Consider this a Public Service Announcement.
For pie. Like that movie about pie, but all gluten-free.
It’s time to get comfy with making it, and rolling it out. Then baking it and eating it.
You can even cut out little shapes and make a fancy schmancy top by brushing them with water and overlapping them tightly until they form a crust.
You can! Stop it!
You’re going to need my basic gluten-free Pastry Crust Recipe. There’s a video there, too. Watch it. See how simple it is to make and roll out gluten-free pastry crust. It’s a snap.
This is the part of our program where I remind you that you need big chunks of butter. We’ve chatted about this before. Remember? Don’t be coy, love. You remember.
I used a food processor, like in my how-to video.
Pat the dough into a disk. Roll it out and then freeze it, so it’s super cold.
Then cut out rounds.
Here’s the thing about the apple filling. Peel & core the apples, and then slice them razor thin.
Like this. That way, they cook quickly, long before the crust burns. But it’s okay. We’re going to steam the pies by loading them up on a baking sheet and covering the sheet tightly with aluminum foil for the first 15 minutes. That way, we can be sure the crusts won’t brown before the apple filling is soft.
Pile 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling in the center of half the rounds of dough, leaving about a 1/4 inch border around the perimeter. Then top, cinch, and crimp the edges with the tines of a fork. Then cut horizontal vents in the top, so the pies don’t explode. Boom! Brush the top with cream.
Freeze the pies before baking them. You want them cold.
Here’s the rest of the details. If anyone tells you that the devil’s in the details, don’t believe them. It’s the pie in the details. The tender, flaky pie. And sugar and spice and everything nice. Little girls are in the details!
|Apple Pies – in your hand|
- 1 recipe Basic Gluten-Free Pastry Crust (http://bit.ly/zlOnJ4)
- 2 large (or 3 small) baking apples (Braeburn and Empire are my favorite apple pie apples, but it’s a matter of taste)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 3 tablespoons sugar (or to taste)
- Dash (1/8 teaspoon) kosher salt
- Cream, for brushing
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Roll out the pie crust as directed between two sheets of parchment paper, as directed in the recipe (and the video), until it is about 1/8 inch thick (the thickness of a nickel). Place the rolled out dough, still covered in parchment on both sides, on a flat surface in the freezer until firm (about 15 minutes).
- While the crust is chilling, prepare the apples. Peel and core the apples. I like to use an apple corer, and then a vegetable peeler so that I remove all of the skin but preserve as much fruit as possible. Slice each apple in half, and then slice each half, cut side down, in cross-section as thin as possible (see photo). That will help the apples cook quickly and evenly before the crust browns. Place the sliced apples in a large bowl, and add the cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and salt. Toss to combine.
- Remove the chilled crust from the freezer. With a 2 1/2 to 3 inch cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out rounds of dough. Gather and reroll the scraps, then place them back in the freezer until firm. Cut rounds once more. You should be able to cut 16 rounds.
- Line up the rounds of dough in pairs, and, with a pastry brush, brush the entire surface of each of the rounds of dough with ice water. Next, pile about 2 tablespoons of apple slices in the center of one round from each pair, leaving a 1/4 inch border around the perimeter. Top with the remaining rounds of dough, and cinch the edges together between your thumb and forefinger. Use the tines of a small fork to mark all around the perimeter of the assembled rounds, to help seal them. Place the unbaked pies about an inch apart on the prepared baking sheet, and place in the freezer until firm, about another 10 minutes.
- Remove the chilled pies from the oven, and use a very sharp knife to slice two horizontal lines about 1 inch apart near the center of the top of each pie. This will allow steam to escape so the pie doesn’t burst or leak. Brush the tops of the pies with cream to help them brown.
- Cover the baking sheet with a sheet of aluminum foil, sealing it will around the edges of the baking sheet, but without allowing the foil to rest on the tops of the pies.
- Place the pies in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil, and bake until golden brown on top, another 10 to 15 minutes.
- Serve warm.
These pies freeze very well raw. Assemble up until the step of baking them, then place them flat on a baking sheet and freeze them solid before transferring them to a freezer-safe Ziploc bag until ready to bake. Bake from frozen.
The flour you use in pastry crust matters perhaps more than in any other recipe. It is one of very few ingredients, so it truly shines. Makes sure the flour you are using is a true all-purpose gluten-free flour blend, like Better Batter, or you won’t have the success you so richly deserve.
Look what you did!
Pie. It’s what’s for dinner. Now pick it up. Eat it, in the name of the public good. Do your part.
P.S. If you haven’t yet, please pick up a copy of My Cookbooks! I can’t keep the blog going without your support!