Who doesn’t love apple pie? Apple Pie is a family favorite, so when apple season comes around I’m usually making apple pie. A tedious project, but a fulfilling one with every bite due to our obsession with apple pie. As I was selecting which recipes to adapt while looking through the Williams Sonoma Thanksgiving Catalog (see my first post here, in case you missed it), the apple pie on page 26 was an obvious decision. I have never made one with pretty cutouts before. The catalog inspired me to do so. This is one of the desserts I will be serving this Thanksgiving, with pretty cutouts of course.
So here is an apple pie recipe I have been making for about 5 years now, yet slipped my mind to post earlier than today. It is an apple pie that you will want to eat slowly, and deliberately while you savor every complex bite. A homemade kind of pie where things can get messy.
Bob’s Red Mill makes a gluten free, dairy free pie crust blend now that makes pie crusts easy to prepare compared to years ago of mixing for the right flour combination. I add vinegar to the crust to make it flaky. Yes my friends, gluten free and dairy free pie crust can be flaky.
And we want flaky …
Did I mention it is also egg free, and vegan? Yes, and yes.
The apple cider in the filling is a must. It offsets the sweetness just enough to make you say “ooh” what is that. If you do choose to go with apple pie for dessert on Thanksgiving, try this recipe. When eating at a family members house who has gluten and dairy in their kitchen there is always a chance of cross-contamination, which is why baking and cooking holiday dishes is usually the best bet. If you have been looking for an apple pie recipe without the allergens, or to fit your dietary lifestyle, try this apple pie recipe. A classic pie that everyone can enjoy!
You will need a 9 1/2 inch pie plate, and mini pumpkin cutouts (optional)
1 package Bob’s Red Mill Pie Crust
8 tablespoons (4 oz) organic palm shortening, cut up into pieces
12 tablespoons (6 oz) earth balance soy free spread, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
7 tablespoons ice water (I leave more like 1/2 cup in a measuring cup with an ice cube, for easy measuring at the counter)
This will make two pie crusts (one 14 1/2 oz and the other 14 3/4 oz), including apple cutouts
5 medium organic granny smith apples
3 medium honey crisp apples
2 medium braeburn apples
1/3 cup plus 2 scant tablespoons (5 oz) cane sugar
2 tablespoon light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons organic white rice flour
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon (about 1/3 of an orange) orange juice, freshly squeezed
zest of 1 lemon (zest before juicing)
1 tablespoon (about 1/2 lemon) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 1/2 tablespoons earth balance soy free spread, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons vanilla coconut, rice or almond milk (I used coconut)
2-3 tablespoons Demerara sugar (coarse type of sugar that won’t melt during baking)
Apple shaped mini cutouts
Adjust oven rack to center position. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and place baking sheet into oven for preheating.
Measure the shortening and earth balance into a medium-sized freezer safe bowl. Put into the freezer for 20-30 minutes. Put the pie crust mix into a large bowl.
Add chilled shortening/earth balance to the flour mix. Using a pastry blender, work the fat into the dough by hand, incorporating it into the flour until you have pieces the size of white beans or large blueberries, for lack of a better description.
Note: The size of peas is too small and will spread quickly creating a soggy crust when using a gluten free, dairy free crust.
Add white vinegar, then add 3 tablespoons of ice water, work gently into the dough.
Then add another 3 tablespoons of ice water, repeat with the pastry cutter. Add one last tablespoon of ice water, continuing to use the pastry cutter until the dough begins to compress when you press down.
Form dough, by hand, into a ball.
Cut in half to weigh each. One should be 14 1/2 ounces and the other 14 3/4 ounces, give or take. Set the larger crust aside for the top crust, and cutout shapes for top. Make a note indicating which is the bottom crust (it can get confusing when both are in the fridge!).
Form both into disks. Cover with plastic wrap, chill for at least 30 minutes up to an hour.
When chilled, place bottom crust on a floured parchment sheet (about 1/2 tablespoon rice flour), then sprinkle another 1/2 tablespoon over the dough, cover with a piece of parchment. Wait a few minutes before rolling so that it doesn’t crack too much as you roll.
Roll going vertical, then alternating with horizontal rolling for even distribution. Do not press down too hard to force the rolling pin, otherwise the dough will crack. Firm, yet gentle even strokes. Spread it to about 14 inches wide.
It’s fine if it’s irregular, you can press in pieces of dough to exposed areas. Remove the top paper, lift the dough while still on the parchment paper, and flip over onto your pie dish. Slowly remove the paper. Gently press the dough to line pie dish, trim off any excess dough that hangs over, leaving about an inch of edge.
Fill any tears with scraps. Roll out remaining dough to cut out mini apple cutouts. Take extra scraps and roll out again to form as many apple cutouts as you can. Refrigerate pie shell and cutouts for 20 minutes.
For the filling:
Core, peel and slice apples into 1 inch thick slices. Transfer to a large bowl. Add sugar, powdered sugar, rice flour, apple cider vinegar, orange juice, zest, lemon juice, spices and salt. Toss to combine. Set aside.
Roll out the top crust an extra inch wide for your cutouts. As many as you can get out of your remaining dough. I cut out about 15 mini pumpkin cutouts using the Wilton brand, mini fall season shapes from the dollar store, or any craft store. Cut out a mini pumpkin (reversed) in the center before covering the pie. Set aside.
Fill the pie crust with the apples.
Lift up with the parchment and cover the apples. Crimp the edges with a fork.
In a small bowl combine melted earth balance, and coconut milk. Brush the top crust. Sprinkle with the coarse sugar.
Place the pie on the preheated baking sheet to bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Then cover the crust edge with a pie protector or a cylinder shaped foil covering the edge and continue to bake another 10 minutes, or until the pie is golden brown.
Cool the pie for an hour before serving.
To freeze (for up to a month):
Each component needs to freeze separately. When I froze the completed pie (raw) then baked the crust was a bit soggy and the top crust did not have the golden color I expect from a pie.
Crust: Blind bake the crust as noted above. Remove the parchment paper with beans and cool completely. Triple-ply with plastic wrap then place in a jumbo Ziploc bag, removing as much air as possible before sealing. When ready, defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
Filling: freeze in a freezer-safe container, when ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Top crust: freeze as a disk then thaw at to a cooled room temperature and roll out to size then cut decoratives as noted in the recipe. Brush with ‘egg’ wash then evenly sprinkle coarse sugar on top and bake.
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