Naked Apple-Vanilla Pie: Go crustless or go home

Even those of us who like to make pie crusts don’t always want to make pie crust. Some days I just want to make a nice bowl of filling, cook that up and eat it with the ice cream topping it was born to uphold. After all, when I make a pie at home, I usually end up giving my outer rim of crust to my husband because he loves it so much more than I do. Yep, I can live without crust.

Several years ago, I came across a couple of references to naked pies. Essentially they are the best parts of the filling held together with a very loose cookie dough type batter. They are quite different from the “miracle” pies that Bisquick made so popular in that the fruit is the star. No heaviness or denseness here, just sweetness and a little crackle around the edges.

Clafouti is pretty close but has a much more eggy batter, like a popover. The concept is the same though. More fruit, less crust. Of course, if you are a crust fiend you don’t have to read any further, you can happily go back to cutting in your butter. We don’t judge. But if you want to try something a little different, let’s make a naked pie.

I’ve made both a naked apple pie and a naked cherry pie. The “batter” stays the same, only the fruit changes. Only use fresh apples or cherries, not canned or dried. That would really change the outcome of the pie. If the cherries have been frozen, be sure to drain them well and pat them dry before using.

Also, this apple pie differs from traditional apple pie in that there are no brown spices in it. No cinnamon, no allspice or clove. Just vanilla. The vanilla makes the pie just different enough so that it doesn’t feel like the same old thing, but is also familiar enough to be part of your comfort food line-up.

So, toss on your favorite baking clothes and let’s make Naked Apple-Vanilla Pie.

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Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9″ pie pan. In a large bowl combine:

2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, light or dark
1/8 teaspoon salt

Whisk until the mixture is well combined and smooth.

Add in 1/2 cup of King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour and 1 teaspoon baking powder, whisking until lump-free.

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Use a spatula to fold in:

3 medium apples, peeled and sliced 1/8″ thick
3/4 cup chopped nuts, toasted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Fold until all of the apple slices are coated. There will still be a little batter left in the bottom of the bowl, that’s okay.

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Scrape/pour the filling into the prepared pan and pour any leftover batter over the apples.

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Bake the pie for 30 to 35 minutes until a knife tip inserted into the center of the pie comes out clean. The toothpick test won’t work here, you really need something a bit thicker.

As you can see, this pie still needs a little more baking time.   DSCN1221

When the pie is done, the edges will be deep brown, the apple tips will be well browned and the center will be well browned, not pale. Think giant chocolate chip cookie, darker at the edges, but browned all over.

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Serve large, warm slices of pie drizzled with heavy cream or topped with ice cream. The apple and vanilla pair to make a sweet, but not too sweet filling while the nuts bring a little crunch to the party. You still get a bit of brown sugar cookie type crust around the edges, but this pie is truly heaven for those who love filling more than crust.

I didn’t have time to test this recipe out as gluten free, but I think it could work quite easily. The apples provide most of the structure, so swapping out our Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour and perhaps 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum should work out just fine. If you do give it a try, please let us know how it goes.

So, go forth my fellow crust-less bakers and fill up on fruit filling. Dare to eat bare!

Please bake, rate and review our recipe for Naked Apple-Vanilla Pie

Print just the recipe

 

MaryJane Robbins
About

MaryJane Robbins grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Vermont 20 years ago. After teaching young children for 15 years, she changed careers and joined King Arthur Flour in 2005. MaryJane began working on King Arthur Flour's baker’s hotline in 2006, and the blog team ...

comments

  1. Andrea

    If this question seems dumb sorry! I dont bake often. Should I spray the baking dish with Pam or something? Will it turn out good if I omit the nuts?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      No silly questions, Andrea! This particular recipe does call for you to lightly grease your pie pan with pan spray. No nuts — no problem. Happy baking! Annabelle@KAF

  2. Rene

    Tried this last night. Followed the recipe, added about 1/4 t of maple extract. Came out of the oven well browned all over, slightly crisp at the edges. Within half an hour it was soggy all through except the nuts. Thought it was supposed to have a crumbly, baked cookie type texture surrounding the apples, help….? Oven is calibrated, ingredients were weighed and at room temperature.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      This pie really will not retain a crisp texture very long due to the moisture in the apples. It will be crisp if eaten when it is taken out of the oven, but it will have more of a chewy, cake like texture once it cools. Jon@KAF

  3. Shirley

    I tried this and I loved it.
    I’m thinking of cutting back on the sugar it was a tad bit to sweet. I’m going to cut the sugar in half and see how it taste. Wish me luck

    Reply
  4. Sue

    I made this today and it was very good. It did not look anything like the picture(which looks like it has a crust). There was no form to it and we basically scooped it out of the pan with a spoon. But at least it tasted good.=!

    Reply
    1. Amy Trage

      I’m sorry this didn’t work out for you. Did you make any ingredient substitutions or changes to the recipe? ~Amy

  5. Mary Ellen

    Just read some of the comments on the recipe page. Apparently, the definition of “dairy” still alludes some people… 😉

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We are happy to clear up any confusion! I think the older nutritional pyramids confused a lot of people. The eggs were with the dairy, so odd! Jon@KAF

  6. Mary Ellen Riley

    I don’t care for crust either! We make the smooth and spicy KAF pumpkin pie ALL the time with 0% evaporated milk and no crust. Just shorten the baking time and you have a lower calorie, but very tasty, pumpkin pie dessert.

    Reply
  7. cwcdesign

    I made this the other night for my son who loves apples but doesn’t like fruit pies or cobblers. I didn’t have any nuts and used vanilla bean paste. He loved it! But we both agree there is too much sugar and based on the comments I had already backed off 3/4 oz of brown sugar and a wee bit of white. Will definitely use even less WHEN I make it again. Nice to have a dessert ready in about 10 minutes without having to mess up the mixer!

    Reply

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