Friday, July 6, 2012

a happy 4th of July with apple pie

So, I'm starting a lovely food cooking adventure with two lovely ladies, Rhiannon & Cassie. All three of us LOVE cooking and thought it would be a fun for each of  us to cook a themed dish of some sort once a week. We'll each do different recipes according to the various themes, then share with on the interwebs... Stoked to embark on this adventure with you awesome girls!

Our first adventure? APPLE PIE for the 4TH OF JULY!

I have never made a pie in my life. I don't even own a pie pan. So obviously had to go get one. Haha. I did a variation on an Apple Raspberry Pie with a Gluten-Free Crust. I was out celebrating the 4th with friends & one of them is gluten-free. I always try to make gluten-free things for get-togethers because I want everyone to have the chance to indulge. :)

Apple Raspberry Pie with a Gluten-Free Crust
adapted from Joy the Baker's Apple Raspberry Pie
& from About.Com's Gluten-Free Crust Recipe

for the Crust:
1/2 cup of shortening
1.5 cups of organic rice flour
4 tablespoons of water

I doubled the recipe for a top and bottom crust. Then just split the dough in half!

for the Filling:
2 1/2 pounds baking apples, peeled, cored and sliced ¼-inch thick
     (I used a combo of Granny Smith & Fuji. Joy also recommends Pink Ladies)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
     (I used the already powdered nutmeg. Already had it in my cupboard.)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch                
1 heaping cup fresh raspberries
1 egg, beaten
Sugar, for liberally sprinkling
how to:
1. Made the crust first!

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, gradually add in the shortening as you mix the flour. I used my hands to mix it all together, much easier. Then add the water last. 

Should have read a person's comment below the recipe post before making this recipe. This person recommended adding an egg to get to get the rice flour to bind better. I DEFINITELY would have done that, had I known. Also, next time, I would sugar to this. Could be sweeter. 

3. Take half of the dough & roll it up into a ball with your hands.
Take your pie crust pan (I used a 9-inch pan) and put the dough in the middle of the pan.
Mold the dough to the pan! Use your fingers, way more fun.

4. After you finish that, prick the bottom of the crust with a fork. Prevents buckling.


5. Bake the crust at 400 degrees for 12 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
When done baking, take it out of the oven & set aside. 

6. With the other half of the dough, roll it into a ball with your hands.
Take some parchment or wax paper and place the dough ball in the middle of it.
Roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it can cover the top of your pie.
Cover the top of it with another sheet of parchment or wax paper, then set aside.

7. Let's move on to the filling!

Take a large bowl & combine the apples, lemon juice, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together. Toss it all together to mix. Do it by hand, again more fun. Cover apples (I used foil) and allow them to rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to a maximum of 3 hours. The apples will develop and release juices.  

Due to time constraints, I let mine rest for 2-2.5 hours & a lot of juices were released!

8. Get a colander and put it on top of a large bowl. Take the apples and their juices and transfer them to the bowl. The bowl will capture the liquid. You will have at least 1/2 cup of liquid.

9. In a small, preferably non-stick, saucepan boil down the liquid over medium heat with the butter. Boil it down to about 1/3 cup or until syrupy and lightly caramelized. If you have more than 1/2 cup of liquid, then boil it down to a little more than a 1/3 cup. Be sure to swirl the liquid and not stir!

10. While the sauce is cooking,  transfer the apples to a bowl, add the raspberries, then toss with the cornstarch until it's all dissolved.

11. Pour the syrup over the apple and raspberry mixture, tossing gently. I used a spatula to toss it.
Don't worry if the liquid hardens on the apples, it will dissolve when it bakes.

12. Take the bottom crust of the pie and transfer the apple & raspberry mixture to it.

Take the top crust and gently place pieces of it on top of the mixture. (Due to how delicate the gluten-free crust is, it will be difficult to get the top crust on the pie in one piece. Just take big pieces of it, it's like a crumble topping.)

13. Before preheating the oven, set oven rack at the lowest level and place a foil-lined baking sheet on top of it. Then preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Do this at least 20 minutes before baking!

14. Beat the egg. Brush the top crust with it. It'll help the crust become golden brown. Then, liberally sprinkle sugar all over it.

15. Put the pie directly on the foil-topped baking sheet and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until the juices bubble through the top and the apples feel tender but not mushy. Use a fork to test the apples' consistency.

16. Cool for at least 2 hours before cutting. It will be a bit crumbly, but that's part of the fun!
 Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

The one thing I would try differently next time is to make adjustments to the crust. Beating an egg into it and adding some sugar. It was too crumbly for me and a little too bland in flavor. But this was my first time making a pie and I'm pretty proud of myself! :)

Check out Rhiannon's Pie
and Cassie's Pie

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