Vegan Apple Hand Pies (Gluten Free, Paleo)
These little vegan apple hand pies are the perfect fall dessert. They are made with a gluten free or paleo flaky buttery pie crust and filled with sweet diced apples. They're the perfect, easy alternative to an apple pie, and no one will know they are gluten and dairy free!
INGREDIENTS IN GLUTEN FREE PALEO APPLE HAND PIES:
Gluten Free All Purpose Flour OR Paleo Blend of Almond Flour/Tapioca Starch
Dairy Free Butter
Coconut Sugar or Granulated Maple Sugar
Fresh Chopped Apples
SUBSTITUTIONS AND SWAPS
1. There are two versions for the crust here: gluten free, made with all purpose flour and paleo, made with a blend of paleo-friendly flours. Both recipes have been tested and tried and true. The gluten free version is a little more flaky and delicate. The paleo is more buttery, but both are delicious!
2. I use Miyoko's dairy free unsalted butter here but you can substitute for real grass fed butter, or other dairy free butter sticks. Not in a tub!
3. Coconut Sugar or Maple Sugar are used to add a bit of sweetness in the crust. This can be subbed or swapped for any granulated sweetener.
4. I have used Gala apples and Honeycrisp apples in this recipe. Honeycrisp are more tart and more firm but a great baking apple. If you are looking for a sweeter apple filling, I suggest to use a sweeter apple like Pink Lady, Gala, Fiji or Macintosh.
5. I use maple syrup to sweeten the filling, I tried coconut sugar and it was too dark and rich. You may also use honey or agave but I think maple syrup works the best with apples!
WHY YOU SHOULD MAKE VEGAN GLUTEN FREE APPLE HAND PIES:
They're easier to make than a whole pie but just as tasty and full of juicy apples and buttery crust!
You'd never know they are gluten free, dairy free, and paleo friendly! You can make them for family, friends and kids, everyone will love them!
Since the apple serving per pie is less than 1/4 cup, these are safe for a low FODMAP diet, according to the Monash University findings.
The dough and filling can be made in advance and assembled and baked when ready.
They're fun to make and your house will smell like fall!
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN APPLE HAND PIES:
1. First, make the filling. Dice the apples into small pieces and add them into a saucepan with a splash of water. Slowly simmer the apples while adding in maple syrup, cinnamon, lemon juice, sea salt and then tapioca starch to gel it up into a compote. Set aside to cool.
2. Now, to make the gluten free crust: Add cubed butter chunks into the flour mix and smash the butter between your fingers until the mixture is crumbly. Now add in cold water and mix into a dough. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes to set.
3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350F.
4. Roll out the dough to roughly 1/8" thick and cut four rectangle shapes the size of a Pop Tart, about 2.5"x 4". Transfer those rectangles to lined baking sheet.
5. Spoon cooled filling in the centers of the dough pieces, leaving a border.
6. With the remaining dough, roll out to roughly 1/8" thick and slice into 1/2" strips. Carefully lift one strip and place it onto the top edge of the rectangle. Do the same with the bottom edge of the rectangle.
7. Now create two "X" criss cross shapes starting at the top of the rectangle, crossing the strips of dough over the center of the filling. See photos for guidance!
8. With a sharp knife, cut the remaining edges of the dough strips off and place back into the dough pile to be rerolled. Seal the edges of dough together with your finger. Repeat until all 4 rectangles have been filled and sliced dough pieces create a criss-cross pattern.
9. Brush with egg wash or olive oil and optional sugar crystals and bake for 15-18 minutes until top of crust is browned and inside is bubbling!
What type of apples should I use in gluten free apple hand pies?
I have used Gala apples and Honeycrisp apples in this recipe. Honeycrisp are more tart and more firm but a great baking apple. If you are looking for a sweeter apple filling, I suggest a sweeter apple like Pink Lady, Gala, Fiji or even Macintosh.
*Important! Tips for mixing together pie crust?
The paleo pie crust will not be a problem, but not going to lie mixing the gluten free pie crust can be tricky. It needs to be not dry and not too wet. Too wet will result in a chewy texture, too dry and the crust will crack when baking. I have made this recipe several times to get the crust correct! Here are some tips to make sure your crust is perfect:
Make sure the butter is COLD. Make sure the ice water is COLD. Cold ingredients ensure a flaky crust.
DO NOT OVER MIX. This will make the crust chewy. To keep the pie crust delicate and flaky, mix until JUST combined.
Keep butter chunks in the dough. Butter chunks will create flaky layers when baking. If you do not over mix the dough, there should be small butter pieces throughout the dough before rolling.
DO NOT ADD TOO MUCH WATER. If the dough seems a little crumbly, but still holds together when pressing between fingers, it's perfect. Adding too much water will make the crust chewy.
If the dough gets too loose or sticky when rolling out the lattice, roll back into a ball and place in fridge for 15 minutes to chill again.
Do I have to make lattice design on the top crust?
No, you can roll the dough into 8 rectangles rather than 4, and use the remaining 4 for a top crust. Poke holes cut slits in top crust before baking.
What if my pie crust is crumbly?
For the gluten free pie crust, you want the dough to be a little crumbly but sticky enough to press between your fingers and have it not crumble apart. If you feel the dough will not hold together while rolling, add 1 Tbsp more of ice cold water at a time until dough is formable, but not too wet.
Can I use a different fruit as filling?
Yes, you can fill these hand pies with blueberries, strawberries, diced peaches, diced pears. Replace the amount of apples equally in filling recipe.
Are vegan apple hand pies safe for a low FODMAP diet?
Yes. The amount of apples per serving/pie is less than 1/4 cup, so these are considered safe on a low FODMAP diet according to Monash University findings. Maple syrup is used to sweeten the filling, which is low FODMAP. All purpose gluten free 1:1 flour crust would be a lower FODMAP option than the paleo crust.
Remember a low FODMAP diet is not a no-FODMAP diet! If you keep in the green safe serve zone, a low amount of FODMAPS is actually better for your gut health and overall health!