When October rolls into town, pumpkins seem to get all the attention. Even I’m guilty of going pumpkin crazy. However, let’s not forget apples! And what about Oktoberfest and beer? Or, how about we go crazy and cook some apples in some beer and make an App-ale Pie!?
Apples have been one of my favorite fruits ever since I was a kid, especially those lovely green Granny Smith apples! I just love that tartness. I was thinking about using a mix of apples for this pie, when I came across some organic, Granny Smiths. For a while, it was a rare thing to find organic Granny Smith apples, but it’s getting easier these days, and the prices aren’t bad either. As I was peeling these, I was reminded of my own granny. When I was little she would sometimes peel my apples for me, and I would always hoot with delight when she presented me with my peeled and cored apple slices, along with the peel itself – in one long, coiled piece! As a kid, that impressed me. And now as I gave it a try myself, I was impressed as an adult. Grandma had more skill and patience at apple peeling than I’ll ever have!
Cooking with beer is a lot of fun, and the floral aromas of a nice hoppy pale ale go really well with apples. I should remind people that not all beers are vegan friendly. Although the breweries that still use isinglass (fish bladder) when fining and clearing their beers are often found in the UK, you can never be too careful, no matter where your beer is from. If you aren’t sure, double-check your beer or booze on Barnivore (as I did before adding an optional splash of Cointreau). And if you aren’t a big fan of alcohol, there’s no need to worry. More and more craft breweries are coming out with complex, flavorful, low alcohol beers – here in Sweden at least. In fact, I made this pie with a hoppy Swedish “folk” beer that was only 3.5% alcohol. The apples soak up some, but not all of the liquid. And if you divide that amount by about 8 to 10 pieces of pie, and your “alcohol per piece” is pretty dang low.
While the apples are at the core of this amazing pie (at the “core”, get it?! hahaha) what’s below and above them are just as important. The almond paste cream is so more-ish that I had to try hard to stop myself from just licking the spatula after I scraped down the sides of the food processor. And the crumble! If like me, you are love a good crumble topping, oh my crunchy crumble goodness are you going to like this one!
So while everyone else is all pumpkin spice, don’t forget that apples are nice. Served with your favorite dairy free vanilla ice cream or vanilla sauce, a slice of this App-ale Pie a day, must be just about the best way to keep the doctor away!
This recipe is an adapted and Planticized version of the one found here.
- ca 8 oz (225 g) – digestive biscuits/graham crackers
- 3 oz (85 g) – vegan margarine, room temperature Apples
- 11 fl oz (33 cl) – vegan friendly pale ale
- ca 2¾ lbs (1.25 kg) Granny Smith apples, weight before peeled and sliced into thin wedges
- ¾ cup (1.8 dl) – coconut sugar
- 1 tsp (5 ml) – liquid vanilla extract
- ¼ cup (.6 dl) – Cointreau (optional)
- Juice from one lemon Almond cream
- 8 oz (225 g) – almond paste
- 4 oz (112 g) – vegan margarine
- 2 “no-eggs” egg replacer (I used 1 tsp mix and 2 Tbsps aquafaba for each “egg”, but water is fine) Crumble
- 6 oz (170g) – hazelnuts
- ½ cup (1.2 dl) – coconut sugar
- ½ cup (1.2 dl) – brown sugar
- ½ cup (1.2 dl) – flour
- 1½ oz (45 g) – vegan margarine, room temperature
- ½ tsp (2.5 ml) – salt
- Add the room temperature butter and about half the biscuits/cracker to a food processor and blend. Gradually add more biscuits until you reach the desired consistency. You may more/less than 8 oz (225 g).
- Press into a 10 inch (26 cm) round pie form.
- Pre-bake for 7-10 minutes.
- Pour the beer into a large pot, add the sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, add the apple slices, vanilla and Cointreau, and simmer (stirring occasionally) until the apples begin to soften slightly, about 10 mins.
- Pour everything into a larger pan, form or container so that all the apples are in contact with the beer/liquid. Pour the lemon juice on top and allow the apples to cool, and absorb the liquid, for about one hour.
- Add a little almond paste and a little margarine to a food processor and blend. Continue this way until you have blended all the paste and margarine together.
- Mix the “No egg” powder and liquid (water is fine if you don’t have any aquafaba on hand.)
- Add the “No eggs” to the paste/margarine and mix until smooth and creamy.
- Add the hazelnuts and sugars in a food processor and pulse until the nuts are crushed and broken a bit, but not too much.
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix together to form a crumbly mass.
- Pour the almond paste filling into the pie crust and spread evenly.
- Drain the apples and place them one by one on top, pressing them gently into the filling.
- Gently press the crumble on top of the apples.
- Bake the pie at 350 F (180 C) degrees, for about 35-45 minutes.
- Remove the pie from the oven, allow to cool and serve with dairy-free vanilla ice cream.