If apple pie doesn't get you in the autumn spirit, I don't know what will. The leaves are at their most brilliant now here in the Quiet Corner and nothing heralds in the changing seasons the way Apple Pie does. One bite tells you that it's time to pull out the puffy vests, start attending craft fairs on the weekends, and possibly consider what you'll be doing for Thanksgiving.
But let's be honest, one bite of apple pie should also tell you that it's time to take a second bite, and a third, fourth, fifth...
My good friend Bri shared this gluten free apple pie crust to me during my first gluten-free holiday season. I was still eating eggs at the time, but I've since eliminated them from my diet, so the recipe below is my interpretation of Bri's delicious pie crust.
Bri's Pie Crust
1 cup white rice flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour
3/4 cup arrowroot
1 rounded tsp xanthan gum
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tbs vegan sugar
zest of one orange my secret ingredient!
3/4 cup shortening (1/4 cup Earth Balance; 1/2 shortening) I used Earth Balance shortening
1 Egg (since I make mine vegan, I use EnerG Egg replacer)
3 1/2 tbs rice milk (coconut milk, hemp milk or soy milk are good options, too)
1/2 tbs apple cider vinegar (or rice vinegar)
1-4 tbs cold water
Place all dry ingredients in food processor, pulse to combine. Add Earth balance and shortening, pulse again until you get pea-sized bits of dough. In a separate bowl, combine the egg replacer, rice milk and vinegar. Pour liquids into the food processor and pulse to combine. The crust is a bit on the dry side without the egg, so cold water is the solution. Start by adding one tbs of cold water. Pulse to combine. If the dough still isn't coming together, add another tbs. I wouldn't add more than 5 tbs of cold water. Once the dough pulls together into one piece, separate into two equal portions. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and form into discs. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350 and prepare the filling!
The filling is from my mom's beloved Betty Crocker cookbook. I used to devour the pie crust recipe from that book-it has stains all over it from my many adventures in pie making and I'm not willing to use any other pie filling-it must be the one from the Betty Crocker book!
Apple Pie Filling
8-10 apples of your choice - I love a combination of Cortlands and Macouns, but I recently made pie with my friend's apples from his yard and I don't know what they are-just delicious!
1/4 cup of vegan sugar
1/4 cup of arrowroot (so Betty Crocker says all-purpose flour, but keep it gluten free!)
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Juice from 1 orange
Pinch of salt
Peel and slice your apples. I like to make really thin slices. They taste better, somehow. Squeeze orange juice right over the sliced apples. Mix the sugar, arrowroot, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt together in a small separate bowl. Pour over apple mixture and stir to coat. You want every apple to be covered in cinnamon-sugary goodness!
Set the apples aside while you roll out your dough. Everyone has their own technique. I generally like to sprinkle the work surface with rice flour and make sure my hands and rolling pin are dusted as well.
Work from the center and roll outward in even strokes. Try to maintain a circular shape by using your hands to guide the dough. Roll it out to approximately two inches wider than your pie plate. Transferring the crust can be a challenge. My trick is generally to fold in gently in half (sometimes even quarters!) and then ease it into the dish. Excess is a good thing.
Pour apple mixture into the prepared pie plate. Repeat rolling process for the top crust. Gently ease crust over the apples. I always use a sharp knife to make a few vents in the top of the pie. I usually make a pattern of some kind-because I like patterns-but it's not necessary! Pinch the edges of the crust together in some type of pretty manner. Now you have options. Should you not be vegan, beat an egg with a little rice milk to make an egg wash and brush it over the top. Should you avoid eggs like I do, experiment! I always want my pies to look golden, but I'm struggling to find an egg-free way to do so. A friend suggested brushing the top with a little apricot preserves before baking and I'll try that next time! In the pie photographed above, I just brushed it with coconut milk. You could also dot it with a little earth balance.
Always, always, always sprinkle some vegan sugar over the top to give it a glisten. I always wrap a bit of foil around the edges of my pie before I pop it in the oven. I leave it on until there are only 15 minutes left of baking...which brings me to baking time!
350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Serve with anything! I LOVE the Coconut Milk Cherry Amaretto Ice Cream. It's so creamy and goes really well with a warm piece of apple pie. Nothing quite tastes like autumn the way apple pie and amaretto ice cream do. Try a slice for breakfast. You won't regret it.