Gluten-Free Apple Crust
- 1 1/2 cups almond meal see note
- ¾ cup rice or sorghum flour
- ½ cup tapioca flour
- ¼ cup arrowroot flour
- ¼ cup unrefined sugar
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp xanthan gum
- ¾ cup + 2 tbsp organic extra-virgin coconut oil kept at room temperature, so it’s easy to measure, but not melted, see intro notes
- 7 1/2 - 8 tbsp icy-cold non-dairy milk add ice cubes to milk
- ¾ cup almond meal see note
- ¼ cup + 2 tbsp rice or sorghum flour
- ¼ cup tapioca flour
- 2 tbsp arrowroot flour
- 2 tbsp unrefined sugar
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 7 tbsp organic extra-virgin coconut oil kept at room temperature, so it’s easy to measure, but not melted, see intro notes
- 3 ½ - 4 tbsp icy-cold non-dairy milk add ice cubes to milk
In a food processor, add the almond meal, rice flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot flour, sugar, salt, and xanthan gum. Process for a few seconds to incorporate these ingredients. Add coconut oil, and pulse through briefly to begin to break up and incorporate. Then, add milk, a few tablespoons at first (for double crust; one tbsp at a time for single), pulsing through, and then one tablespoon at a time after that, pulsing through until the dough has just come together and has started to form a ball (doesn’t have to be one unified ball, just until some of the dough has started to come together).
Remove dough from processor and shape into a ball. For the double-crust, divide the dough in two (you can weigh each half if you like for precision, but it’s not necessary). If the dough has become warm, shape into a flattened disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 20-30 minutes. (You can also refrigerate this dough for a few days before using, and remove from fridge for an hour or two before rolling, long enough for the coconut oil to soften again in the dough).
When ready to use, place flattened disc between two sheets of parchment (for easiest rolling). Roll the dough out to about 2- 2 1/2” larger than your pie plate (see note). Place bottom crust in greased (see note) pie plate.
Place crust in freezer for 15-20 minutes while preparing filling (ex: Apple Pie, p.), or prebake crust (see note) if you will be using a no-bake filling in the pie.
For a double-crust, roll out the second-half of dough, place over top of filling, and crimp edges (don’t trim edges, the baked crust is too tasty, and even if thicker in spots, is still fabulous, so keep things rustic).
Follow directions for specific pie filling, and if using double crust, it’s a nice idea to brush the top with a little non-dairy milk and sprinkle a little sugar over top.
I use an almond meal that has been processed from natural, unblanched almonds (skins still intact). As a result, the crust has flecks of a nutty brown color, which is quite pretty in the finished pie. So, if you can buy this almond meal (or make it yourself), go for it!
Refer to "Let Them Eat Vegan" for full notes and tips for pie-making, and also see the 'Apple-Of-My-Eye' Pie Filling, below!
Apple-Of-My-Eye Pie Filling
This is your stop for apple pie filling. The apples are sliced thinly and bake up tender in a fragrant, juicy sauce. You can choose your favorite apples for this pie, as there will always be varying opinions about the “best” apples for apple pie! I like to use more than one variety, such as a combination of Fuji and Spartan, or a tart apple combined with a sweeter, crunchier variety such as Gala. Regardless of the type of apple, this is heavenly with the Gluten-Free Piecrust, from "Let Them Eat Vegan", posted above.
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 3 tbsp tapioca flour
- 1/4 cup unrefined sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 - 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp allspice
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 6 cups apples peeled, cored, and sliced thinly (see note)
- 1 double pie-crust recipe ex: Dreena's Gluten-Free Pie Crust, above, or can use 2 prepared pastry crusts
- Splash non-dairy milk to brush pastry
- 1-2 tsp unrefined sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
In bowl large enough to hold the sliced apples, combine the lemon juice with the maple syrup and tapioca starch flour, stirring well to incorporate fully. Stir in the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. Add the apple slices to the mix- ture, and toss to coat.
Transfer the filling to the bottom piecrust (you can prebake this crust for 10 to 15 minutes, if you like, but this is not necessary).
Moisten the edge of the crust with water (you can skip this step if using the Gluten-Free Piecrust, as it easily holds to bottom crust), and place the top crust over the filling. Cut a few slits in the top crust to allow steam to exit while baking (alternatively, you can use cutout pastry shapes to form the top crust, or a lattice-top crust). Brush the top crust with the milk and sprinkle a teaspoon or two of sugar over the top.
Place the pie in the oven (with a baking sheet on the rack underneath to catch any drippings) and bake for 20 minutes. Then lower heat to 350°F and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and the juices are thickened and bubbling, watching that the outer edges aren’t browning too fast (see “Making Vegan Piecrusts,” page 239). To check for doneness, pierce through the pie (where open or vented) with a skewer or sharp knife. If the apples are not tender when pierced, allow to cook for another 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven, transfer to a cooling rack, and let cool for an hour or more before serving.
This pie is delicious served with vanilla nondairy ice cream, or "Lemon-Scented Whipped Cream" from Let Them Eat Vegan.
photos credit: Livvy Zimmerman