I wasn’t expecting to post about The Pie, but a couple of Twitter inquiries have prompted me to pull this one together. Sorry for the lack of beauty shots!
First, off, put me firmly in the camp of those for whom Thanksgiving just isn’t Thanksgiving without a slice of apple pie. So, about a week ago, I frantically started asking around the Twitterverse for a wheat-free, dairy-free recipe. This wasn’t a search for the perfect pie, just something not too gross and gloppy.
Thank you, tweeps, who pointed me in the direction of Cybele Pascal!
A few renditions of her pie crust recipe are online, such as here and here. (Note: However helpful these posts were, it pains me as a librarian even to point to copyright violations, so I won’t be reproducing the recipe here myself. If you ever read this, Cybele, please know that I’ll be purchasing a copy of your book once Buy Nothing Day is over!)
I’m usually pretty lax about approximations and substitutions in recipes, but this one I followed scrupulously, with fairly attractive, if somewhat crumbly results:
The one exception to scrupulous recipe-following was that I had to use the Arrowhead Mills brown rice flour and the Bob’s Red Mill white rice flour that were on hand. The recommendation is for Authentic Foods superfine brown rice flour, and now I know why.
The crust was entirely delicious—flaky, crispy, and browned. But the whole thing was permeated by little pieces of slightly crunchy grit. Not as bad as eating sand; just crunch where there shouldn’t have been crunch. If it makes the grit go away, then an investment in the Authentic brand flour will be totally worthwhile. Pie!
You can see that the grit didn’t bother us too much:
For the filling, I peeled and sliced six or seven apples: a couple of Grannies, a couple of goldens, a couple of whatever else we had on hand. (Mixing apples is always my favorite trick for pies and applesauce; it gives a much better flavor.) Tossed the apples with about 3 Tbs. tapioca flour; a quarter cup or so of sugar; unmeasured shakes of ground cinnamon, cloves, and allspice; and a squeeze of lime juice (thanks for the idea, Alton Brown). I let the whole business set while making up the crust, and then, since many of my other wheat-free baking experiments have turned out kind of soggy, I drained off the juice for fear of swamping the crust.
Popped the pan on a baking sheet on the bottom shelf of our electric oven for 25 minutes at 425 degrees, then another 45 minutes at 375 degrees. The whole thing needed to be tented under aluminum foil about halfway through to prevent burning.
This morning, I’m back on more familiar territory, with a big pot of turkey carcass soup simmering away on the stove and making the house smell fabulous for the second day in a row.
Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving!