Apple Pie, Vegan and Gluten Free!

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I’m going to straight up tell you that if you’ve never made pie crust before I would practice with cheap ingredients. Make a bunch. Pie crust is a fine line. I don’t enjoy baking because I’m not a measurer. When I have to bust out the measuring cups for a recipe I often skip it, or guestimate it. If it doesn’t turn out well I know exactly why. I’m a pinch of this and a sprinkle of that kinda girl.

I love making pie crust. Which seems counter intuitive I know. Every recipe says you have to be exact with your measurements. In fact The Westinghouse Cook Book copywrite 1954 says:

“Tricks in Pastry Making

1. Sift the flour before measuring.
2. Be extra careful in the accurate measurement of your shortening.
3. Be very careful to use only the right amount of water and not a drop more. A heavy hand with water has ruined many a potentially fine pie crust.”

Seeing as there are only three ingredients in pie and the tips are all about measuring those three ingredients a beginner pie maker could easily freak out. DON’T FREAK OUT.

Enjoy this joke also from The Westinghouse Cook Book 1954

“A favorite nephew of mine once said that he really only cared for two kinds of pie. This seemed a little unusual, since pie is a favorite with most men. When questioned as to the two kinds he liked he said, ‘One crust and double-crust pies.’
Most husbands seem to feel the same way – they’ll eat anything so long as it’s pie.”

Ah men.

Here’s the thing. The options for shortening are

1. Butter -The Westinghouse says never use butter, it makes a tough crust. Those ladies knew crust. I’m not arguing with them.
2. Veggie Oil (salad oil in The Book) -The Book has no option other than some cooks prefer it. I’ve never tried.
3. Lard -Amazing for crust, assuming you have the highest quality organic lard. However this is REALLY not vegan.
4. Shortening aka Crisco. These are hydrogenated oils. These are evil. The list of why is way to long to list here. Just trust me on this one. There is absolutely no reason to ever injest hydrogenated oil ever.

So along comes coconut oil. I’m thinking it’s like butter or shortening. It’s solid when cool, liquid when hot. It’s a healing food. I’m going to make crust out of it!

I used Trader Joes gluten free flour mix. It’s made with whole grain brown rice flour, potato starch, rice flour, and tapioca flour. It’s not the best but its not the worst either. Keep in mind that different gluten free flours are going to react differently so here’s where your finesse and all those practice crusts come in.

A double crust for a 9 inch pie pan is 2 cups of flour, fat, water, pinch of salt. (make a double, if you only need one, freeze the other so you don’t have to make it again later.) This is how you do it.

Sift your flour before measuring. I generally sift over the surface I’m going to roll the crust out on.

2 Cups GF Flour
1/2 Cups Coconut Oil 
2-4 Tbls Water
1 tsp Salt

Mix the salt with the flour. Slowly using a pastry blender (a thing that looks like a handle with a bunch of wires looping around it, sorta like the hand guard on a sword) pour a little of the oil in the flour and mix, pour a little at a time until your flour looks like coarse meal. 

Think steel cut oats, maybe a little bigger. You may not use a full 1/2 cup, that’s ok. Depending on your GF Flour mix the amount of oil is going to change. Don’t go overboard. Take your time and add slowly. 

Now you know what this looks like because you’ve practiced making crust with traditional white flour and crappy shortening that you didn’t eat because you love yourself and you don’t put that junk in the temple of your body. Right?

Now add the water one Tablespoon at a time until it comes together into a beautiful ball of crust. This should hold together while still being dry to the touch. Divide into two.

Now you can roll the crust out to an inch bigger than your pan. It’s easiest to transfer to the pan by rolling the crust around the rolling pin. However if your crust isn’t holding together DON’T FREAK OUT. You can press the crust into the pan. It will still be delicious! 

At this point it’s time to make your filling! Whoopie! This is super easy.

Turn your oven on to 425

7 Apples (granny smith or another tart apple)
2 cups of coconut sugar (if you use a more traditional sugar use 1 1/2 cups)
3 heaping Tbls of flour (I like coconut flour here, but you can use the same flour as the crust)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg (not a make or break but I do love it!)

Mix everything but the apples and 1 third, a little less than half on the in the pie pan. Skin and core your apples, then slice into 8ths. Not to thin, you want them to still resemble apples after they’ve been baked 😉

Apples in the pie, the rest of your filling on top. Place the top crust on top. You’re going to seal the edges by pinching them together all the way around. If it’s not sealing dip your fingers in water then pinch together.

There need to be some kind of holes in the top crust to let steam escape. I keep it simple and cut something out after the crust is sealed on top. If you want to get fancy cut it out before and VERY carefully transfer.

Bake 45-50 minutes

As you can see in the picture I didn’t stay on top of my crust and burnt the edges. If your edges are starting to get toasty place some tin foil over the edges while the pie finishes to bake. 

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