Apples, the quintessential American fruit: the story of Johnny Chapman Appleseed is still taught in schools and apples are a favorite fruit of elementary age students. Not surprising, as a just picked, ripe apple is a crunchy sweet treat. Just walk through an apple orchard in autumn: the delicious scent in the air will cause you to purchase more apples than planned for. An apple pie in the oven always delightfully scents the house for hours, acting like a magnet for children and all men of your acquaintance!
I put this pie together in a few steps; make the crust dough; put it in fridge to chill while I peel, slice and cut up the apples. I also throw together the crumbs before rolling out the pie; you don’t need to rinse the mixer bowl from the crust then. If you plan to prebake your crust those ten minutes of baking the empty pie crust are also a good time for making the crumbs and preparing the apples too! Each step is fairly easy but the results are spectacular. Of course, you could buy a readymade unbaked crust but this crust I use is really tasty: my mom still (after well over 3 years of me baking gf) doesn’t believe it is gluten free! I really don’t know how to convince her as she is unable to come watch me bake a pie but this disbelief of hers is proof of the great flavor and texture of this particular basic gf pie crust.
It goes without saying that this pie is great with a slice of vanilla ice cream. Winter is still a good time for an apple pie but by spring the apples are iffy and I stop baking pies with them. Be seasonal whenever possible when it comes to fruits and you will get the best flavor and taste in your fruit based desserts.
Apple Crumb Pie
1 c plus 2 tbsp brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe)
2 tbsp sweet rice flour
1 Tbps. granulated sugar
½ tsp xanthan gum
¼ tsp salt
6 Tbps. cold butter cut into 6 chunks
1 lg egg
2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice
Directions: Spray a nine inch pie pan with cooking spray, dust with white rice flour. Set aside.
Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer. Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal. Add egg and juice. Mix until it comes together into big chunks. Shape into a ball with your hands. Put it on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust ball some; put on top of it another piece of wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes.
Roll out the flattened ball into a pie crust in a pie bag or between the two sheets of wax paper, try to get the thickness even, no thick middle! Peel off one side of paper and place in the pie pan, be sure to center it. Remove other slice of wax paper. Crimp edges all around.
6-8 medium-large sized apples, I like a mixture of yellow delicious and at least one other cooking variety; red Rome, Jonathan, empire, Courtland, or any tart apple you like to bake with.
Peel apples, quarter, cut out core, slice into 1/3 inch thick slices. Mix in a large bowl with:
¼ cup brown sugar
3-5 tbsp. granulated sugar (3= tart, 5 if you like it sweet)
1 tbsp. minute tapioca
1 tsp. cinnamon
A good sprinkle of ground nutmeg
A small sprinkle of ground ginger
1 tbsp lemon juice
Heap in pie crust.
Put all four ingredients in the same mixing bowl you made the bottom crust in and mix well with mixer paddle until crumbs form.
¾ c brown rice flour mix
½ c sugar
½ tsp xanthan gum
1/3 c cold butter cut into six chunks
More directions: Sprinkle the top of the pie with crumb mix; use as much as you like. I like about 2/3 of the mixture. Up to your personal taste… Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 55-60 minutes until bubbly and the crust is light brown. You can cover the pie loosely with aluminum foil for the first 30 minutes. I have a bottom heat oven so my crust gets crisp but if you have issues with soggy bottom crusts; prebake your crust for 10 minutes; then fill and bake immediately.
Cool the pie at least 2 to 4 hours before serving at room temperature.
Brown Rice Flour Mix
2 c brown rice flour
2/3 c potato starch
1/3 c tapioca flour
The crust and crumbs are from Annalise Roberts’ great cookbook: Gluten-Free Baking Classics. My filling is slightly different.
Originally posted February 2015.