Apple pie: variations & 6 recipes to try

Apple pie: best variations & 6 recipes

The apple pie is one of the homemade desserts famous. A rustic recipe, soft and fragrant , tasty in its simplicity. A timeless classic , which for many of us has the flavor of childhood, of traditional homemade desserts that have remained in our hearts and that, once adults, we continued to prepare, perhaps for our children or grandchildren. Who does not remember with his smile, and with his mouth watering, his grandmother’s apple pie ?

So, discover all the secrets of this cake, from its origins to its many variations, and try the 3 recipes: without butter, gluten-free and with yogurt.

Apple pie: history and origins

Where was the apple pie born? In the United Kingdom, according to the most accredited hypothesis . The English apple pie dates back to the time of Geoffrey Chaucer: the recipe, from 1381, is the oldest known and has among its ingredients apples, figs, pears and spices, in particular saffron, used to give a golden color to the cake.

A curiosity: this first specimen did not contain sugar , probably due to its high cost or the availability of other sweeteners.

To decree the success of the apple pie, however, it was the United States , where this dessert began to spread during the colonization period becoming the emblem of the American identity with the name of apple pie .

The first written records , however, are French , by Guillaume Tirel, chef of the fourteenth century also known by the pseudonym Taillevent, who speaks of the tarte aux pommes , a cake similar to the American apple pie, but with onions stuffed in the filling.

Which variety of apples to use?

There is not a single variety of apples that can be used to prepare this cake: different types of apple can be used . Among the most popular are the Braeburn, the Gala, the Cortland, the Bramley, the Empire, the Northern Spy, the Granny Smith, the McIntosh, the Golden. Mostly, apples are added to the dough fresh , but there are also variants that provide for them dried .

Depending on the variety of apples used, the cooking time, the taste and the consistency may change a little .

The classic apple pie recipe

The original recipe is prepared with 00 flour, eggs, sugar, butter, milk, lemon, yeast and, of course, apples, cut into slices, added to the dough and distributed on the surface . They are often also used spices such as vanilla, or the ‘ vanilla extract, maybe homemade . Some recipes also include a sprinkling of powdered sugar on the surface when the cake is ready.

The classic apple pie recipe

The variants of the apple pie

There are many variations of this great classic , different depending on the geographical area in which they are prepared or designed to meet personal tastes or specific nutritional needs : to make it lighter, or to allow even those who are intolerant not to give up this cake among the most loved by young and old.

The apple pie in the world


The English variant is prepared in most cases with Bramley apples , often dried to prevent the cake from being too soft in the center, and is completely covered in dough. It can be served cold or hot, with ice cream or custard .

Dutch style

The Dutch variant is inspired by a recipe found in an ancient cookbook from 1514 , which included flavoring apples with spices such as cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves. Today it exists in two variants, a soft one (appelkruimeltaart) and a tart-style one (appeltaart). The most used apple varieties are Goudreinet or Elstar. This cake is eaten hot or cold, with vanilla cream or ice cream .

The French-style apple pie

The most famous French version is the tarte tatin , the classic inverted cake made particularly delicious by the caramel made from butter and sugar that covers the apples. But tarte aux pommes is also widespread in France : a layer of brisé pastry that encloses a soft filling of cinnamon apples.

The Swedish style

The Swedish variant is a hard apple pie , more like a tart . Often, in the dough, in place or together with flour, breadcrumbs are used , sometimes even oats . Usually this cake is flavored with cinnamon and served with ice cream or vanilla custard . There is also a version with sponge cake and slices of fresh apple.

The Swiss apple pie

It is the apple Veja typical of the Canton of Ticino , a puff pastry base with inside apples, milk, cream, sugar, eggs and cinnamon, sometimes dried fruit such as hazelnuts.

The American apple pie

The apple pie is considered a symbol of belonging to the United States , so much so that there is a saying that concerns it, ” American as apple pie “, or ” American as an apple pie “. There is even a city in New Mexico dedicated to apple pie, the Pie Town . Originally, the apples were baked in the oven and then spread over a layer of pasta similar to brisé. Subsequently, the habit of superimposing a second layer of pasta on fruit , which led to the emergence of apple pie as we all know it today, flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice.

Apple pie: the most popular reinterpretations

Alongside the interpretations that different countries have given of apple pie, there are many variations of this cake , which meet different taste or nutritional needs : they can be, for example, linked to the presence of intolerances, such as gluten and lactose or eggs, or the desire to prepare a lighter cake, as in the case of recipes without butter or sugar.

Here is a rundown of the most popular variants.

The light variants
  • apple pie without butter , typically replaced with seed oil
  • apple pie and yogurt : this variant involves adding white yogurt or Greek yogurt to the dough. Yogurt is often used as an alternative to butter, for a more genuine but equally soft result
  • water-based : particularly light and genuine variant, with a mixture based on 00 flour, water, sugar and seed oil, without butter and without eggs
  • sugar-free : the sweetness of apples allows you to completely eliminate sugar, which can alternatively be replaced with other sweeteners, such as stevia
  • wholemeal : this variant involves the use of wholemeal flour instead of the classic 00 flour, therefore it has a more rustic taste, as well as being richer in fiber and more satiating.
The recipes for intolerants
  • gluten-free : this variant can be prepared with gluten-free flours such as buckwheat flour or rice flour, which also make it suitable for coeliacs
  • with chestnut flour : if used as an alternative to wheat flour, it is another tasty gluten-free variant. Chestnut flour can also be mixed with 00 flour
  • apple pie without eggs : variant for those who are allergic or intolerant to eggs or prefer a lighter and slightly less calorie apple pie
  • without milk : a variant that does not contain milk or butter, perfect for lactose intolerant
  • with soy milk, rice milk or almond milk : a milk-free alternative for those suffering from lactose intolerance.
The gluttonous variations
  • with ricotta
  • apple pie with mascarpone
  • with dried fruit : nuts, almonds, pine nuts or sultanas can be added to the dough
  • cake with apples and custard
  • with chocolate : provides for the addition of dark chocolate flakes in the dough
  • with cocoa : instead of chocolate, bitter cocoa can be added to the apple cake doughcake with dried apples instead of fresh apples
  • with macaroons
  • with apples and pears
  • cake with apples and carrots
  • with rice and apples
  • apple pie with salted caramel
  • with brown sugar instead of white sugar
  • apple pie with maple syrup , which can be added to sugar, often in combination with cinnamon
  • with sourdough : more digestible variant , because the classic baking powder is replaced with sourdough, a natural yeast
  • apple cupcakes : the recipe is the traditional one, but changes the shape, because the dough is cooked in muffin molds, so the result is single-portion cupcakes perfect for children’s snack or to take to the office for a tasty and genuine break .

Apple pie: 6 recipes to try

Apple pie without butter
Apple pie without butter

Total calories: 2959 kcal / Calories per person: 295 kcal

Ingredients for 10 people:

  • 250 g of 00 flour
  • 140 g of thin brown sugar
  • 80 g of corn seed oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 organic lemon
  • 1 sachet of baking powder

For the apple jam

  • 300 g of apples
  • 120 g of brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • the zest of an organic lemon


Start preparing the apple jam: peel the apples and remove the core, cut them into cubes and sprinkle them with lemon juice.

Place them in a saucepan together with brown sugar and grated lemon zest, stir and cook over low heat until the apples are completely macerated and the jam has reached the right consistency: to check it, place a teaspoon of jam on a plate and let it cool for a few seconds; if it is too liquid, continue cooking, otherwise turn off the heat.

Turn on the oven at 180 ° and start preparing the apple pie. Peel and cut 2 apples into thin slices, wash carefully and slice the remaining apple with all the peel, sprinkle all the apple slices with lemon juice.

With an electric whisk, beat the eggs with brown sugar until a puffy and fluffy mixture is obtained, add the oil, then the flour, the yeast, the lemon zest and mix with a whisk until a smooth mixture is obtained and homogeneous.

Line a 24 cm mold with parchment paper, pour half of the dough, level the surface then sprinkle it with the apple jam and part of the apples cut into slices.

Cover with a few spoonfuls of dough and add the other apples, complete with the remaining dough, level the surface and decorate with the slices of apples with their peel.

Bake for about 45-50 minutes: before removing the cake from the oven, try the toothpick, it must not come out dirty with dough residues. Leave to cool before removing the cake from the mold, serve it cold.

Gluten-free apple pie with buckwheat
Gluten-free apple pie with buckwheat

Total calories: 1674 kcal / Calories per person: 279 kcal

Ingredients for 6 people:

  • 100 g of oat flakes allowed
  • 80 g of buckwheat flour allowed
  • 100 g of brown sugar
  • 100 g of apple mousse
  • 15 g of ground chia seeds allowed
  • 75 ml of water
  • 50 ml of coconut soy yogurt allowed
  • 90 ml of rice oil
  • 8 g of baking powder allowed
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder allowed
  • 2 golden apples
  • 20 g of gluten-free breadcrumbs


Preheat the oven to 180 ° C. Mix the ground chia seeds with the water in a bowl and leave to rest for 10 minutes, until they reach a gelatinous consistency. Mix the chia seeds with the apple mousse and soy yogurt. Chop the oat flakes in a mixer until obtaining a sort of flour. Pour the buckwheat flour, brown sugar, baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl.

Add the liquid mixture and 80 ml of rice oil. Mix well until a thick dough is obtained. Take the pan for cooking, grease it with a drizzle of rice oil and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs. Spread the dough into the pan. Cut the apples into wedges after removing the core and put them in the dough.

Bake for 30 minutes in a preheated oven at 180 ° C. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before serving.

Apple pie light
Apple pie light

Total calories: 2322 kcal / Calories per serving: 290 kcal

Ingredients for 6 people:

For the dough

  • 350 g of 00 flour
  • 160 g of water
  • 50 g of corn seed oil
  • 1 pinch of salt

For the stuffing

  • 750 g of apples net of waste
  • 80 g of brown sugar
  • cinnamon to taste
  • 2 lemons (zest and juice)


Start preparing the brisé in a light version: put the flour, water, oil and a pinch of salt in a bowl, knead with your hands until you obtain a smooth and homogeneous dough, wrap it with cling film and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. combine the zest and lemon juice, cinnamon and brown sugar,

In the meantime, prepare the filling: peel the apples and cut them into cubes, add the zest and lemon juice, cinnamon and brown sugar,

Stir to mix everything, put in a saucepan and cook over low heat for about 30 minutes, then let the filling cool. Turn on the oven at 190 °.

Take the shortcrust pastry out of the refrigerator and divide it into two equal parts

Roll out the first piece of dough with a rolling pin over a sheet of parchment paper, trying to make a circle about 5 mm thick.

Place the layer of parchment paper and the layer of shortcrust pastry in a tart mold of about 24-26 cm in diameter.

Fill with the apple mixture, now cooled.

Roll out the other piece of dough to form another 5mm thick circle, use it to cover the apple layer, remove the excess dough, and seal the edges of the top and bottom dough disc together, pressing with the fingers to create grooves.

With a sharp knife, create 4 cuts not far from the center of the pie, so as to let the steam out during cooking.

Bake the pie and cook for 20 minutes or until it is golden brown. Serve cold or warm.

Tart tatin light
Tart tatin light

The tart tatin apple is a sweet of French culinary tradition also known as upside-down apple tart, a tart on a base of pasta brisa light , ideal to be eaten as a snack accompanied by a tea or a coffee. The recipe we offer is lighter than the original French recipe because the brisè does not include butter , but only seed oil.

Total calories: 1711 kcal / Calories per person: 213 kcal

Ingredients for 6 people:

For the light brisé

  • 200 g of flour
  • 100 g of cold water
  • 30 g of corn seed oil
  • 1 pinch of salt

For the filling

  • 4 apples
  • 100 g of sugar
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • water to taste


Start making the brisé: place the flour, water, oil and a pinch of salt in a bowl

Knead with your hands until you get a smooth and homogeneous dough, wrap it with cling film and leave it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180 °. In the meantime, peel the apples and cut them into wedges, removing the core, sprinkle them with a little lemon juice.

Sprinkle a 24-26 cm mold with a little oil and cover with parchment paper. Roll out the brisè so as to obtain a disc with a uniform thickness and a diameter slightly larger than that of the used baking tray.

In a saucepan, heat the sugar with a little water until an amber caramel is obtained

Carefully pour it into the mold

Add the apple wedges, with the private part of the core upwards

Cover the apples with the circle of brisè, push the edges towards the bottom of the mold.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the cake is golden brown. Turn the cake over on a serving plate and leave to cool before serving.

Apple and nut tart
Apple pie: best variations & 6 recipes 1

Total calories: 2340 kcal / Calories per person: 195 kcal

Ingredients for 12 people:

For a 22 cm mold

  • 250 g of spelled flour
  • 60 g of sugar
  • 60 ml of corn seed oil
  • 100 ml of water
  • zest of 2 organic lemons

For the stuffing

  • 200 g of apples
  • 50 g of 100 & fruit compote or sugar-free jam
  • 1 lemon (the juice)
  • 100 g of walnut kernels


Preheat the oven to 180 °. Place the flour in a large bowl with the lemon zest.

Add the sugar, then pour the oil and water in the center, mix with a spoon until a smooth and homogeneous mixture is obtained.

Brush a 22 cm diameter hinge tart mold with oil, then sprinkle it with flour.

Distribute the dough evenly in the mold. Store in the fridge and in the meantime prepare the filling.

Wash the apples and dry them, cut them into thin slices, then sprinkle them with lemon juice. Take the tart from the refrigerator, fill it with fruit compote or jam, leaving aside a couple of teaspoons.

Cover the jam layer with the chopped walnuts, then with the apples. Brush the apples and walnuts on the surface with the remaining jam.

Bake for 40 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.

Leave to cool and remove the tart from the mold. Serve cold.

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