Pie Baking Tips & Apple Pie

So.... Its pretty clear that I waited till after Thanksgiving to bake an apple pie. Which is pretty strange, given that Thanksgiving and fall are PRIME apple pie baking times. But in my defense, I didn't have time to go apple picking this fall and I was in florida for Thanksgiving where we went out to dinner.

But lucky for you I am bring apple pie into the winter season, I think that apple pie is delicious warm and gooey apples with a crisp and buttery crust. Yum! With a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream (maybe even boozy whipped cream), I die. 

I know a lot of gluten free bakers who are freaked out by making a gluten free pie crust, given that gluten is one of the things that helps keep your dough together. Well don't you fear I have a few pie baking tips for you:

1. make sure you butter is COLD COLD COLD: after cubing your butter but it back in the freezer while you get the rest of your ingredients ready

2. use a pastry cutter (if you don't have one two paring knives or two forks will work): don't use a food processor! The warmth of the motor actually heats up your butter. 

3. do not try to roll out the dough on a floured surface: it will not work it will fall apart and you will want to cry. This is a tip my best friend S taught me, roll your dough out between two pieces of saran wrap! It is super easy and makes for a smoother trip to the pie pan. 

4. Taste your fruit: every pie is going to be different, some fruits will be sweater than others. I always adjust the amount of sugar I use based on the sweetness or tartness of the fruit. 

5. RELAX: if you roll out the top of your pie and it is a hot mess (trust me it has happened to me before) take a deep breath and top your pie with an easy crumble (1 stick of butter, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon -- cube the butter and make almost a sand like mixture) sprinkle it on top and it will act as a topping for your pie. Feel free to add oats or chopped up almonds for more texture. 

6. Acid: make sure you add some sort of acid to cut through the sweetness of not only the fruit and sugar but all dat butta. My go to is lemon juice and zest, it adds a brightness that is absolutely necessary. 

7. Make a collar with aluminum foil: make a collar with aluminum foil and wrap it around the outside edges of your pie, this is where the crust is thinest, you don't want this part to burn! Cook your pie for 3/4 of the time with it on, take it off for the last 10 minutes or so for an evenly browned crust. 

Alright team, now that you are all pie pros, you'll find my apple pie recipe.




Apple Pie

  • All Butter Double Pie Crust (I use this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, just substitute GF flour) 
    • 2 1/2 cups GF flour
    • 1 tbs sugar
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 2 sticks butter
    • 1 cup of cold water (add some ice cubes)
    • 5 apples pealed, cored, and sliced (I used Gala)
    • 1/2 - 3/4 a cup granulated sugar
    • 2 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2 tbs lemon juice
    • zest of 1 lemon

For Your Crust (from Smitten Kitchen):

Dice your butter into cubes, place in the freezer. In a medium sized bowl (its best if your hands fit in) combine, salt sugar, and flour. Sprinkle the butter cubes over the flour mixture. Begin working the butter in with a pastry blender. Use your pastry blender to scoop and redistribute the mixture evenly. Stop when you have a mixture the size of small peas. To make the mix sprinkle with water, start with 1/2 cup. Use a silicon spatula to bring the mix together. Add an additional 1/4 cup of water, use your hands to gently kneed the dough together. Gather the dough into one mound. Divide the dough in half, and wrap each one in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. 

For Your Pie:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Peel and core your apples. Quarter them and slice them thinly, about 1/4 of an inch. After tasting your apples decide how much sugar you will need (if they are sweet, use 1/2 a cup, if they are tart use 3/4 a cup). Toss the apples with lemon juice, zest, sugar, and cinnamon. 

Roll out your bottom crust between two pieces of saran wrap. You should be able to see pieces of the butter in the crust, thats a good thing, makes for a flakey crust. Gently place your dough in your pie pan. Make sure the dough is tight to the corners. Pour the apples into the crust and make an even layer on the top. Roll out your other dough, once it is large enough, gently lay the crust on the top of the pie. Using your thumb and pointer finger pinch the top and bottom crusts together along the edge to make it look pretty. OR you can use a fork along the edges to bind them together. (You may have to cut some excess dough off the sides. Using a paring knife make a few slits in the top of the pie to allow steam to escape. 

Make a collar with aluminum foil and wrap around the edges. Bake for 30 minutes with the collar on, take the collar off for the last 10 minutes of baking. 

Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream. (also delicious the next morning for breakfast)