Filled to the brim with juicy apples, blended with subtle hints of cinnamon and vanilla, this buttery and delicious Gluten-Free Apple Pie will be loved by everyone.
The Best Gluten Free Apple Pie
You'll never hear me proclaim that a gluten-free pie tastes exactly as one made from regular flour. Mostly because the gluten is in fact missing; therefore it will be different. But, it is possible to make a gluten-free pie that tastes amazing and can hold its own when compared to a pie made with traditional flours. Truly, that is the overall goal every time I set out to make gluten-free anything.
This Gluten-free Apple Pie does just that. The crust is crumbly and light with an amazing buttery flavor and the apple filling is as classic as you get: juicy and perfectly cooked with just the right amount of warm spice.
Also, if you are new to making gluten-free pies, I'm sharing a ton of tips below to make sure you have success with this recipe.
Here is an overview of the ingredients needed for this recipe. The full recipe is listed below in greater detail.
- baking apples (see below for my recommendations)
- gluten-free flour (see below for recommendations)
- cream cheese
- brown sugar + white sugar
- cinnamon + nutmeg
- lemon juice
- vanilla extract
Here is a list of some of the primary tools I used in this recipe. You won't necessarily choose to use them all, but they are exactly what I used here. Any links may contain affiliate links.
- food processor
- rolling pin
- pastry brush
- pie dish
- apple peeler
- baking basics: bowl, spatula, sheet tray, measuring cups
Let's Talk Gluten-Free Flour
Not all gluten-free flours are created equal. In fact, they vary greatly. This recipe calls for a 1-to-1 gluten-free flour blend. There are a few different brands out there, and I've used both Bob's Red Mill and King Arthur Flour cup for cup, or 1-to-1 flour blends. Look for a blend that says it will work as a complete swap for all-purpose flour.
I have not tried this with any other gluten-free flour besides the two listed above.
If you experiment with another type of gluten-free flour, I'd love to hear how it went for you.
Best Baking Apples
While all apples may taste delicious, they serve different purposes when it comes to baking and cooking. For an apple pie, you want to have an apple that can hold its shape, has a nuanced flavor and a slight tartness to break up the sweetness of the sugar.
Using a combination of apples is best because it introduces a few different types of flavors and textures to the pie.
My two favorite types of apples for any apple pie are Gala and Granny Smith apples.
Some other favorites are:
- Yellow Delicious
- Pink Lady
- Ginger Gold
What Makes Gluten-Free Pie Making Different?
If you are new to gluten-free baking, there are a few things you should know about before you attempt to make this gluten-free apple pie. If you aren't new, you still may find this useful!
The gluten-free dough actually tends to be easier to work with. In order to make the dough workable, you'll need to incorporate the butter fully into the flour. What that means is that the dough won't be as flaky. But, what you'll miss out on regarding flakiness, you make up for in relatively fuss-free dough. With fully incorporated butter, the dough has a consistency like play dough and is pretty easy to roll out.
Here's a bonus: it can also be rolled out right away. I've found it is quite easy to roll out the dough right after making it. Keep in mind that no gluten means no need to rest the dough to prevent too much gluten formation! Just make sure your butter isn't too soft. You'll know your butter has softened too much when the dough starts sticking and becomes difficult to work with. Chill it for about 10-15 minutes if this happens.
You can also roll it out later. If you chill the dough, you'll need to let it soften up slightly to make it easier to roll.
You can also check out this post about gluten-free dough which goes into more detail with tips and tricks.
Even though the dough is pretty easy to roll out, you still need to treat it gently! If you do tear a hole though, you can luckily just press it back together once it is in the dish.
You can re-roll the scraps many, many times. Same rule as above, no gluten means your dough won't get tough from rolling out more than once.
Make this dough in either the food processor or an electric stand mixer. I recommend using either of them--instead of mixing by hand--because it completely incorporates the butter into the dough without making it too soft.
How to Avoid a Sinking Apple Pie Filling
Apples have a ton of moisture. When the apples are cooked, they release their moisture and then shrink. When you bake an apple pie, naturally the apple filling will first puff up and then as it cools, it shrinks. That is why apple pies sometimes have a gap between the filling and the crust.
To avoid the filling from sinking too much there are a few tips to keep in mind.
First, you want to make sure your fruit is cut into semi-thin slices of apples that are all similar in size. Aim to slice your apples no bigger than ½" thick. I use this apple peeler (affiliate link), and I highly recommend it. It's worth the money and space in the kitchen, even if you only use it a few times a year.
Second, you can macerate the fruit before you begin to bake. Macerating the fruit in sugar helps draw out the moisture from the fruit, causing the fruit to soften and shrink before it enters the pie. This step alone will drastically reduce any gap between the crust and the filling with the fruit. A trick I sometimes use (that I learned from Rose Levy Beranbaum) is to let the apples macerate longer, then strain the juice into a pot and boil it down until it has slightly thickened. This will heighten the apple flavor and ensure you don't have a thin filling.
And finally, layer in your fruit. Instead of just pouring in apple slices haphazardly, you want to literally layer in the slices of apples and try to eliminate gaps between the slices. If there are large gaps between the apples, once they cook and soften that space will be filled in with the juices and cooked fruit and the pie will sink further.
How to Tell that an Apple Pie Filling is Done
Ever have a watery apple pie? If you have, it's likely that the filling wasn't cooked long enough (or there wasn't enough thickening agent). This pie uses cornstarch to thicken. In order to activate, the cornstarch needs to be heated to a temperature close to boiling.
There are two main ways to tell when a fruit pie is done. The first is by sight. Look for the crust to be golden and crisp. More importantly, look for the filling to be bubbling from the middle of the pie. The bubbling doesn’t need to be rapid but keep an eye out for at least 1 bubble while you are checking the pie. This ensures it has reached the proper temperature and the thickener is activated.
The best way to tell if your pie is cooked long enough in the middle is to probe the middle with an instant-read thermometer. I love my Thermapen (affiliate link) for this. The middle of your pie should reach a temperature of above 200ºF.
How Serve it and Store Leftovers
Serve this pie slightly warm or at room temperature. It can be served as is, with whipped cream, or a la mode with vanilla ice cream!
To store the pie, you can leave it at room temperature, covered, for 2 days. For longer storage cover and place in the refrigerator.
More Apple Recipes:Print
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