food : dairy-free gluten-free apple pie

Apple pie, round two.

Never in a million years, after spending years tweaking the ingredients of my pie crust until I had it just the way I like it, did I expect to be attempting to make pies without flour or butter. Never! Yet, here I am, as it wouldn’t be autumn without apple pie. Partly because I myself can no longer eat butter and partly because the sprout now wants to be sure that he’s eating what we’re eating by feeding himself directly from our plates, I went in search of a dairy-free gluten-free pie crust recipe that would taste decent. For this, I invested in The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook, which promised to deliver.

The first attempt at pie was not a success, pretty much entirely because I didn’t follow the recipe exactly. Yes, I know, you would not be the first, last, or most vociferous to point out that not following the recipe at least the first time I make something means that we never actually know what the recipe tastes like. Point taken. In this case, I didn’t follow it because the very expensive special rice flour had not yet arrived in the mail AND I wanted to see if the very expensive special rice flour was actually necessary or if the only fairly expensive special flour mix from the store would work just as well. The answers are yes and no respectively, mostly because the gluten-free flour mix from the store is mostly bean flour and as you might imagine, bean crust does not taste super fabulous in a pie. I addressed the problem by dousing each piece in maple syrup (should you ever find yourself in this situation and need a solution). In addition, I forgot the dollops of fake butter for the filling in my rush to get the crust on before it dried out and totally fell apart, so there were some challenges all around.

The second attempt produced a respectable (albeit ricey) pie, using Pascal’s crust and baking instructions and my regular apple pie filling. The quirks of the gluten-free crust are that it doesn’t move as it bakes. It basically dries out and keeps its shape, so the big domed up top you make over the raw apples is still a big domed up top once the cooked apples have compressed into a normal-sized pie. While perfectly edible and nice looking when it comes out of the oven, it’s a bit of a pain in the keister to cut a piece without breaking the crust or to fit the pie into the handy-dandy pie container when it’s time to store it. The best way to address these issues is to only share the pie with really good friends and eat it all as soon as possible so it doesn’t need to be stored.

food : dairy-free gluten-free apple pie

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