Crustless Apple Pie — Sometimes called Swedish apple pie, this EASY recipe for apple pie without a traditional pie crust is a FAST, foolproof, no-mixer recipe! It’s loaded with cinnamon-spiced apples in every bite, dense, chewy, hearty, and is next level when topped with ice cream and salted caramel sauce!
Table of Contents
- Apple Pie … Without a Crust!
- Ingredients in Crustless Apple Pie
- How to Make Crustless Apple Pie
- What Kind of Apples Are Best for Baking?
- What Are the Best Spices for Apple Pie?
- Toppings for Crustless Apple Pie
- How to Store Leftover Apple Pie
- Recipe FAQs
- Tips for the Best Crustless Apple Pie
- Crustless Apple Pie Recipe
- More Easy Apple Dessert Recipes:
Apple Pie … Without a Crust!
If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you’ll know that I really don’t like complicated and fussy desserts. And I especially don’t like making pie crust, no matter how easy it is!
Therefore, I’ve developed quite a collection of pies that are crustless. Meaning, there’s no separate crust to make, roll out, pre-bake, or deal with. The filling and the crust bake as one!
I didn’t have a crustless apple pie so decided to make one! You’re going to love how easy this “apple pie” is! It’s a fast, foolproof, no-mixer recipe which is great for you, the pastry chef.
Every bite of the apple pie is chock full of tender, juicy, cinnamon-spiced apples with a chewy, dense topping layer. This could be called a “crust” I suppose, but it’s definitely nothing like traditional pie crust.
It’s thicker, denser, and chewier, more like the the topping you’d find on an Apple Crisp. If you love texture, this is your dessert!
What I came to find out is that my idea of a crustless apple pie is what others sometimes call a Swedish apple pie. In many recipes that are termed “Swedish apple pie” recipes, nuts are often incorporated.
However, there are no nuts in my version because my family doesn’t prefer nuts in their desserts generally speaking.
Tip: If you want to add nuts, check out my FAQs below about how to incorporate them. Very easy and no problem.
It’s also a bit different than my Apple Cobbler, which is also awesome, but that apple dessert has a biscuit dough topping which is different than the topping on this dessert.
Ingredients in Crustless Apple Pie
To make this easy no-crust apple pie recipe, you’ll need the following common and inexpensive fridge and pantry ingredients:
- Green apples (Granny Smith or similar)
- Red apples (Pink Lady, Braeburn, Fuji, or similar)
- Lemon juice
- Granulated sugar
- All-purpose flour
- Ground cloves, optional
- Large egg
- Melted unsalted butter
Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.
How to Make Crustless Apple Pie
Making a crustless apple pie is a cinch. You don’t even need a mixer!
Follow these straightforward directions.
Step 1: Peel and thinly slice the apples.
Step 2: Toss the apples with granulated sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, and place them in a sprayed 9-inch pie plate.
Step 3: To a large mixing bowl, add the flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, optional cloves, and whisk to combine.
Step 4: Add an egg, melted butter, and use a rubber spatula to combine. This mixture is very thick which is just fine!
Step 5: Evenly turn the batter out over the apples.
Step 6: Evenly sprinkle the top with granulated sugar, cinnamon, and bake for about 55 minutes.
Step 7: Cool completely before serving plain or with our favorite topping!
What Kind of Apples Are Best for Baking?
The general rule of thumb for baking when apples are involved – whether it’s an Apple Pie, Apple Pie Bread, or Apple Zucchini Bread – is to use mostly or all green apples. And a much smaller amount of red apples.
You want about 3 cups of thinly sliced, peeled apples total.
- Green Apples — Granny Smith is the obvious choice. Green apples are more tart than red, but they are also very firm, which is important when baking with apples so they don’t turn to total mush.
- Red Apples — Firm red apples such as Pink Lady, Braeburn, Fuji, Honeycrisp, or similar. Do not use something like a Red Delicious which is too mushy and mealy.
In this no-crust apple pie, I used 3 green Granny Smith apples + 1 red Pink Lady apple. You could also do 2 green + 2 red apples if you like, or just use all green apples.
What Are the Best Spices for Apple Pie?
Cinnamon – Used to both toss with the apples and lemon juice, and in the batter, cinnamon is a key ingredient in this apple pie without a crust, used twice.
I err on the side of more rather than less when it comes to cinnamon in baked goods, especially when it comes to apple desserts or pumpkin desserts. It makes everything taste warm and cozy. However, you can reduce it to taste if you’re very sensitive to cinnamon.
Cloves – Ground cloves are one of my favorite warming spices. I adore adding a generous shake but if you don’t have any on hand or are sensitive to the flavor, you can omit cloves.
Nutmeg – If you’re a fan, add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon. And if not, like cloves, don’t worry about it and omit.
Apple Pie Spice – This is really just a mixture of all of the above spices, and you can use it in place of the aforementioned in the batter. However, I would still add the cinnamon to toss the apples.
Toppings for Crustless Apple Pie
Apple pie, or in this case no-crust apple pie, is great on its own but even better with some toppings.
Here are my serving suggestions:
- Vanilla ice cream, vanilla bean ice cream, or any ice cream you adore.
- Cool Whip or whipped topping. I use lite or fat free, and the store brand, and no one knows the difference.
- Whipped cream from a can. Everyone loves the spray nozzle!
- Homemade whipped cream
- Caramel sauce, caramel ice cream sundae topping, salted caramel (Trader Joe’s is excellent), or Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce.
How to Store Leftover Apple Pie
I don’t think you’re going to have any problems with this crust-free apple pie “lingering” around your house.
However, leftover pie will keep airtight at room temp for up to 5 days. I suppose you could freeze it for up to 3 months, although I haven’t ever needed to.
Do not store it in the refrigerator which will only serve to dry out and harden the crust and suck all the moisture out of the apples. On the counter is where it belongs.
If you’re paying attention to the recipe, you’ll notice you use granulated sugar three times in this recipe (more on that in the Tips below). However, despite that, I do not recommend reducing the sugar. The pie will taste too tart in my opinion if you reduce the sugar because green apples are quite tart.
I think it would be fine for the 1 cup of granulated sugar in the batter portion of the recipe to use up to about 1/4 to 1/3 cup brown sugar in place of the granulated sugar. Therefore, you’ll use about 2/3 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar.
I do not suggest replacing all of the sugar because that would change the texture, flavor, and consistency of the batter and subsequent final taste and texture.
Yes, I recommend using peeled apples. You probably can get away with not peeling them but you’ll be contending with apple skins in the baked Swedish apple pie.
After you’ve used a paring knife to peel the apples, I slice them into very thin slices, about 1/8-inch thick. Keeping all the apples thinly sliced and of uniform thickness helps ensure that they cook through and soften properly during the baking process and that the pie baked uniformly.
I recommend a 9-inch round pie dish. Any smaller and it will overflow, and any larger and the finished pie will seem skimpy or a little “short”. However, if you don’t have a 9-inch round pie plate, a square 9×9-inch baking pan will work.
Yes, you most certainly can double the recipe. If doing so, I recommend baking in two 9-inch round baking dishes. Another option is baking in one 9×13-inch pan. Your “pie” won’t look very traditional baked as a rectangle but will taste fine.
You may need to add 5 to 10 minutes to the overall baking time in whatever way you choose to bake it, but maybe not. Keep an eye on your own crustless pies and see how they look.
If you want to add chopped walnuts or pecans, feel free. I recommend adding about 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts (toast them if you prefer) after the batter has come together. Stir them in at the end.
If you plan to add nuts, scale back the flour measurement from 1 cup to 3/4 cup to account for the nuts so the batter doesn’t get overly thick and dense.
Tips for the Best Crustless Apple Pie
Granulated Sugar – You use granulated sugar three times in this easy crustless apple pie recipe.
- Two tablespoons mixed with the apple juice
- One cup mixed with the flour and other ingredients to form the batter
- One tablespoon sprinkled over the top of the pie before baking.
Just make sure you’re aware and that you don’t accidentally shortchange the sugar.
Want to reduce the sugar? Get my thoughts on that above in the FAQ section.
Spreading the Batter Over the Apples – The batter is very dense and thick. This is by design because the apples will release their natural juices during baking which thins out this batter during the baking process, so you want it on the thicker side to start out with.
But because it is thick, it’s difficult to “spread” over the apples in the pie dish.
I find it easiest to take about 1/4 of the batter mixture in my hand, press it over the top of 1/4 of the surface area of the apples in the pie dish, and then repeat; until the batter is used and the apples are covered.
Smoosh it together as best you can and it will even out in the baking process.
Leave a bare perimeter of about 1/2-inch from the edge of the pie dish so that the batter doesn’t stick or burn.
Watch Your Dessert, Not The Clock – In any type of fruit-based dessert (or vegetable such as Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread which is out of this world), there will be variation and variance in the amount of baking time required. My baking time estimate is about 55 minutes.
However, your crustless apple pie may be done in as little as 45 minutes or as long at 65 minutes depending on your apples, oven, climate, pan, and overall variances.
Always judge doneness by how your dessert looks to you, and if it is done or not, and do not take what’s written in a recipe card as the final word. Therefore check early, but be prepared to leave it for awhile longer to bake.
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Crustless Apple Pie
- 3 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples*
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 to 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves, optional and to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, optional and to taste
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or to taste
- ½ to 1 teaspoon almond extract, optional; or to taste
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Apples – To a medium bowl, add the sliced apples, evenly sprinkle the sugar, cinnamon, and toss very well to combine with a rubber spatula.
- Spray a 9-inch round pie dish very well with cooking spray and transfer the apple mixture into the pie dish, smoothing and evening out any apples that are jetting up so you have a relatively flat layer of apples, although it doesn't need to be perfect; set aside.
- Batter – To a large mixing bowl, add the 1 cup granulated sugar, flour, salt, optional cloves/nutmeg, and whisk to combine.
- Add the egg, melted butter (Tip – make sure it's not scalding hot or you will scramble the egg and have to start over), vanilla, optional almond extract, and using a large rubber spatula, fold the mixture together. Tips – Try not to overmix and overstir which over develops the gluten and makes the finished dessert tougher. This is a very dense and thick mixture, don't be alarmed.
- Turn the batter out over the apples in the pie dish. Tips – I find it easiest to take about 1/4 of the batter mixture in my hand, press it over the top of 1/4 of the surface area of the apples in the pie dish, and then repeat; until the batter is used and the apples are covered. Smoosh it together as best you can and it will even out in the baking process. Leave a bare perimeter of about 1/2-inch from the edge of the pie dish so that the batter doesn't stick or burn.
- Topping – Evenly sprinkle the batter layer with 1 tablespoon additional granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
- Bake for about 55 minutes. Start checking at 45 minutes, but don't be surprised if your dessert takes up to 65 or 70 minutes to cook through. Crustless Apple Pie is done when the batter or dough on the top is done, set, and lightly golden brown. If in doubt, insert a toothpick into the interior of it, which should come out clean. Additionally, you should see the faint bubbling of apple juices and cinnamon around the periphery of your baking dish, another signal it's likely done.
- Allow apple pie to cool in the baking dish for about 30 minutes, or until desired, before serving. Serving suggestions include vanilla (bean) ice cream, Cool Whip or whipped topping, caramel or Salted Caramel Sauce. Extra apple pie will keep airight at room temp for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. I do not recommend storing it in the fridge because it will dry out and harden.
- Adapted from my own Crustless Pie Recipes
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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