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) gluten free flour
- 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 14 – 16 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.
- Shape the pie dough 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.
For pie bottom:
- Remove 1/2 of the pie crust dough from the fridge, shape it roughly into a disc, and place it in between two pieces of cling film. The cling film pieces should be at least 3 - 4 inches larger than the pie dish diameter. They will stop the pie crust from sticking to the rolling pin and the surface underneath. And the pie bottom will be much easier to transfer into the pie dish!
- Roll the pie dough out into a roughly circular shape, at least 2 1/2 - 3 inches larger than the pie dish. The dough should be about 3 mm thick.
- Peel back the top layer of cling film. Slide the pie crust with the bottom cling film layer onto a plate. Turn the pie dish upside-down onto the plate, and then turn it around (basically the same procedure as turning a bundt cake onto a plate). The bottom cling film layer should not be on top – do not remove it yet!
- Carefully shape the pasty so that it's snug against the pie dish sides. The cling film should keep it from tearing.
- With the cling film still in place and without cutting off the excess dough, place the pie dish into the fridge.
For pie lattice:
- Remove the remaining 1/2 of the pie crust dough from the fridge, shape it roughly into a disc, and place it in between two pieces of cling film. The cling film pieces should be at least 3 - 4 inches larger than the pie dish diameter.
- Roll the pie dough out into a roughly circular shape, at least 1 inch larger than the pie dish. The dough should be about 3 mm thick (but you can easily go a bit thicker – I rolled mine to about 3.5 mm, as I like how it puffs up!).
- Remove the top cling film layer. Cut the pie dough into strips, roughly 3/4 inch wide. If you use an 8 inch (20 cm) diameter pie dish, you will need 8 such strips.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 ºC (390 ºF).
- Remove the pie dish from the fridge, and peel away the cling film layer from the pie crust bottom. Do not cut away the excess pie dough!
- 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.
- Place 4 parallel strips on top of the filling.
- Fold back the 1st and the 3rd strip, and place a strip perpendicular to them, slightly displaced away from the middle (i.e. it should be at the same perpendicular distance from the edge of the pie dish as the 2nd and 3rd strips). Straighten back the 1st and the 3rd strip.
- Fold back the 2nd and 4th strip, and place a strip perpendicular to them, this time closer to the edge (i.e. it should be at the same perpendicular distance from the edge of the pie dish as the 1st and 4th strips). Straighten back the 2nd and 4th strip.
- Repeat on the other half.
- The final pattern should be like that on the pictures above.
- Using either scissors or a knife, cut away the excess pie dough – both from the pie crust bottom and from the strips. You can crimp the pie edges, or decorate the border by pressing a fork along the edge.
- Brush the pie crust strips 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!