Many people, in many cultures agree that today is the day to share something sweet with loved ones who have already passed on. Some people celebrate Dia De Los Muertos and others call it All Saints’ Day or All Souls’ Day.
The beautiful painting featured at the top of this post is from a series called Les Fantome du Passe Determinent les Fruit de la Tarte, or The Ghosts of the Past Choose the Fruit of the Tarte, painted by my friend and artist extraordinaire John Carlisle Moore. I am filled with regret at not having bought this painting when I had the chance, but I am grateful that John has given me permission to use it for today’s post. You can see more of his beautiful (often food themed) work here, or on instagram @juanseemas. Or you can just email him at firstname.lastname@example.org Learn from my mistake! If you see a painting that you like, buy it!
Lately, the ghosts of the past in my kitchen have been choosing apples. If you don’t know what I mean by that, take a look at this recent story about my biological father Hank and apple fritters. I am making today’s apple pie in honour of my Grandma and Grandpa Orr, my Estonian Grandparents and all three of my eccentric and wonderful fathers, Hank, Ric and Jack. I took the apple pie to the house of my friend and collaborator Rima Fand, where we invited her recently passed, wonderful father to join us for tea. She was also kind enough to photograph me and the apple pie in the fading rainy light of her garden shed.This is a gluten-free version of my favourite pie from The Little Pie Company. Listen, if you can eat gluten and you live in New York City, don’t mess around with my recipe, just go to Little Pie Company and buy yourself this pie. I have not eaten this pie for over 6 years and it haunts me still.
SOUR CREAM APPLE PIE WITH WALNUT CRUMB TOPPING (GLUTEN-FREE)
Gluten-Free Flour Mix
- 2 cups brown rice flour
- 2/3 cups potato starch (NOT POTATO FLOUR)
- 1/3 cup tapioca flour
Mix it all together!
Gluten free Pie Crust
- 1 cups plus 2 Tablespoons gluten-free pie mix (recipe above)
- 2 Tablespoons sweet rice flour (also known as mochi or glutinous rice flour)
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 6 Tablespoons cold butter
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons lemon or orange juice
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Butter a pie tin and dust it with some of the gluten-free flour mix.
- Mix the dry ingredients together.
- Cut the butter in to the dry ingredients and use your fingers to combine until it has the consistency of course cornmeal.
- Whisk the eggs and juice together.
- Add the liquid to the flour and butter and combine into a ball. Flatten the ball into a disk.
- Measure out two 12 inch sheets of wax paper. Roll the disk of dough out between two sheets of wax paper.
- Remove one of the sheets of wax paper and flip the dough into the pie tin.
- Remove the second sheet of wax paper and press the dough in to the pie tin using your fingers to repair any cracks. If the butter in the crust has started to melt by this point, just put it in the fridge to harden up for ten minutes.
- Bake the crust for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Prepare your pie filling while it bakes.
Sour Cream Apple Filling
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons gluten-free flour mix (recipe above)
- the zest of ½ lemon
- the seeds scraped from ½ vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large granny smith apples (about 1 and 1/2 pounds) Peeled, quartered, cored and sliced very thin.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, egg, sugar, flour, lemon zest and vanilla.
- Fold in the Apples.
- Pour the filling into the pre-baked pie crust and bake for 30 minutes. Make the crumble while the pie bakes.
Walnut Crumb Topping
- 1 cup gluten-free flour mix (recipe above)
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- 8 Tablespoon cold butter cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- In a large bow, whisk together the flour, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt.
- Using your fingers or a pastry cutter work the cold butter into the dry ingredients until it becomes crumbly. If the pie has not yet finished baking refrigerate the crumble mixture until the pie is done.
- When the pie is finished baking for 30 minutes, remove it from the oven and spread the crumbles over the top then sprinkle on the chopped walnuts. Bake the pie for another 20 minutes, or until the topping becomes golden.
- Let the pie cool totally before cutting.
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