Baking your gluten free apple pie in a bag ensures perfect fork-tender apples and a light and flaky, perfectly browned crust every time. Try this old-fashioned technique during pie season—or any time!
I can’t seem to remember when I first baked gluten free apple pie in a bag. What I do remember is that, once I did, I couldn’t ever go back to making apple pie any other way. Plus *knock wood* I haven’t ever burned my house down doing it. Don’t worry I’m only kidding a 375°F oven is not going to get the paper bag hot enough to have it burst into flames. Just don’t even think about turning on the broiler and everything will be alright. Actually way better than alright.
Baking your apple pie in a bag means that your apple filling is always always always perfectly tender, and your crust extra special flaky even without blind-baking the bottom crust. Then, all that’s left to do is to tear open the top of the bag ….
… and finish baking until the crust is absolutely positively the most gorgeous golden brown color you have ever seen in your life.
I only included all these step by step photos because, well, I love you and I want you to relax and enjoy the process. And since I really can’t stand it when a blog makes me scroll through 10,000 step-by-step photos, I piled 12 step-by-step photos into one collage. If you don’t like the step-by-steps, you can almost pretend they’re not here! See? Everybody wins! but I really did want to show you the big chunks of butter you need to make a light and flaky pie crust, plus how you really do bake this pie in a bag. For real.
And before I forget it you’re still kind of skittish about rolling out pie crust, guess what I have how-to video for making gluten free pie crust. Never fear!
First, make the pie crust. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt, and whisk to combine well. Add the chopped and chilled butter, and toss to coat it in the dry ingredients. Flatten each chunk of butter between your thumb and forefinger. Add 3/4 cup of water and mix until the dough begins to come together. Add the remaining water by the teaspoon until no part of the dough is crumbly.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured piece of unbleached parchment paper and press into a disk. Sprinkle the dough lightly with more flour, and roll it out into a rectangle that is about 1 inch thick, moving the dough frequently and sprinkling it lightly with flour if it begins to stick. Fold the dough over on itself like you would a business letter. Sprinkle the dough again lightly with flour, and roll out the dough once again into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Twice more, remove the top piece of parchment paper, sprinkle lightly with flour, and fold the dough over on itself like you would a business letter. This will smooth out the dough and make it quite easy to handle. Divide the dough into two equal parts, wrap each separately in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill.
Preheat your oven to 375°F. Make the pie filling. In a large bowl, place the apples, sugar, salt, tapioca starch and ground cinnamon, and toss to coat the apples evenly. Set the filling aside.
Assemble the bottom crust and filling. Grease a 9-inch metal pie plate generously and set aside. Remove one half of pie crust from the refrigerator. Place on a lightly floured piece of unbleached parchment paper, dust lightly with flour, and roll into a 12-inch round, about 3/8-inch thick. Roll the pie crust loosely on the rolling pin and then unroll it over the prepared pie plate. Press the pie crust gently into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate and, with kitchen shears, trim the excess crust so that only 1/4-inch of excess is overhanging the plate. Tuck the 1/4-inch of excess under itself, and crimp the edge gently all the way around the crust. Arrange the apples filling on the bottom crust in concentric circles, overlapping one apple slice slightly over the previous one. This will prevent the filling from sinking into gaps.
Shape the other crust and finish assembling the pie. Remove the other half of pie crust from the refrigerator. Place on a lightly floured piece of unbleached parchment paper, dust lightly with flour, and roll it into a rough round about 3/8-inch thick and trim to 10-inches in diameter. Carefully lift the top crust and center it over the pie plate. Tuck the very edge of the pie crust under itself, crimp the edge all the way around and press together with the bottom crust to seal. Alternatively, you can tuck the top crust under the bottom crust all along the edge of the pie and press gently to crimp. Brush the top crust and edges generously with the egg wash, and place in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill until the crust is firm. This will prevent the crust from shrinking during baking.*
*Note: At this point, the assembled raw pie can be wrapped tightly and frozen for up to a month before baking and serving.
Place the pie in a bag and bake. Place the paper bag open on its side, and slide the assembled and chilled pie inside so that the back edge of the pie is about 1-inch away from the bottom of the bag. Fold the bag opening over on itself and stable shut. Place the pie in the bag on a large rimmed baking sheet and place in the center of the preheated oven. Bake for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and cut a large hole in the top of the to expose the top and sides of the pie. Return to the oven and bake until the pie is golden brown all over (about another 10 minutes). Remove from the oven, and allow to cool slightly so the filling sets before slicing and serving.