Vegan pie crust may sound intimidating, but with the right technique you can get a great flaky and buttery texture that is essential to a great pie. The key is to use cold vegan butter and water when making the dough, as the temperature of the fat in the butter makes it tender while the cold water will make it nice and flaky. I prefer a thicker crust, but the great thing about this recipe is you can customize the thickness of the dough when you roll it out. Just be sure to keep an eye on it when they're baking in the oven.
Blackberries pair well with apples, especially the sugary kinds like gala and honeycrisp (used here), because their tartness offsets the sweetness for a great flavor combination. Pared down with the coconut sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in the filling, the blackberries are a great complement to the sweet apples and buttery pie crust.
I love using coconut sugar while baking as an alternative to the typical refined white sugar. It has the same sucrose content but a lower glycemic index, so it won't spike your glucose levels like typical cane sugar. It also tastes and bakes just like brown sugar, which is subtly sweet and lets the fruit filling provide the sweetness.
Vegan Apple Blackberry Hand Pies
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1 cup vegan butter, cold
- cold water
- 1 1/2 apples, diced
- 2/3 cup blackberries, diced
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
1. Combine the flour, 3 tbsp of coconut sugar, and a pinch of salt in large bowl.
2. Add in the vegan butter, 1 tbsp at a time, and work in with your hands.
3. Slowly add in 3 1/2 tbsp of cold water, 1 tbsp at a time, and knead to form a dough.
4. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and flatten to a disc shape with your hands. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.
1. While the dough is chilling, add water, cornstarch, 4 tbsp coconut sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir for a few minutes until a thick paste forms.
2. Add in the peeled, diced apple and diced blackberries to coat evenly and set aside to cool.
Making the pies:
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. Roll the dough out onto a floured surface until nice and thin.
3. Using a cookie cutter or any round shape (mason jar top works well), cut the dough into 4in circles.
4. Using the leftover dough, re-roll to cut out more circles until you have 24 total.
5. Spoon 1 tbsp of filling into the middle of each dough circle, place the other circles on top, then use a fork to crimp down the sides and seal.
6. Brush the pies with a little vegan butter and cut 2 slits in the top of each to release steam.
7. Top with a sprinkle of coconut sugar and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
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Photo: Addie Zoller