Tuesday, December 11, 2012

French Apple Pie (gluten free)

French apple pie differs from the traditional apple pie in that, instead of having a crust on top, it has a crumble topping. This pie is sweetened with honey and sucanat.  The apple filling in this recipe is only lightly sweetened, preserving the delicious taste of the apples and cinnamon. For the bottom crust, I combined rice flour and ground nuts; I used a butter, rice flour, and sucanat-based crumble for the top.  Like most homemade pies, this recipe takes a bit of time to put together, but it is well worth it. My family really enjoyed this recipe, and it is sure to become a family tradition for us in the Fall and Winter seasons.

French Apple Pie
  1. This crust recipe will work best with cold ingredients.  Start by chopping the butter into small, pea-sized pieces.  Place the chopped butter into the freezer to cool more while you get everything else ready.
  2. Combine the ground nuts, rice flour, coconut flour, arrowroot, and salt in a food processor*.  Pulse a few times to combine.  
  3. Add the cold chopped butter to the food processor and mix just until the butter is well-incorporated into the dry ingredients and the mixture has a fine texture. Don't over-mix during this step.
  4. With the processor running, add the egg and mix just until well-combined and starting to clump-up.
  5. Grease a 9-inch pie plate with butter.  Dump the mixed crust ingredients straight into the pie plate.  Use your fingers to spread and press the crust into the pie plate. Make sure the crust is spread evenly over the bottom and sides of the pie plate.
  6. Put the crust in the fridge to chill while you assemble the rest of the ingredients.
  7. Wash and dry the food processor parts so you can prepare the crumble topping next.  
*If you don't have a food processor, I bet you could make this by cutting in the butter and then the other ingredients with a pastry cutter or a couple of butter knives. If you try that, I'd recommend that you beat the egg before adding it and then use a hand mixer to make sure it gets fully incorporated.
  1. Chop the butter into small, pea-sized pieces.  Place the chopped butter into the freezer to cool more while you get everything else ready.
  2. Combine the sucanat, salt, coconut flour, arrowroot, and rice flour in the food processor**.  Pulse a few times to combine.
  3. Add the cold butter and pulse until you achieve a coarse texture, a bit more chunky than a cornmeal consistency.
  4. Put this crumble topping in the fridge to cool while you make the apple filling. 
**If you don't have a food processor, I bet you could make this by cutting in the butter with a pastry cutter or a couple of butter knives.
  • For the apple filling
    • 4 med-large sweet-tart apples, such as Cameo, Fuji, or Granny Smith
    • 2 Tb arrowroot
    • 2 Tb mild-flavored honey
    • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
    • 1/8 tsp fine ground celtic sea salt
    • 1 Tb fresh lemon juice
  1. Peel the apples.  Remove the cores and slice the apples thinly, about 1/8-inch thick.
  2. Place the sliced apples into a large bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir it all together.
  • Putting it all together
    • bottom crust
    • apple filling
    • crumble topping
    • sweetened whipped cream (recipe follows)
  1. Remove the bottom crust and crumble topping from the fridge.
  2. Pour the apple filling into the bottom crust, and then top with the crumble topping.  
  3. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 1 hour, until the topping is slightly browned.
  4. Remove from the oven and cool for a couple hours before you cut into it.
  5. Top with sweetened whipped cream and enjoy!
Sweetened Whipped Cream
  1. Beat the cream and salt together until the mixture starts to get thick and fluffy.  I like to use my Kitchen-Aid stand mixer with the wire whip attachment, but you could also use a hand mixer.
  2. Add the vanilla extract, and drizzle in the honey while the mixer is running.  Alternatively, you could drizzle in the honey a little at a time and mix between each honey addition. 
  3. If you're using a stand mixer, use a silicone spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times to make sure you don't have any clumps of honey at the bottom.  I like to beat it until it gets a bit stiff since it will tend to soften up a bit in the fridge over the next few days.
  4. Store the whipped cream in the fridge in an airtight bowl.
***If your raw honey is very crystallized, place it over a bowl of warm water to make it a bit runny.


Jennifer said...

For the bottom crust, is it possible to substitute another flour for the almond flour? We have a nut allergy in our home. Can I use more rice flour, or another gluten free flour?

Sarah Smith said...

Hi Jennifer,
Try this recipe instead for the bottom crust! I would personally just use white rice flour instead of brown, since we have some issues digesting brown rice...


Anonymous said...

Hey Sarah,
I have been following your blog for over a year now, but I am decided to stop. It is not your change off the GAPS diet, that actually really interests me, even though I am on the GAPS diet now. Your approach has become different than mine and I do not relate to your recipes anymore. One particular reason is your choice is grains. I have to say I do not think that unsoaked white rice is a smart solution. White flour spikes your blood sugar no matter how you look at it, and I do not think that using this is nourishing in any way. White rice is empty calories and has no nutrient-density or healing benefits that I know of. So thank you for your sharing your journey, but my journey is different now.

Sarah Smith said...

Thanks for writing. You might be interested to read why we are eating white rice instead of brown. I ate soaked brown rice for years and years before GAPS. Coming off GAPS, we all noticed problems with brown rice, but no problems with white rice. Others have noticed the same thing, and there are also several natural, WAPF-friendly doctors who also recommend white rice (like Chris Kresser and the authors of the Perfect Health Diet book). I included a quote from Chris Kresser in this post about why we eat white rice instead of brown.

I found that brown rice gave me digestive issues and made my joints ache; white rice does neither. Regardless, I know everybody is different and what works for some may not for others!