You won’t believe how perfectly golden, flaky, and buttery this gluten-free pie crust is. Packed full of warm caramelized apples and spices, this apple pie recipe an irresistible dessert!
Growing up, every family gathering during the months of September to January included my grandmother’s apple pie. I would help her pick and peel the apples, she would bake. She made rolling out the crust look like a breeze.
And when it came out of the oven it was always perfectly browned, with flaky layers made possible from a heavy dose of butter. The top glistened with sugar and a little egg wash, a caramelized glaze stuck to the sides from the juices that escaped.
The best apple pies are made from firm apples that won’t disintegrate from the long baking time, and have a balance of tart and sweet flavors.
For this recipe, I used SnowSweet apples from my favorite local orchard, but other good varieties are:
Pie crusts can be intimidating even though they’re made from just a few ingredients. Getting them to roll out evenly, not fall apart, turn out buttery & flaky – there’s a lot of components. Then throw gluten-free into the mix and it can seem even more difficult.
I’ve made gluten-free rhubarb hand pies, which certainly helped me get over some of my fears, but its not the same as making a whole pie. Armed with a little research and the gluten-free flour blend that never lets me down, Cup4Cup, I set out to conquer an all-butter crust complete with a lattice crust. I used their Whole Grain Blend, which gives it great color & texture, making for one gorgeously browned crust.
This gluten-free pie crust is flaky, tender, and flavorful. It stands up to the leisurely bake, while giving the highly stacked apples a tenderness, with jammy pockets of their own juices.
Tips For Making Great Gluten-Free Pie Crust:
1. More whole grains in this flour blend means more fiber. Fiber acts as an absorbent, so you’ll always need a little more liquid or fat when baking with it. For this pie crust, I used honey and a little more water than what you would typically use.
2. Leverage is key for rolling out the dough. Even though I’m quite tall, it helped immensely when I got on a stepping stool and was able to take control of the crust.
3. Gluten-free dough is stickier, so always line your counter with saran wrap, dust it with flour. Then put your dough on top of it, followed by another sprinkle of flour, followed by saran wrap. Then you’ll be able to roll it just like your grandmother did.
4. I know you’ve heard it before, but all crust ingredients should be ICE cold. This helps the butter stay firm so those fats can expand and create air bubbles when baked, which is where the flakiness comes from. Also, use the refrigerator and freezer to your advantage when working with the raw crust. When it’s cold, its much easier to work with.
5. Don’t mix your fruit (apples in this case) with sugar & cornstarch too far in advance of filling the crust. Since sugar pulls out the liquid in fruit, you will end up with too much water, resulting in a soggy crust.
(1 stick + 6 tablespoons) very cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2cup+ 3 tablespoons ice cold water
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Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Make pie crust: Add flour, honey and salt to food processor. Pulse a couple of times to blend. Then add cold butter and pulse until most of the butter is the size of peas. It’s okay if you see a few larger chunks.
Remove food processor base and stir water in by hand (I like to save on dishes so I don’t use another bowl, but you could). Dump the scraggly dough onto your counter and work in together with your hands to form a tight circle.
Put bottom crust into your pie plate and set in refrigerator.
Cut peeled apples into thin wedges and put into a large bowl. Stir in lemon juice. In a small bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cornstarch and minced sage. Add this mixture to the bowl of apples and stir to coat. Dump into pie plate with bottom crust. Top apples with the lattice strips that you have made, following instructions linked to above.
Bake pie on the bottom rack for 7 minutes, then move to the middle rack, placing pie on a metal baking sheet to catch spills. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for additional 40 minutes or until juices are bubbling and crust is nicely browned. Then remove from oven and let rest for 1 hour on a wire rack. (About midway through baking, put a foil lining around the edges of the crust to ensure that it does not burn.) Remove at this point.
If you want the crispy sage for a pretty garnish, heat about ½ inch of oil in a small pan over medium high heat. Add fresh sage leaves and fry until crispy, about 3 minutes.
Pie will keep for 3 days at room temperature (do not refrigerate or will turn soggy) or you can freeze it.