if it’s melted cool it in the fridge. You need the coconut oil to be firm but soft enough to easily scoop out about 8 tablespoons onto a plate. Then place the plate in the fridge to completely firm up, about 30 minutes.
  2. Measure out your water adding ice and set aside.
  3. In a food processor, add the rice flour, oat flour, tapioca, ground chia, sugar and salt. Pulse a few times to combine. Take out the cold coconut oil from the fridge (it should be very firm now) and scatter over the flour mixture. Pulse until the coconut oil is small, the size of peas.
  4. At this point, measure out 120ml of the ice water and add 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Then slowly add it to the flour mixture through the chute while pudding at the same time. You will have some clumped up and moist dough.
  5. Dump the dough onto a clean work surface (See below if you’d like to skip this step). Take about a quarter of the dough and push it across the counter using the heel of your hand, just a few inches. Then use a bench scraper to scrape it off the counter and place it back in the bowl. Repeat with the remaining dough. This method is called ‘fraisage’ which helps to make the dough more flaky by flattening the pieces of coconut oil. Roll the dough into a ball.
  6. Feel free to skip the fraisage step and just knead the dough a couple of times to bring it together and roll into a ball.
  7. Divide the dough into two, with one larger then the other (let’s say 60-40 ratio) then place on plastic wrap, push down to flatten into a disc, and wrap each piece of dough separately and place in the fridge.
  8. Chill the dough for about 1 hour before using. If the dough seems too cold, let it warm up slightly (if you try to roll it when it’s too cold it will break up more easily)
To make the pie: 
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375F or 190C. Line the base of a 22cm pie dish or cake pan with parchment paper, and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Combine 40ml of the coconut oil with a 1/4 cup of the coconut sugar and walnuts; spoon into prepared panned spread out over the base.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the apples, remaining coconut sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, maple syrup and remaining coconut oil. Mix to combine and well coat the apples.
  4. Between two sheets of parchment paper, roll out the larger of the pie doughs to about 30cm (larger than the pie plate). Place pastry over nut mixture, pressing firmly against mixture and sides of plate; trim to 1 cm beyond edge. Fill with apple mixture.
  5. Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pie; place over filling. Trim to 1/2 cm beyond plate edge. Fold bottom pastry over top pastry; seal and flute edges. Brush the pastry with some non-dairy milk. Cut four small slits in top pastry.
  6. Bake at 375° for 40-45 minutes or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown (cover with foil during the last 20 minutes to prevent overbrowning if necessary).
  7. Cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack. Invert onto a serving platter; carefully remove the parchment.
  8. Warm up the apricot jam in a small saucepan, and then brush the top of the pie to create a pretty glaze.
  9. Serve with some Vanilla Cashew Cream or vegan ice-cream.

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  1. Khulood MD | 8th Oct 17

    May i replace the Tapioca Flour with the Sago Flour?

    • Arwa | 10th Oct 17

      Hi Khulood! I’ve never tried sago, but more cornflour should work.

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