Part 2: Gluten-free Crust & finish
I fear this post will be longer, but we have to finish the recipe, no? Okay, you should now have a nice bowl of apple chunks with a very sweet juice, which must be thickened. I like to use about a tablespoon of arrowroot powder & 1-2 tablespoons of rice flour (white or brown). Sprinkle over apples, then sprinkle with salt. Now give it all a thorough but gentle stir. Your fruit filling is finished, unless you’d like to also sprinkle with cinnamon or apple pie spice.
If you do all of this in one day, set the fat out to soften before you even start the apples. Also, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. In any case, use something soft (and a little warm). I like to use 1/4 cup coconut oil & 1/4 cup grass-fed butter. My mom used to use lard, & later, Crisco (but please don’t!) In a bowl, cut in 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour, using a fork or pastry cutter. I like to use 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1/2 cup millet flour, 1/4 cup white rice flour & 1/8 cup arrowroot powder. (Not every combination of GF flours works well here, but you could experiment with substitutes. I do not like the common garbanzo bean mixture for crusts.)
The next step is my secret weapon for a successful GF crust. Take an egg, and separate the white from the yolk. (If you can’t have eggs, you’ll have to use plain water and your crust will NOT stay together, or maybe you have something else that works.) In a bowl, add about 3 tablespoons of cold water to the egg white, & beat until a little foamy. Now, add this to your flour mixture, a little at a time, until you can form a ball. (You may need a bit more water.)
Butter or oil your pie pan, then place your dough ball in the pan. I need about 3/4 of the dough to cover the bottom & sides, & I use the rest to roll out & cover the top. Now, begin to flatten the ball, working the dough gently until it covers the pan. Leave the top edge a bit thick, if you can, & pinch it to decorate. I can do this in 3 or 4 minutes, but when I first did it, it seemed to take a lot longer. But if I try rolling a GF crust this size, it pretty much fails every time.
When the crust is ready, give your apples another gentle stir & put them, juice & all, in the pan. With any remaining dough, you can roll a little cover for the top. I like to use a pastry cloth, or you can use a (GF) bread bag cut down one side & across the bottom. Sprinkle it with flour, roll the dough out in a nice, round shape, then invert over the pie & coax your cover crust off the cloth/plastic to cover your pie. If you have enough dough, you can pinch the cover to the side edge crust, but this is not essential. You should poke a few odd-sized holes in the top crust anyway, to let steam out. Some people like to place bits of butter & or a sprinkle of sugar over the apples before the top crust, but that is optional.
Place your pie in the pre-heated oven, & set timer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn down oven to 350 degrees. Check the pie after 30 minutes. When it is done, the crust will be slightly browning, and you should see bubbling juices on top, here & there. If you see neither of these signs, put it back in at 10 minute intervals until done. There can be quite a difference in my baking times, depending on things like altitude & weather.
Even though this seems long, it is not difficult, I promise! I find the ability to make a decent crust to be so handy. I make all sorts of vegetable &/or meat savory pies & other goodies with this recipe. You can also use the egg yolk by mixing it in with your fruit, if you want. Enjoy!