Apple Pie (Paleo, Grain-Free, Gluten-Free)

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Paleo Apple Pie

I was actually planning to make mince pies this Christmas season but instead, apple pies popped out of my oven! Don’t worry, this wasn’t some freak accident, it was actually because I kept forgetting to go to the store to get brandy for the mince pies.

If you’re not British, then you’re probably a bit confused and maybe more than a little intrigued by mince pies and why they would have brandy in them. So let me reassure you quickly that a mince pie is most decidedly not a carnivorous dish! The mincemeat that forms the filling of these pies is predominantly made from dried fruits (like raisins) and the peel from oranges and lemons (and also a helping of brandy, of course).

Anyways, back to the apple pie…the difficult part of this was the pastry. It was difficult to get almond flour to exhibit that stretchy texture of gluten-filled pastry, so I added my secret ingredient…

chia flour to help bind the almond flour together. I also added in an egg and some coconut oil to help with this. Here are all the dry ingredients mixed together.

Paleo Flour Mix

Here’s what it looks like after the wet ingredients are added in.

Paleo Pastry

After kneading the dough for a few minutes, it will form something almost like traditional dough, although it’ll still be rather soft and will break easily. That’s why you have to be very gentle when creating the pie crust.

I took half the dough and placed it between two pieces of parchment paper and rolled it into a large flat circle (big enough to fill up a 9-inch pie pan). This handy pizza roller made rolling out the dough easy (and it’s easy to store since it’s so much smaller than a large rolling pin). Note: the dough can be stickier than traditional dough, so it’s much much easier to roll it out between two pieces of parchment paper!

Paleo Pastry

Then you transfer the pastry carefully into your pie pan. The pastry is prone to breaking, so the easiest way to transfer it is by peeling off the top layer of parchment paper, holding onto the bottom layer of parchment paper, and flipping the pastry into the pan (as pictured below).

Paleo Pastry

After peeling off the parchment paper, press the pastry into the pan carefully. If you end up with any holes in your pastry or if any part of it looks thin, then just use a small piece of dough to fill the gap (the dough is very malleable). Then trim off any excess pastry from the sides of the pan and place in the fridge to harden a bit.

Paleo Pastry

Take the other half of the dough and roll into a rough rectangle and cut it into 8 one-inch wide strips, which will form the lattice on the top of your pie. (Again, roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper.) Place these strips into the fridge as well.

Paleo Pastry

Now for the apple pie filling! Start by peeling 5 medium-sized apples (I used Honeycrisp apples since I already had them at home, but Granny Smith apples are the typical ones to use).

Paleo Apples

Then dice the apples so that they will cook quickly and fill the pie easily and evenly.

Paleo Apples

In a pot, place the coconut oil, honey, and spices, and then add the diced apples. Add 1 tablespoon of coconut flour to thicken the mixture, and once it’s been simmering for 5 minutes, add in the vanilla extract (I used my homemade one) and turn off the heat.

Paleo Apples

Let the apple pie filling cool for a bit, and then get your pastry out of the fridge. Spoon just the apple pieces into the pie. Then, place your strips of pastry on top (4 going each direction threading in and out).  Using a fork, press down the edges of the strips.  Trim off any excess pastry.

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Paleo Apple Pie Lattice

Then bake in the oven at 350F for 25 minutes. Enjoy with a cuppa tea.

Paleo Apple Pie

And here’s a close up….Every time I look at the pie, all I can think is: “I can’t Believe it’s Not Filled with Grains!”

Paleo Apple Pie

Apple Pie (Paleo, Grain-Free, Gluten-Free)


Prep Time: 50 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: one 9-inch pie

Apple Pie (Paleo, Grain-Free, Gluten-Free)



    For the Pastry:
  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together, then add the other ingredients.
  2. Knead into a dough.
  3. Take half the dough and place between two pieces of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin or pizza roller, roll the dough into a large circle so that it'll fill a 9-inch pie pan.
  4. Peel off top parchment paper and carefully flip the rolled dough into the pie pan. Gently peel off the other piece of parchment paper and push down into the pie pan forming the pie crust.
  5. Fill up any holes or cracks with small pieces of dough.
  6. Trim the excess pastry.
  7. Take the remaining half of the dough and roll into a rough rectangle and cut into 8 one-inch wide strips.
  8. Place the dough into the refrigerator.
  9. For the Filling:
  10. Melt the coconut oil in a pot on medium heat.
  11. Add the honey, apples, and spices.
  12. Stir the mixture to cover the apples with the oil, honey, and spices.
  13. Add in the coconut flour and mix well.
  14. Add in the vanilla extract and turn off the heat.
  15. Leave to cool for 10 minutes.
  16. Making the Pie:
  17. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  18. Spoon in the apple pieces and sauce into the pie crust.
  19. Cover the pie with the strips of pastry, creating the lattice. Press a fork along the edge to push the pastry down.
  20. Bake for 25 minutes.
  21. Serve hot or cold.

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{ 43 comments… add one }

  • Michele January 20, 2013, 8:29 pm

    Really interested in your recipes. They look fantastic. I’m not Paleo (I’m a convert to the PHD) but I was interested in your site after I downloaded your recipe book (thanks for it by the way). I’m keen to find recipes that are grain free and sugar free. Yours look great and are inspiring.

    • Louise January 21, 2013, 6:25 am

      Thanks Michele! I really like a lot of what Paul Jaminet says in the Perfect Health Diet, and I do occasionally have some potatoes or some rice (which are way less toxic than most other grains).

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen March 6, 2013, 9:58 am

    Wow, this is so beautiful! The lattice crust is perfect.

    • Louise March 6, 2013, 2:53 pm

      Thanks Sylvie! I was quite proud of it myself :)

  • Brooke Schweers May 21, 2013, 12:25 am

    This turned out beautifully! The pastry looks perfect. Ive never used chia flour before but it sounds like a great idea. Yum!

  • ERopes June 27, 2013, 11:43 am

    Curious about the word ‘just’ in the sentence “Spoon just the apples and sauce into the pie.” Is something being left behind, or am I reading that too literally?

    • Louise June 27, 2013, 1:54 pm

      Good catch – thanks :) I meant just the apples (it’s corrected now).

  • Robin T. August 20, 2013, 2:13 pm

    Do you have to precook the filling? Wondering if baking 25 minutes is long enought to cook the apples through.?

    • Louise August 20, 2013, 3:38 pm

      Yep it’s precooked (see the “For the Filling” section of the directions).

  • Angela August 29, 2013, 1:17 pm

    Is there any reason this pie filling couldn’t be canned?

    All the recipes I’ve found, specific to canning pie filling, are full of sugar.


    • Louise August 29, 2013, 11:04 pm

      I’m sorry Angela, I’ve never tried canning, so I can’t really say for sure. It would seem to me to be fine – but I’m not really familiar with the requirements of canning.

  • Renae September 1, 2013, 3:34 am

    This looks amazing and really want to try making it….if i can’t find Chia seed flour what can i substitute it for?

    • Louise September 1, 2013, 3:48 pm

      Flaxseed flour is a possible alternative.

  • Elizabeth September 29, 2013, 2:59 am

    Is it possible to make chia flour by just grinding it in the food processor?

    • Louise September 30, 2013, 2:44 pm

      Yes – in a good one. Or a coffee grinder.

  • Grace October 26, 2013, 12:34 am

    This recipe was fabulous!! I stuck a little ground ginger and lemon juice in with the filling, and my family was overflowing with compliments. More than once I was told it was the best apple pie ever– this is a huge compliment, especially when it’s also a super healthy pie! Thanks so much for this recipe. I will definitely be making this again!

    • Louise October 26, 2013, 1:01 am

      Thanks Grace!! Glad you and your family loved it :)

  • Grace October 26, 2013, 11:57 am

    I forgot to point out that I used two tablespoons of arrowroot powder instead of coconut flour and the consistency was great! –Just in case anyone was wondering. :)

  • Nicole November 3, 2013, 10:19 am

    Any suggestions for an almond flour substitute? My eldest child cannot eat almonds.

    • Louise November 5, 2013, 12:42 am

      Hi Nicole – other nuts like walnuts, pecans, macadamia, would work too.

  • Sarah November 8, 2013, 10:15 am

    Can coconut flour sub for the chia flour?

    • Louise November 8, 2013, 4:07 pm

      You could, but it won’t work quite as well because coconut flour has no elasticity. Try grinding up chia seeds or using flax meal if you can. Otherwise, the pastry will be really flaky.

  • Olivia November 11, 2013, 11:12 pm

    I have a 9.5 inch pie pan…any ideas on how I could adjust the recipe?

    • Louise November 12, 2013, 12:42 am

      Hi Olivia,
      I think the difference is sufficiently small, you could get away with the original amounts. I would try to roll the lattice a bit thinner to ensure you don’t run out of pastry for the top.

  • Kelly November 17, 2013, 12:24 pm

    Do you think it would be okay to make this pie a day ahead of time? Or would the crust get soggy? Any thoughts on what portions of this we could make ahead of time? Any help appreciated. I am so looking forward to making this pie for Thanksgiving!
    Thank you

    • Louise November 17, 2013, 6:05 pm

      Hi Kelly – you can definitely make it a day ahead of time. The crust holds up pretty well because it has oil in it. I kept it in the fridge for 2-3 days, and it was still delicious!

  • Marion November 22, 2013, 1:53 pm

    What kind of almond flour do you use? I’ve been reading about the differences between almond meal and almond flour and was wondering if the bobs red mill almond meal/flour will work in this recipe.

    • Louise November 22, 2013, 2:42 pm

      I’ve tried various kinds, and they all work about the same for me. Bob’s red mill will work fine for this recipe.

  • Kelly November 27, 2013, 3:28 pm

    Hello -
    So I had a few more questions as I am making this pie right now! First is there any reason you need to dice the apples as opposed to slicing them? Second, when adding the coconut oil for the pastry part, are you supposed to melt it or cut it in like you would butter? Or? My crust had a lot of coconut oil clumps, so I am a bit worried about that.
    Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Louise November 27, 2013, 5:46 pm

      Hi Kelly – dicing was just easy and got me small even pieces that would cook quickly. Thin slices would work fine too. Sorry, do melt the coconut oil (my place is often so warm it’s already in liquid form). You can gently heat the dough a bit to melt the lumps (they’ll melt above 76F).

  • Kelly November 28, 2013, 3:41 pm

    I tried the recipe and it tastes good but the crust is SUPER crumbly! Fine for the bottom but the top was just a mess. I’m wondering if it has something to do with my almond flour. Was your really finely ground? Mine was more like almond meal but I couldn’t find any finer ground. It looks way darker than yours. Thanks for the tips!

    • Louise November 28, 2013, 5:49 pm

      Hi Kelly – it’s that little bit of chia flour that holds it together. Almond flour has none of that stickiness that’s in normal flour unfortunately.

  • Diane November 29, 2013, 3:57 pm

    So I made this pie as a “practice” before Thanksgiving, & it came out great! Then, yesterday on Thanksgiving, of course, had so much trouble with the dough. Both the top & bottom stuck
    to the parchment paper after rolling them using a rolling pin. I had to literally peel it off & piece it all together. And the filling was very dry. No one had a piece accept me :(
    Can’t figure out what I did wrong this time, any ideas?

    • Louise November 29, 2013, 4:33 pm

      Hi Diane – sorry it didn’t turn out great the second time. I’m wondering if it could be the temperature? Coconut oil solidifies more at lower temperatures which can make the dough and the filling different?

  • Lora December 24, 2013, 7:40 pm

    This turned out super ugly. I followed all the instructions perfectly (I do not live in high altitude) and this “dough” just did not work. I used fine almond flour from bob’s red mill and I made my own FINE chia flour. This would not stick together and somehow I managed to press it down myself into the pie pan. Rolling it out was not an option… it just crumbled apart. I have not tried the pie yet but I am super worried it’ll just fall apart trying to cut in. Very disappointing.

    • Louise December 27, 2013, 10:16 pm

      Sorry it didn’t come out well Lora – Paleo pie crust dough is always tricky. I’m planning to experiment with the temperature and type of chia flour to see how much difference that makes.

  • fiona December 27, 2013, 12:16 am

    So going to try this pie Louise. Love the reference to mince pies, can totally relate as I am a fellow Brit. My husband and I recent converts to the paleo lifestyle, having done the whole 30, we have not looked back. Will try this pie this weekend, thanks for the recipe :)

  • April December 29, 2013, 12:55 am

    I tried this recipe today I follow the recipe you kindle sent me, but it didn’t say you have to simmer the apples for 5 min. The crust had a lot of coconut clumps, and had trouble rolling the dough. The pie was tasty but too dry. I learned from a comment above you have to melt the oil, and maybe this will help the next time. Yes! I’m trying again!!

    • Louise January 7, 2014, 12:32 am

      Apologies – I’ll change the directions to make that part clearer! Sorry it didn’t turn out well.

  • Ester February 28, 2014, 10:11 pm

    The apple pie looked beautiful, but tasted awful. I hate to throw food away, but I can not eat it.

    • Louise March 1, 2014, 4:43 pm

      Sorry to hear that Ester :(

  • Cathy April 17, 2014, 10:09 am

    I am wondering why you always use coconut oil for your fat….why not avocado oil which is so rich in good things as well as being mild tasting, and doesn’t have the coconut taste?


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Louise Yang Ancestral Chef

Hi! I'm Louise - I am "beyond gluten-free," grain-free, paleo/primal, a lawyer, an ex-physicist, a cook, a blogger, a Brit living in the US, an ex-violin player, an occasional crossfitter, a mystery book junkie, and of course, I am the Ancestral Chef :) Read my About Me Page for more!

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