This Vanilla Bean Apple Pie takes your traditional apple made, made with Granny Smith apples, and I add ground vanilla bean to the crust! And instead of doing a traditional egg wash on top, I top this with a sweet glaze. This makes this traditionally tart pie have the perfect amount of sweetness!
So, if you have been baking my recipes for a while then you know I never use Granny Smith Apples. Granny Smith Apples are a more tart apple, and I don’t buy them to eat as a prefer a sweeter apple. So, I rarely ever bake with them simply because I don’t usually have them on hand!
But Granny Smith Apples make amazing apples for apple pie. And I bought some recently specifically for apple pie, as I wanted to change it up and I had the idea to make this Vanilla Bean Apple Pie. I have always wanted to put French vanilla or vanilla bean with apple pie. And in this recipe for Vanilla Bean Apple Pie, I did just that.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
I made this Vanilla Bean Pie a little different than your traditional apple pie. First, I used ground vanilla bean in the crust. This is a total game changer guys. Adding just a small amount of ground vanilla bean into the crust gives this crust some warm and cozy vibes.
I used Granny Smith Apples along with cane sugar and ground vanilla bean in the filling. I left out the traditional brown sugar and cinnamon, in favor of a completely different flavored apple pie. This apple pie filling is very light and the vanilla bean compliments the Granny Smith Apples in a way I just can’t explain, you really have to experience it for yourself.
Instead of traditional egg wash, I brushed the unbaked pie crust with Organic Valley French Vanilla Creamer. Using a heavy cream on top of pie can mimic egg, and still create a golden brown crust. Plus, this creamer also added French vanilla flavor to the crust!
Lastly, I made a donut-like glaze with powdered sugar and water. I brushed this on top of the baked pie for a glistening finish that added a little more sweetness. So, if you have ever wondered – should I glaze my apple pie? The answer is definitely yes! And if you ever wondered can I add French vanilla or vanilla bean with apple pie, the answer is also definitely yes!
Delaney and I were almost fighting over the last piece of this pie – which rarely ever happens in our house as we always have too much dessert. And we didn’t even share any of this Vanilla Bean Apple Pie with our neighbors! That’s a big deal in our house – if it never makes it to friends, then you know it’s too good to share. This is the Thanksgiving pie you want at your dessert table this year.
How can I make my apple pie taste better?
Make your apple pie taste the best that it can by using organic ingredients. Organic ingredients have more flavor than conventional ones, as they are less processed. Therefore, the true flavor can shine through more. Also, be sure to use apples that are ripe and taste good.
How do you add vanilla beans to baking?
You can buy organic ground vanilla beans, or you can scrape the vanilla beans out of the bean. Either option is fine for adding vanilla bean to baked goods. I prefer to buy organic ground vanilla bean, because I use it a lot. My favorite ground vanilla bean is the Lafaza Organic Ground Vanilla Bean.
What do you glaze pie with?
Traditionally, you glaze the top of raw pie dough with egg or egg wash (which is egg and water). You can use other things such as honey, butter, milk, heavy whipping cream, coconut milk, or coconut oil. And I even used Organic Valley French Vanilla Creamer on top of this Vanilla Bean Apple Pie!
I used a flavored creamer, as Organic Valley French Vanilla Creamer is made with real cream. So, I knew that the fat would be there to brown the top. Plus, it gives this pie an amazing French vanilla flavor to top it off.
Ingredients for Vanilla Bean Apple Pie
Cairnspring Mills Organic All Purpose Flour (use code MIMIORGANIC15 for 15% off your order!)
Organic Granny Smith Apples
Why use organic ingredients in this recipe? You all know I’m a huge organic advocate, and I bet you may be thinking sometimes, Why would I even bother to use organic ingredients in something that is so sweet and indulgent? But, that is the exact reason why you should use organic ingredients! Sweet things need to have flavor in order to be good, otherwise they are just sweet and they don’t taste like much else. Organic ingredients are more pure than conventional ones, therefore they actually have more flavor than the non organic options. Say it with me, organic means more flavor! And not just more flavor but a more true and pure flavor. And organic ingredients are much healthier for you to eat in general as they do not contain GMOs or anything artificial. Plus, you are being environmentally friendly when you choose organic ingredients!
So, I highly recommend that you buy the best organic ingredients for this recipe! You can also shop my Amazon Storefront for all my favorite organic ingredients here. Tip – hover over each ingredient to see the name. And if you want to learn more about organic foods and the difference, read my post here on Food Labels and What They Mean.
Vanilla Bean Apple PieDifficulty: Intermediate
Make a completely different, but insanely delicious apple pie this holiday season. This apple pie uses Granny Smith Apples, vanilla bean, and cane sugar for a filling that is very light, it's topped with Organic Valley French Vanilla Creamer, and a donut-like glaze. I promise you, this pie will be the talk of your Thanksgiving table.
227 grams (1 2/3 cups plus 2 tablespoons) organic all purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1 teaspoon organic cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon organic ground vanilla bean
3/4 cup (170 grams) Organic Valley Salted Butter, cold
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons cold water
113 grams (1/2 cup) organic cane sugar
21 grams (3 tablespoons) organic all purpose flour
1 teaspoon organic ground vanilla bean
1 teaspoon organic cornstarch
3 organic large Granny Smith apples
2 tablespoons Organic Valley French Vanilla Creamer
71 grams (1/2 cup) organic powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons water
- To make the crust: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the flour, cane sugar, and cardamom. Turn the mixer on low for two to three rotations to combine the dry ingredients.
- Remove the butter from the fridge and chop into small cubes. The smaller the cubes, the flakier the crust. Cut the stick of butter into four and then chop into small cubes from there. Add the cold, cubed butter to the flour mixture. Measure out the cold water and have it ready.
- Turn the mixer on low and slowly start to incorporate the ingredients. Gradually turn the mixer to medium speed. Once the butter mixture looks like wet sand, immediately add in all the water. As soon as the dough comes together, stop the mixer. Do not over mix.
- Divide the dough into two portions, one should be almost double the size of the other. I prefer to weigh them, the large one should weigh 312 grams and the small should weigh 170 grams. Form them both into disks and wrap separately in plastic wrap. Allow to cool in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- To make the filling: In a medium bowl, add the cane sugar, flour, vanilla bean, and cornstarch and whisk to combine.
- Slice the apples, leaving skins on, and add to the sugar and flour mixture. Toss to coat completely, set aside.
- Grease a 9-inch pie pan well with butter. Remove the pie dough from the fridge. Remove the plastic wrap and place on a floured surface. First, roll out the large disk to 1/4-inch thick, it should be about 11-inches in diameter. Place the pie dough into the pie pan, and press lightly to form against the pan. It should be large enough that the dough folds right over the top. Roll out the smaller disk to 1/4-inch thick, it should be about 9-inches in diameter. Set aside.
- Add the filling into the pie pan and spread evenly.
- I like to use a pizza cutter for this next step, but a sharp knife will work as well. Cut the rolled out dough into 1-inch wide strips. Place the strips on top of the apples going horizontal leaving 1-inch between strips. Use the smaller strips towards the sides of the pie and use the longer strips for the middle. Next, add the remaining dough strips going vertical, alternating each strip over and under the horizontal ones.
- Once the lattice top is complete, crimp and fold over the edges of the dough to seal the top and bottom together. Flute the edges. Using a pastry brush, brush the dough with the French vanilla creamer.
- Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
- To make the glaze: In a small bowl, add the powdered sugar and water. Whisk to combine completely. Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the dough with the glaze.
- Store at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- High Altitude – Bake at 350°F for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
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