Gluten free Dutch apple pie, made with a simple pie crust on the bottom, filled with over 2 pounds of thinly-sliced, tart apples and topped with a warm crumble topping.
A gluten free Dutch apple pie is made simply with a traditional pastry crust on the bottom, packed with thinly sliced apples, and a gorgeous, thick crumble topping. Like business on the bottom, party on top.
Cinnamon, sugar and nutmeg are all present, along with a flaky bottom crust that won’t let you forget for one moment that it’s pie season. But believe it or not, you can make this pie without the bottom crust. Just allow the filling mixture to sit for at least 10 minutes, discard the rendered juices and add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to the filling.
In the past, I had made this pie with a much more complicated custard-style apple filling. It called for eggs and sour cream, plus a bit of flour in the filling. Thank goodness I’ve recovered from that. Frankly, it wasn’t worth the trouble.
If you’ve come looking for that sour cream apple pie and found this instead, can you ever forgive me? The simplified filling of nothing more than apples, cinnamon and sugar holds together beautifully.
The apples are sliced very thin and allowed to sit for a few minutes before being piled into the crust. That way, they release a fair amount of their juices but retain just enough texture.
Despite my love of this Dutch pie, I don’t mean to suggest that a Classic Gluten Free Apple Pie doesn’t deserve a place on your fall holiday table. That pie is all about the crust and the apples—and they both shine so bright.
My favorite traditional apple pie, as you may know, is baked in a bag. That allows the apples to steam and bake to perfect fork-tenderness before the top and bottom crusts brown fully.
A Dutch apple pie, though, is a different experience entirely. The crumble topping is like the best part of a coffee cake, on top of a pie.
Try a warm slice with a scoop of rich vanilla ice cream, dusted lightly with ground cinnamon. Or just have it plain, and allow the crumble topping to have its moment.
Gluten Free Dutch Apple Pie
1 cup (140 g) all purpose gluten free flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1/3 cup (73 g) packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 recipe gluten-free pie crust, chilled
Egg white, for brushing
2 1/2 pounds (about 5 large apples) Granny Smith apples (or other tart and firm apple), peeled, cored and sliced thin
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Grease lightly a 9-inch deep dish pie plate and set it aside.
Make the crumble topping. In a medium-sized bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, and whisk to combine, working out any lumps in the brown sugar. Add the butter, and mix to combine well. Place the bowl in the refrigerator to chill for about 10 minutes or until firm (or the freezer for about 5 minutes).
Shape the crust. Preheat your oven to 375°F. Remove the pie dough from the refrigerator. Place it 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 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. Pierce the bottom of the pie crust with the tines of a fork and place the pie plate in the freezer to chill for 10 minutes.
Par-bake the pie shell. Remove the pie plate from the freezer and place a large piece of unbleached parchment paper in the center of the crust. Place pie weights or dried beans in a single layer in the center of the pie crust, on top of the paper. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and remove the paper and pie weights, brush the bottom and sides of the crust with the egg white, and return to the oven. Bake for another 3 minutes, and remove from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
Make the filling. In a large bowl, place the prepared apple slices and toss with the sugar, cinnamon and salt. Allow to sit while the pie crust is par-baking. When the pie crust has finished baking, transfer the sliced apple filling to the pie crust, leaving behind any rendered liquid from the apples. Remove the crumble topping from the refrigerator and break up into large chunks with a fork. Scatter the topping all over the top of the pie in an even layer. Press gently on the crumble topping to ensure that it adheres to the filling.
Make-Ahead Option: At this point, the unbaked pie in the parbaked pie crust can be covered securely and frozen until ready to use. Just bake from frozen according to the rest of the recipe directions. You may need to add a few minutes to the final baking time.
Bake. Place the pie in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until the crumble topping is evenly golden brown and the apple filling is bubbling around the edges. If necessary to prevent the edges from burning, cover the crust with foil during the final 15 minutes of baking. Remove the pie from the oven and allow to cool completely before slicing and serving.
Originally published in 2012. Filling modified, recipe otherwise unchanged.