Semi Home Made Holiday pies

Kendall wrote about this easy short-cut for making pies two holidays ago, but we thought it might come in handy again this season.

I think short cuts in cooking are critical for survival as a working mom. True confessions are in order here, I despise baking. I’d rather have a tooth filled than whip up a batch of cookies, bake a cake or make a pie. Birthdays, and celiac disease, present a major challenge in this area for me.

My daughter asked for an apple pie for her birthday dessert. I had a few options. Making pie dough from scratch–a long process with cold unsalted butter, flour and a Cuisinart was the most unpalatable option. Mixing the dough to perfect “pea sized” consistency and letting it rest is soooo time consuming. Then, to add insult to injury, it still needs to be rolled out!

I thought about using Pillsbury ready made pie crust and just doing two baked apples for the celiacs. This was also not a great option because I really do try to be inclusive of every family member.

But, then I remembered that I had two Whole Foods Gluten Free Bakery pie crusts in the freezer and figured I could use them to make a double-crust pie. The crusts thawed at room temperature and I prepped a bunch of apples with lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar and gluten-free flour.

It worked! I piled the apples into one crust and put the other crust on top. After five minutes in the oven, I stretched the top crust and pinched the top and bottom crusts together.

It was absolutely gorgeous when it came out of the oven. The crust was a light golden brown and the aroma was tantalizing. Everyone eagerly came to the table to celebrate.

Since it was semi-home made, it was a snap. My celiac has put in his request for pumpkin and apple pie for Thanksgiving! I can do that EASILY. Frozen, ready made gluten-free pie crust is now my favorite thing in the freezer case.

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  • Here’s an easy, wonderful apple pie recipe that I posted on the celiac listserv a few days ago. You can use any GF flour. People who have made it have been emailing me with rave reviews! I made it a while ago for my support group and it went quickly. :-) It’s a former gluten-containing recipe that I just converted to GF.

    Easy Apple Pie

    1 (9 inch) pie plate, buttered
    5 or 6 apples, cut up
    3/4 c. butter, melted
    1 c. GF flour*
    1 tsp. cinnamon
    1 tbsp. sugar
    1 c. sugar
    1 egg
    pinch of salt

    Put apples in pie plate and sprinkle with cinnamon and 1 tablespoon sugar. In a bowl, mix 1 cup sugar, GF flour, and butter. Blend in unbeaten egg & pinch of salt. Mix well and pour over apples. Sprinkle more cinnamon over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

    *My flour mix is made of 3 parts Asian white rice flour (more finely ground) and 2 parts Argo cornstarch. I mix it up in a huge bowl and then store it in Tupperware containers. I use it measure for measure like wheat flour. Sometimes I add xanthan gum (1/2 tsp per cup of flour, but no more than 1 tsp usually), but this recipe doesn’t need it.

    I also posted my tip on making most pies GF by adding 1/4 cup of GF flour to the recipe and skipping a crust. This method works for pies like pumpkin, coconut, chocolate, and vinegar. Note that if the recipe already calls for a little flour, substitute GF flour for that amount AND add the 1/4 cup. This method won’t work for heavy pies like fruit pies, but recipes can be found for those by googling “crustless apple pie”, for example, and then substituting GF flour for any flour. I posted the apple pie recipe above as an example of one of those recipes.

    Give this method a try. I think you’ll enjoy the results.

    Shirley Braden
    King George Celiac and Gluten Intolerance Group (VA)

  • I made another semi-homemade pie last night…so delish! Next time I am going to try this top crust method. When I made a topping for apples, like an apple crisp, I usually use Midel’s Ginger Snaps that I pulverize in the Cuisinart until they are crumbs, brown sugar, butter, gluten free oats and a couple tablespoons of gluten-free flour. I also add a little extra cinnamon. There are so many wonderful options with apples. Thanks for your comment!
    Kendall