Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Grain Free Apple Pie Recipe

In my house, I believe that the kitchen is the heart.  It is where I mix together ingredients, add a little love, and create something that will help nourish my family’s body and soul.  I learned this from my mother.  She made homemade chicken soup when I was sick to help me feel better.  My mother was always willing to share meals with friends and acquaintances.  She would invite others to share our holiday meals, because no one should be alone on a holiday.  My mother would bring food to social events, and hers would always be eaten first.  I saw how home cooked meals brought family and friends closer together.  Eating, talking, and laughing always seemed to go hand in hand. 

My mother first taught me how to cook.  She would hum as she worked in the kitchen, and I always knew she was happy.  I enjoyed being able to help my mother, and I felt extremely satisfied when people enjoyed the food that we were making.  Now that I have my own home, my husband and I get to cook together.  We enjoy working together in the kitchen to create something that is really special.  That same sense of satisfaction that I felt as a child is something that I feel in my own kitchen.  

When I was younger, my mother gave me the job of “official taster.”  She let me taste everything that we made, and I felt so important.  Now this job has been passed down to my children, which they love as much as I did.  When my parents come to visit, my mother has the privilege of seeing her grandchildren become excited over something she started many years ago.   

Recently, my dietary needs have adapted into a diet that is mostly grain-free.  That means that I am no longer able to make my grandmother’s recipes and other traditional foods I used to make with my mother.  Now that I am gaining some confidence in my ability in the kitchen, I want to try to incorporate these needs into the recipes of my childhood.  The biggest change I have made is that I now use almond flour to bake.  I like baking for my family and friends, so this blog is going to chronicle my experiences of doing just that.    

One of the blogs that I read, Cottage Magpie, just did a post about apple pie.  I have been successful at make a Grain Free/Gluten Free Apple Crisp in the past, but I haven’t had apple pie in years.  So, I decided that I needed to try it.  I used the Gluten Free Tart Crust recipe from Elana’s Pantry and incorporated the way my mother and I make apple pie.

Grain Free Apple Pie
Ingredients for 2 Crusts:
4 cups almond flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons coconut oil
2 eggs

Ingredients for Pie Filling:
6 apples, sliced or chopped (about 7-8 cups)
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Put 2 cups of flour and ½ teaspoon of salt into the food processor and briefly pulse.  Add 2 table spoons of coconut oil and one egg and pulse until mixture comes together.  Press the dough into a 9-inch pie plate and put it to the slide.

Slice or chop the 6 apples and put into a large bowl.  Add ¾ cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.  Mix together until the apples are completely coated with sugar mixture.  Pour apples into the pie crust.

Make another crust for the top of the pie.  Press the dough over the top to cover all of the apples.  Then pierce the crust with a fork to allow steam to escape during the cooking process.

Place the pie on a cookie sheet and cover with aluminum foil.  Put in the oven for 40 minutes.  Then remove the aluminum foil and bake for 15 more minutes.  Please note that I have a convection oven, so the times might be different in your oven.  

My Analysis:  I let the pie cool for 15 minutes before I served it to my husband and myself.  The pie turned out very well, but there were a little tweaks that I would try when I am making it again.  The apple filling was cooked and flavored well, but there was still too much liquid.  I would add more cornstarch next time to thicken up the pie filling.  The amount of cornstarch needed changes based on the type of apples you are using.  I used Jonagolds, because that is the type of apple I had in my house.  I also felt that the pie crust was a little too cakey for this type of pie.  I prefer Elana Amsterdam’s “Simple Tart Crust” from The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook (2009).  Overall, this pie is super yummy!