It’s always hard to know where to start. I want to make a good impression. I want you to like me, like my blog, like my recipes. So to bribe you into coming back, I’d like to offer you some pie. It’s not any pie…it’s an apple hand pie, or better known around these parts as breakfast. Or lunch. Or dinner. Ahem.
Just before my diagnoses, I’d purchased this nifty little gadget that allows you to press pie dough into adorable little toaster pastries. Though I couldn’t get the silly thing to work properly (I’m sure because I didn’t bother to read the directions), it did work well enough to cut the shapes in the dough, at least. Gluten free dough, that is. My first attempt at gluten free pastry was a smashing success, in part due to the hard work of others who went on this journey before me, like Karen Morgan, of Blackbird Bakery. I picked her book up at Anthropologie–I could live in that store, couldn’t you? Her pie crust recipe is a total win, and this one is adapted from hers. It’s light and flaky, rolls out beautifully and tastes like the homemade glutenous crusts from days of yore. It is, in a word, perfect and will work for just about any pie you aspire to bake.
Things I’m learning to love about gluten free baking?
- less risk of overmixing (can’t overwork the gluten now, can we?)
- it’s a hoot to bake something and have everyone devour it without realizing it’s gluten free
- there is an enormous, supportive community of gluten free geniuses out there who are willing and able to answer any question I might have
- it tastes darn good (most of the time)
Things I’m not so crazy about?
- the flours can be heavy, gritty and they love moisture so it’s hard to bake things all the way through sometimes
- my (already too small) pantry has now been taken over with about 20 different kinds of (highly perishable and highly expensive) flours
- for all my successes, I’ve had a ton of failures…there is definitely a learning curve here
- bread…I miss it and am still trying to perfect a recipe
My gluten friendly readers can make this crust recipe. But for the rest of us, here goes the gluten-free version…They take awhile to prepare, but when you bite into these darling treats, you know your effort was well worth it.
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
- ¾ cup cornstarch
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sweet rice flour, plus more for dusting
- ¼ cup sorghum flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1½ teaspoons xanthan gum
- 1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, diced
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 large granny smith apples, peeled and cut into a large dice
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all the dry ingredients on low speed. Slowly add the butter and beat until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat on high speed until the mixture forms one solid lump.
- Turn out onto a work surface, dusted with rice flour and knead 3 times. Divide in half, pat each half into a disk, and wrap well with plastic. Refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 2 days.
- Make the filling. Melt butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Add apples and saute for three minutes or until they begin to soften slightly.
- Stir in cinnamon and brown sugar and cook 2 minutes more, until brown sugar has melted. Remove from heat an let cool completely.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove dough from refrigerator and roll one portion out to the thickness of about ⅛ of an inch on a surface that has been lightly dusted with sweet rice flour.
- Using a toaster pastry shaped cookie cutter (or round 4½ inch diameter biscuit cutter), cut as many bottoms as possible, gathering and re-rolling out the dough a few times.
- Place the pie bottoms on two cookie sheets and set aside. Repeat with remaining dough so you have the same number of bottoms and tops.
- Place 1 tablespoon of pie filling on each pie bottom. Make an egg wash using 1 yolk and 1 tablespoon of water. Brush egg-wash around the edges of each pie using a pastry brush.
- Place the top crust on each pie and use the tines of a fork to seal edges all around each pie. Sprinkle pies with granulated sugar, if desired.
- Bake pies for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.