This gluten free apple pie is the real deal – with a flaky, buttery gluten free pie crust and a delicious apple pie filling with a kick of cinnamon and an underlying tone of caramel. Where does the caramel come in? Read on, and you’ll find out. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed! The perfect fall dessert recipe, super easy to make… and even easier to eat.
I need to go into pie rehab. Yes, this is my third pie recipe in a row. And a few more are coming in the next few weeks. Is it too much? Pfft, of course not! There can never be too much pie. It’s just not a thing.
Why the sudden piemania? Because ever since I’ve discovered the wonders of super simple, flaky, buttery, delicious gluten free pie crust, I can’t stop thinking about it. Do I have issues? Maybe. But they’re the yummy kind of issues, so I’m OK with it.
And you will be (more than) OK with it once you’ve made and tasted the awesomeness that is this gluten free apple pie. Because holy cow, it’s finger-lickingly delicious. The gluten free pie crust is flaky and buttery and I could totally eat it on its own – but in combination with slightly tart apples, sugar and almost-too-much-but-actually-just-the-right-amount of cinnamon… Mind. Blown.
There is nothing average or meh about this gluten free apple pie. It means business.
Just look at the filling! Oh, you think it’s just apples, lemon juice, sugar and some spices thrown together? How dare you?! This pie is so much better than that!
You see, once mixed, the filling is put into a strainer above a bowl, and all those lovely aromatic juices are allowed to drip drip drip into the bowl. No soggy bottoms here! After about an hour, the juices are combined with a pat of butter in a saucepan and cooked until caramelised and syrupy and heavenly. Your kitchen will smell amazing, trust me.
Then – and only then – is the filling transferred into the pie, the caramelised deliciousness drizzled evenly on top and the lattice masterfully arranged on top. And if the lattice turns out a bit wonky? That was totally on purpose; rustic charm and all that. Peeps, let nobody rain on your pie parade.
Apple pie is fall in edible form. We all know that. But, honestly, I could eat this gluten free apple pie all year round. And I might… if there weren’t a bazillion other pies to make and eat. Stay tuned, this pie rollercoaster will be a sight to behold. But be warned: the likelihood of drooling has just increased exponentially.
Gluten Free Apple Pie
For gluten free pie crust:
- 1 cup cold water
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups (250 g) plain gluten free flour blend (I've used a simple store-bought blend of rice, potato and maize flour with no added xanthan gum)
- 1/2 cup (50 g) coconut flour
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp (25 g) caster sugar
- 1 3/4 sticks (200 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into ~1/2 inch cubes
For apple pie filling:
- 4 medium (600 g, 1.3 lb) apples, peeled, cored and sliced into ~3 mm thick slices (I used Bramley apples, but any other slightly tart apple variety will work)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup (50 g) caster sugar
- 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp (10 g) unsalted butter
- 1/2 tbsp cornstarch or other thickener of choice – you can use gluten free flour
You will also need:
- 1 egg, lightly whisked (or 3 tbsp of dairy or non-dairy milk for an egg-free option) – for egg wash
- 1 tbsp caster sugar – for sprinkling before baking
- round pie baking dish (for this recipe I used a pie baking dish 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter)
For gluten free pie crust:
- In a cup, mix together cold water and apple cider vinegar, and place them into the freezer until needed.
- Sift together gluten free flour, coconut flour, xanthan gum, salt and caster sugar.
- Add the butter and toss it in the flour until all butter pieces are covered with it.
- Using your hands, pinch together the butter pieces and flour until you get a mix of fine pea-size pieces and larger, ~1/3 inch size pieces.
- Add the ice cold water-vinegar mixture, 2 tbsp at a time, and mix the pie dough with a fork until it comes together. You will need 12 – 14 tbsp of water.
The dough at the end should be slightly more damp/wet than typical pie crust because gluten free flour tends to absorb more moisture during baking, so we want to counteract that.
- Divide the pie dough into two halves, and shape each half into a disc (if needed, knead it slightly – but don't overwork it!), wrap it into cling film and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
For apple pie filling:
- In a bowl, mix together the sliced apples, lemon juice, caster sugar, spices and salt.
- Mix well and place into a strainer above a bowl. Allow the excess liquid from the filling to drip into the bowl for at least 1 hour.
- Transfer the drained liquid into a small saucepan and add the butter. Cook on medium-high heat until caramelised and syrupy (about 5 minutes). Set aside.
- Sprinkle the cornstarch on top of the pie filling and toss everything together until the cornstarch is evenly distributed.
Assembling the apple pie:
- Get an 8-inch round pie dish ready to have on hand.
Remove one pie dough disc from the fridge and roll it out into a roughly circular shape about 3 mm thick. The pie dough circle should be at least 2 1/2 - 3 inches larger than the pie dish.
Transfer the rolled out pie dough into the pie dish, and shape it so that it's snug against the pie dish sides. Leave a bit of pie dough hanging over the edge – this will be used for crimping later.
Transfer the apple pie filling into the pie dish. Drizzle the caramelised syrup evenly on top of the filling. If the syrup has thickened up too much, reheat it briefly until runny.
Roll out the other pie dough disc and use it to form a lattice or a pie crust lid on top of the filling.
Crimp the edges, or (alternatively) cut away the excess pie dough and decorate the edges with a fork.
Freeze the prepared pie for 15 to 30 minutes. This sets the butter and ensures that the pie keeps its shape in the oven.
While the pie is freezing, pre-heat the oven to 390 ºF (200 ºC) with a baking sheet inside.
Just before baking, brush the pie crust lattice or lid with the egg wash (or milk for an egg-free version) and sprinkle lightly with caster sugar.
Bake the pie in the pre-heated oven at 200 ºC (390 ºF) for 15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 190 ºC (375 ºF) and bake for a further 25 minutes, or until golden on top.
The edges will start browning quicker – when they are a dark golden brown colour, cover them with aluminium foil. (Take a square of aluminium foil that is slightly larger than the pie dish diameter and cut a circle with a diameter that is ~3/4 that of the pie dish).
- Allow to cool and enjoy! (Or eat it warm, with a scoop of ice cream on top – YUM!)
- The gluten free apple pie keeps well covered in cling film in a cool, dry place for about 3 days (but that's only wishful thinking).
Looking for more gluten free pie inspiration? I’ve got you covered!