comment 0

Apple Pie

Vegan, Low Protein (PKU), Gluten Free and Dairy Free

Makes 1 x 24 cm / 9.5 ins pie
Total Protein Count: 0-0.3g Protein
8 Serves = 0g Protein per serve

When anyone asks me what my motivations are for writing Charlotteats, I answer that it is my goal to provide a REAL FOOD option for my PKU daughter and family can enjoy together. I am grateful for the medically processed foods that are available to us and the PKU community, but I strive to give my family foods that are natural and un-processed as much as possible. By eating foods closest to their natural state, our bodies will of course benefit. This is what nature intended. Yet when health conditions such as PKU prevent one from eating a wide range of natural foods, it becomes necessary to look for natural alternatives and substitutions. I continue to look for natural foods and the combination of foods that will allow us to have a low or no protein count. Probably the best example of this has been the re-development of the Traditional Apple Pie.

I have included 2 recipes for the traditional Apple Pie to show you how you can substitute ingredients to your liking and still maintain a No Protein or Gluten-Free option. (Note, obviously because of the Apples this is not a low FODMAP or Fructose-Free dessert. I happily gave my slice away.) The procedure is the same for both. I’ve only shown you how you can substitute the ingredients.

The first recipe for the Low Protein Apple Pie was made using gluten-free flour, but can also be substituted for the PKU all-purpose mix if you wish. (Note, if you use the PKU flour, you will not need a rising agent. For the gluten-free flour, tapioca or arrowroot was used to achieve the same effect.) Another note would be that the PKU all-purpose mix is not gluten-free. Something to keep in mind if you are avoiding gluten.

charlotteats apple pie 1

The second recipe for the Gluten-Free Apple Pie could still be eaten as a low protein option if you stick to serving sizes and depending on your own protein allowance. I have listed several gluten-free flour options for you to explore. Personally, my favourite gluten-free flour is quinoa as it gives the pastry a subtle nutty flavour and chewy texture. Although you can get a similar taste and protein count with amaranth. Corn flour is lower in protein and compliments the apples nicely. By themselves, these flours are high in protein. This is why I have balanced the meaurements with tapioca/arrowroot flour; this is a very low protein content and also aids as a binding agent for the other flours. If you don’t wish to explore these flours or can’t find them, the typical gluten-free flour will suffice. In all instances, check the protein content of each flour to adjust the total count.

Lucky for us, it is apple season in Sydney, so I really could not go wrong with either of these recipes. The smell of the apples made the whole house smell wonderful and made me think of my own childhood in autumn. Ironically baking does not come naturally to me and is not always something I enjoy. (I think I’ve mentioned this before.) However, the result of both pies made me quite comfortable that they would be easy enough for anyone to make (or adapt). The joy of seeing my family get excited about the pies was good enough for me. So happy baking! I hope your family loves them as much as mine!

Low Protein Apple Pie

Makes 1 x 24 cm / 9.5 ins pie
Total Protein Count: 0-0.3g Protein
8 Serves = 0g Protein per serve

For the pie pastry (enough for base & crust):
2 1/2 cup / 250g PKU all-purpose mix (or 2 cup gluten-free flour = 0.3g P and 1/2 cup arrowroot powder / tapioca = 0g P)
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 cup / 125g margarine (or unrefined coconut oil, cold)
2 tsp brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup ice water
1 Tbsp quinoa milk (or other lactose-free milk) for brushing the crust.

6-10 crisp apples, peeled, cored, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (optional)
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground nutmeg

charlotteats apple pie 6

Gluten-Free Apple Pie

Makes 1 x 24 cm / 9.5 ins pie
Total Protein Count with Amaranth or Quinoa flour: 17g Protein
8 Serves = 2.1g Protein per serve
Total Protein Count with Corn flour: 9g Protein
8 Serves = 1.1g Protein per serve
Total Protein Count with only GF flour: 1.2g Protein
8 Serves = 0.2g Protein per serve



For the pie pastry (enough for base & crust):
1 cup flour of your choice:

corn flour = 4g P
or amaranth = 8g P
or quinoa = 8g P

1 cup gluten-free flour = 0.3g P
1/2 cup arrowroot powder / tapioca = 0g P
2 tsp psyllium husk powder (or xanthan gum) = 0g P
2 tsp coconut sugar
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 cup / 138g unrefined coconut oil, cold
1/2 cup ice water
1 egg, for brushing (or 2 tsp plant-based milk of your choice)

6-10 crisp apples, peeled, cored, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 tsp freshly grated ginger (optional)
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon quinoa flour (optional)

 charlotteats apple pie 3a

Pie Pastry:
You can begin the pie pastry the day before and place in the fridge or freezer overnight. (If you place in the freezer, take it out when you begin with the apples to allow sufficient time to defrost/soften.)
Place the flour mix into a mixing bowl and stir in the salt. Rub in the margarine or coconut oil until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs or crumble.
Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl until evenly combined then add to the flour mixture. Slowly add the ice water to the mixture and mix with a metal spoon until smooth and creamy. You may need more or less water depending on the consistency. The trick is to add a small amount at a time to avoid the dough becoming too wet.
Lightly dust the work surface with extra flour and knead the pastry until smooth. Divide the pastry in half, roll into a ball and wrap in clear film. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes or until ready for the filling.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Begin by peeling and coring the apples. Place the apple slices and ginger in bowl, squeeze a wedge of lemon juice over (to avoid browning) and toss.
Mix together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Evenly distribute the sugar mixture over apples and mix.

Grease a 9-inch pie pan with coconut oil and set aside. Remove pastry from fridge, and line a work surface with a large piece of parchment (baking) paper. Flour the parchment, and place 1 pastry ball on top, then let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Using a rolling pin, roll out pastry into a circle large enough to fill the pie tin and about 1/2cm / 1/4inch thick. Place pastry into a greased deep 24cm / 9-inch pie pan. Work into a flat, even surface with your fingers. With a knife, cut excess pastry, keeping about a ½ inch overhang. Set aside scraps.
Roll the other pastry ball into a similar circle for the top layer and set aside.

With the apple slices, place them in into the pie crust and work towards the centre. Layer until the apples fill the pie tin. If the apples go above the height of the tin, this is fine as the top crust will keep them in place.
Cover the filled pie tin with the top pastry crust. Tuck overhang of top crust under the bottom crust edge. Flute edges with fingers, or however you like. Vent top by cutting slices in the pastry.
Brush top crust with milk of your choice (or egg if preferred). Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon mixture over the whole pie, if desired.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until juices bubble through vents. Check the pie after 20 minutes, and if you see the edges burning, take two long strips of aluminum foil and wrap edges of pie loosely.
Let the pie cool on a rack for about a half an hour before cutting into it.

charlotteats apple pie 2a


– Quinoa flour is my preferred flour as it works very well with baking and gives a slight chewy texture to the crust. It also helps to thicken the filling mix and give a nutty flavour.
– The plain gluten-free flour can be omitted and replaced with more of the specialty flours but note it will change the overall protein content. Adjust accordingly.
– Apples in season are the best; regardless of the type. If given a choice, Granny Smith apples make for very good pies as they tend to keep their shape better than other apples.
– Serving suggestions: lactose-free ice cream or cream. Yogurt. Walnut pieces.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s