This recipe for Old Fashioned Gluten Free Apple Pie was originally posted here on Glutarama in 2017. Back then gluten free pastry and I hated each other. I used a fool-proof recipe by Free From Fairy instead. In the 4 years since my pastry skills have improved beyond recognition and I now have my own pastry recipe that works every time. My pastry recipe is gluten free, dairy free and egg free (you can use egg and/or dairy if you wish).
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As my son Lewis helped me to make the original recipe that we used for the photos I’ve kept some of the original photos in, there’s something not quite right about deleting photos of your children – it doesn’t sit right with me. Besides, look at the concentration on his face in the photo below bless him.
What type of apple should you use for Apple Pie?
As with many other people at this time of the year we find ourselves inundated with gifted cooking apples and as we also have a community orchard near to us I can’t help but pop down there to pick some beautiful specimens to cook with. Apple crumble tends to be the main family favourite but following the success of this apple pie I’ll be sure to make more now I’m gaining in pastry confidence!
The type of fruit you use is not going to matter at all. you have three options;
Cooking Apples (Bramley’s) – these are the quintessential baking apple. Originating in England, these apples break up and crumble when cooked. This makes them an excellent type of apple for making sauces, pie fillings, crumbles, jams and chutneys.
Eating Apples – take your pick, Pink Lady, Jazz, Braeburn, Cox, Russet. The list is endless. Some I’ve names may be less known to you but trust me, go to your local market or a pick-your-own and you’ll find the great British classics there. These are excellent for tarts, cakes, flans, tart tatin.
Tinned/Canned Apples – what can I say about these, they come in a tin! This is not a cheats way to use apples in baking its called proactive time management so if you want to use tinned apples for pies and crumbles then you go for it.
Which apples to use when? The difference between cooking (cookers) apples and eating apples is that eating apples tend to hold their shape. So if you want your apple to keep its shape (for example decorating a tart) then go for an eating apple.
NB. That said, if you go for an apple with a red flesh it’s more likely to have less crunch and more of a fluffy texture when you bite into it. This tends to mean they’ll also break up easily if cooked.
How do you make gluten free pastry?
For this apple pie I use my Sweet Shortcrust Recipe but double it so you have enough for the pastry case and the pastry lid. To make it I measure the flour and psyllium husk, butter and fat and make them into breadcrumbs using a pastry cutter/blender. Then I mix in the sugar and pour in the egg or flaxseed egg. Using a knife I cut through the mixture until is starts to clump together and then turn the whole lot out onto a kitchen work surface.
At this stage it looks like a crumbly mess but fear not. Work the crumbly mixture with the heel of your hands and after 1-2 minutes it will have come together to form a pliable gluten free pastry.
Sweet shortcrust pastry
- 80 g butter I use Flora plant butter
- 20 g fat I use Trex vegetable fat solids
- 200 g plain gluten free flour all purpose flour
- 50 g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp ground flax seed
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 tsp psyllium husk powder (optional but does prevent crumbling)
How do you make Apple Pie filling?
This apple pie recipe uses two type of apple filling. Why? Because I love to cut into a pie that’s packed full of apple and I find that if you just use slices of apple and sugar you end up with cavernous holes between the pie and the pie lid.
By using a combination of stewed apple and apple chunks you get a full pie with double the texture experience.
How to make stewed apples –
- Peel, core and dice the apples into small pieces. Add to a saucepan along with 2tbsp water and 1tsp of lemon juice to prevent apple from browning. Heat for 10-15 mins, with the lid on, on a medium heat to soften the apple.
- TIP: If the apples haven’t broken down then just mush them up a bit with a fork or potato masher.
- No need to sweeten to taste as you can sweeten later according to the recipe you use this for.
- Set aside to cool.
The remaining apples needed for the recipe are simply peeled, cored and chopped into bite size pieces to add to the stewed apple filling.
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Other gluten free apple inspired recipes
Old Fashioned Gluten Free Apple Pie Recipe
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Old Fashioned Gluten Free Apple Pie
For the apple sauce
- 6 Bramley (cooking) apples (peeled, cored and cut into small chunks)
- 100 ml water
For the pastry
- 160 g butter or butter alternative (I use Flora plant butter)
- 40 g fat (I use Trex white vegetable fat)
- 400 g gluten free plain flour
- 100 g caster sugar
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 6 tbsp water
- 2 tsp psyllium husk powder (optional)
For the pie filling
- 300 g Bramley (cooking) apples (peeled, cored and cut into small chunks)
- 50 g caster sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp milk (I use soya milk)
- 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
To make the apple sauce
- Add the apples and the water to a large saucepan and heat gently with a lid on for 10-15 minutes.
- After this time the fruit should have broken down, if not just use a fork or potato masher to break any remaining lumps.
- Set to one side and allow to cool
To make the pastry
- Measure the flour and psyllium husk into a large bowl.
- Add the 'butter' and fat and using your fingertips or a pastry cutter/blender work the ingredients into breadcrumbs.
- Mix in the caster sugar and then add your egg or flaxseed egg. Using a knife cut through the mixture until its starts to clump together.
- NOTE: do not worry if the pastry looks a crumbly mess, it will come together I promise!
- Now tip the contents of the bowl onto a clean worksurface and using the heels of your hands bring the ingredients together until you have a large ball of gluten free shortcrust pastry. Pop this into the fridge to chill while you prep the remaining pie filling.
To make the pie filling
- Now measure 300g of your apple sauce into the bowl you just use for your pastry and add the 300g of chopped apples.
- To this, add the sugar and cinnamon, have a taste test to see if it's to your taste, if not add more sugar/spice. Set aside and preheat your oven to to 200°C | 180°C fan | 400°F | Gas 6
To build the pie
- Take your chilled pastry and cut just over half away for the pastry case. Roll on a well floured surface. I like my pastry to be thick so roll it to 1cm thick.
- Line a 20cm cake/pie tin with your pastry. If cracks appear do not worry, just fill them in with pastry off cuts. Make sure the pastry over hangs the top of the tin.
- Next prick the pastry base with a fork and fill with the prepared apple pie filling to the top of the lined pie dish.
- Now roll out your pie lid, again I like my pastry thick, but you do it to your tastes.
- Brush the edges of the pastry case with your glaze mix to help the lid stick.
- Add the pie lid, crimp the sides with a fork, or use the pinch technique I've used above and if you wish decorate with any leftover pastry.TOP TIP: if you don't want to decorate, then why not chill the pastry for another day or make jam tarts.
- Finally, brush the lidded pie with glaze and sprinkle with caster sugar before putting in the oven for 35 minutes.
- After 35 minutes check to see if the pastry is evenly browned and cooked, if not cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Once baked eat immediately with custard or cream or leave to cool and have at room temperature.
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