Expect from this keto apple pie a suuuper flaky pie crust paired up with an unbelievable zucchini filling… that might just give apples a run for their money! Pinky promise.
Low Carb & Keto ‘Apple’ Pie
The Real Deal!
This guy right here is surely top 5 of my favorite recipes on the site. Could also be because apple pie was my favorite dessert pre-keto… but this is honestly an exceptional ‘apple’ pie in whatever light you view it.
More than happy to provide friends and family references for the skeptics amongst you! (Or just go through your comments and raving reviews over the past year!).
The filling is essentially a less spiced-up version of the keto ‘apple’ muffins (from Keto Speedy Comfort Food eCookbook!), where it became clear that zucchini might just give apples a run for their money!
And it turns out that the texture of the zucchini might be even more suitable than apples for pie. You see, the tricky thing about a terrific apple pie is getting the apples to the perfect point: soft, but with a bite.
Meanwhile, zucchini seem to hold on to their bite even after and hour-and-something cooking time (stovetop + oven). So it’s honestly pretty much fool-proof. And imo, it works better than even chayote (which I used in our ‘apple’ crumble).
The Brown-Butter ‘Apple’ i.e. Zucchini!
As I said in the cookbook, my (keto) life will never be the same guys! I’ve always been a big time apple lover and this is just too ideal. Zucchini just became my favorite veggie! #applepieforlife
The essential trick? The acidity punch! You need to be sure to add enough lemon and give the zucchini ample time to absorb the brown-butter lemony juices.
And yup, zucchini impersonating apples isn’t a new thing… but with a few solid tips and tricks you won’t even need the help of an apple extract!
You’ve got good options here! Allulose is my favorite for no aftertaste now (you do need to add 30% more though), Lakanto Golden (barely any cooling aftertaste here), xylitol (non-corn though to avoid tummy troubles!).
And if using xylitol, make sure to be careful if you have a pup (or kitty!) around the house, as it’s highly toxic to the little guys!
When rolling out the pie crust, you may want to use parchment or wax paper. Given the lack of gluten, the crust is more fragile and it will break easily if not handled with care. So I suggest rolling it out between two sheets of parchment paper. Easy peasy.
And talking about lack of gluten, this is the reason why the dough will crack slightly when baked. I’ve noticed that the cracking can be lessened by allowing the dough to rest overnight (rather than for an hour), though note that taste and texture will be the same. I also noted that by increasing the xanthan gum you can get a silky smooth crust, but at the cost of losing quite a bit of flakiness. So I most definitely sacrificed some aesthetics for the sake of taste and texture.
Some of you have reported back that it’s difficult to handle, be sure to check that your cream cheese has xanthan gum. And if you still can’t make it work, you’ll have to up the xanthan gum to 1/2 teaspoon.
One last thing. Like with any pastry dough, make sure not to over-process the dough. The mixture ought to resemble coarse breadcrumbs rather than cookie dough.
Just One Rule
Make sure the filling is completely chilled before filling up the pie. Otherwise you will (quite literally) see the pastry melt before your very eyes.
And remember that, like with any pastry dough, you need to work quickly and over a cool surface. Though do note that if the dough becomes too hard to manage, you can always pop it back in the fridge for 15 minutes before carrying on!
Keto Apple Pie (with our super flaky pie crust!)
For the keto pie crust
- 2 batches suuuper flaky keto pie crust
For the 'apple' filling
For the keto pie crust
- See recipe video for guidance on the pie crust, and whip up a double batch! You can make it three days ahead, or even freeze it for a couple months (simply thaw it out in your fridge overnight and roll it out per usual!).
For the brown-butter 'apple'
- Heat up the butter in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium/low heat. Continue to simmer the butter, stirring once in a while, until fully browned (about 4-6 minutes).
- Add in the zucchini, spices, salt and mix everything together. Add in the lower amounts of sweetener and lemon juice, cover, lower heat to low, and let simmer for 15 minutes. Remove lid and taste for sweetness and acidity; you’ll most likely need to add more of both (don’t be afraid of the lemon juice, as it’s acidity is what will give it that apple kick once it’s thoroughly absorbed).
- Cover once again and cook for 10 more minutes. Remove the lid, taste again, and allow to cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes longer to thicken up the juices. Allow to cool completely before filling up the pie!
To assemble the pie
- Preheat oven to 390°F/200°C. Lightly butter a 9 inch pie pan. Roll out 1 batch of pie crust into a roughly 13-inch circle, between two sheets of parchment paper. Feel free to lightly dust with coconut flour as needed. Transfer to the pie dish, using the parchment paper as an aid. Refrigerate while you prepare the rest.
- Roll out the second pie crust and trim to desired width for lattice (roughly 1 1/2 inch). Take your pie dish out of the fridge, fill up with chilled 'apple-zucchini' and weave the lattice, crimping the edges to seal. You'll have leftover pie crust, which I simply re-roll and turn into crackers!
- Brush with egg wash and bake for 15 minutes. To get a shiny finish, take your pie out of the oven and brush it quickly and lightly again with more egg wash (grain free baking beautifying hack!). Return to oven and bake until fully golden (20-25 minutes longer). Allow to cool completely to allow the filling to set... or honestly try a slice lightly warm after roughly 20 mins (won't be fully set but oh-so-good!)!