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This crisp, flaky apple pie pastry braid is ready in under 30 minutes, and great for anyone to make.
Baked goods are great in any season, for any occasion, and because there are so many different options, the possibilities for creativity are seemingly endless. One thing that I love about baked goods is that personalization is extremely easy. Being a vegetarian and egg free family, traditional store-bought bakery items are almost always out for us, so birthday cakes, breads, and pastries at my house are made from scratch using alternative ingredients. I love coming up with fun new twists on classic recipes, and today I have a fun vegan puff pastry braid that (I think) is better than the original version. Check out the full how-to below, and be sure to watch my recipe video at the end of this post!
This pastry braid is soft, fluffy, and full of rich flaky layers without being heavy or greasy. It is completely vegan, and delicious enough that nobody would ever know! You will get around 6 servings from it, and the entire process will take less than 30 minutes. Here is what you need:
- 2 cups flour
- 2/3 cup coconut oil – soft but not melted
- 1/3-1/2 cup ice water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 large apple – peeled diced
- 1/2 cup dairy free cream cheese
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
The thing that sets this recipe apart is that it uses coconut oil instead of butter, which adds a lightness to the dough and a hint of coconut flavor that I think really elevates it. Coconut oil is a staple for my kitchen, and I always have a bottle of it in my cupboard. It is one of the most versatile cooking oils out there, and since it gives my dishes a fresh taste without being heavy or overpowering, I use it in almost all of my cooking. My brand of choice is LouAna, who has been making cooking oils for over 120 years now! They are the top selling coconut oil brand around, and they also offer a full range of high quality products including vegetable, peanut and avocado oils. Want to know a fun fact? Coconut oil isn’t just for the kitchen! You can also use it in health and beauty routines such as toothpaste, face wash, hair masks, and so much more. It is a truly versatile product that I always make sure to keep around.
Moving on to the recipe, the first thing you will do is prepare your apples and cheese filling. Peel and dice your apples, and toss them in a bowl with cinnamon and a little lime juice. To mix your cheese, combine dairy free cream cheese with 2 tbsp coconut sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Stir well, and set aside.
To make your pastry, cut in your coconut oil with a pastry cutter and blend until you have a mealy, crumbly texture. After that, the final step in making your dough is to pour in your cold water and knead with your hands until you have a smooth, easily workable ball.
Transfer your dough ball to a floured surface, and roll out to a large, thin sheet. Cut off rough edges with a sharp knife to make a rectangular shape that you can fold into thirds.
Once rolled out, spread cheese mixture in a line on the middle third of your rectangle, leaving 1/2-1 inch clear on both ends, and top with apples. With a sharp knife, cut into your dough as shown in the photo below.
To “braid” your pastry, fold up both ends, and then starting from the bottom, criss-cross your pieces tightly all the way up, tucking in the final piece so it is concealed. I know that reading it is a little difficult to follow, so be sure to check out the video below. Once your pastry is braided, brush all over the top with melted coconut oil and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until fluffy and golden.
Once fully cooked, let it cool for 5 minutes, cut into equal slices, and serve!
This is one of my favorite pastry recipes, and I love how easy it is! You can substitute all different kinds of fruit for the filling – mixed berry, peach, and more. You can find LouAna coconut oil in your local Publix, and be sure to check out more great recipes here!