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Oh how I love thee.
Let me count the ways. (Every time I say that, I think of Roger Rabbit … click here if you don’t know what I’m referring to.)
Moving on now.
Recently, I have been in love with all things apple. I just can’t get enough of this tasty fruit. Something about the cooler weather makes me crave apples and the warm fall spices. Pair that with fennel and ginger, and you have a pie that is simply divine.
At least I think so … and I haven’t received any complaints from my family members who have been subject to taste-testing my experiments. Hey, it’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it. 😉
This pie is rich in flavor, with just a hint of spiciness from the ginger. The fennel is very mild and blends perfectly with the apples and warm pie spices. This recipe really evolved out of a strange craving that I had for apples and fennel a few months ago. I just kept adding stuff in and before I knew it, I had a pie filling. The first few times I made this, I just ate the filling on its own, but then I decided to pair it with a gluten-free pie crust and top it with a delicious nutty crumble.
This pie is the perfect end to almost any meal. It has quickly become a new favorite in my home and will be my go-to pie for any special occasion.
Oh, and if you top it with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, it takes the divineness to a whole new level.
Before we get started, here are a few notes about the recipe:
- I never add any additional sweetener to the filling, because I find that the sweetness of the apples and the candied ginger is plenty sweet for me. If you want it a little sweeter, you could add some honey, maple syrup, stevia, or any sweetener of your choice (this is noted in the recipe below).
- Sometimes I like to keep it simple, so I make it without a crust. But, it also tastes equally as delicious with a crust. I provide two crust ideas below.
- If you are nut free, you can replace the almond meal with more shredded coconut.
- You may not need to add the arrowroot, depending on how much pectin cooks out of your apples. A couple batches I made got super thick, just from the pectin, so I didn’t need to add any arrowroot.
- I never peel my apples, but if you would prefer to have no skins in your pie, by all means, peel away.
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- 4 apples, cored and sliced thin (I like Cameo apples, but use whatever you like)
- 1 bulb fennel, sliced into the same size slices as your apples
- 1 cup candied ginger
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 3 tbsp. apple pie spice (learn how to make your own here)
- 2-3 tbsp. sweetener of your choice (optional)
- 2 tbsp. arrowroot powder (you may not need this)
- 2 tbsp. vanilla (learn how to make your own here)
- ½ tsp. sea salt (I use this kind)
- coconut oil for cooking apples (I use this kind)
- ½ cup almond meal
- ½ cup shredded coconut (I use this kind)
- ¼ cup coconut flour (I use this kind)
- 3-4 tbsp. coconut oil (I use this kind)
- 1 tbsp. granulated sugar of your choice (optional)
- 1 tsp. cinnamon (learn why I love Vietnamese cinnamon here)
- ¼ tsp. salt (I use this kind)
- 1 9.5" pie crust of your choice. Here are two suggestions:
- Egg-Free Pie Crust (gluten, grain, dairy free)
- Coconut Flour Pie Crust (gluten, grain, dairy free)
- In a large saucepan or frying pan, add 4 tablespoons of coconut oil, your sliced apples, sliced fennel, chopped ginger, and salt.
- Cover and cook over medium-low heat until the apples and fennel start to soften, about 10-12 minutes.
- Add coconut milk, apple pie spice, vanilla, and sweetener (if you're using any), and stir to combine.
- Reduce heat to low. Gently simmer until the apples and fennel are completely soft, about another 10 minutes or so.
- If your apples have cooked out a lot of pectin, you may not need to add any arrowroot. If the filling is still rather thin, sprinkle the arrowroot powder over the apple mixture and stir in. Remove from heat.
- Pour the apple mixture into a glass pie pan, casserole dish, or your pie crust and top with your crumble topping.
- Bake at 325 for 30 minutes, or until the pie is bubbling. If the top of the crumble starts to get too dark, place a piece of parchment paper over the top to keep it from getting too brown.
- Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and enjoy!