Adapting to my new diet due to health reasons, I was afraid I’d never have a gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free and egg-free apple pie that would taste as great as the ones I used to make before food troubles. I had found some awesome raw cakes for myself, but the boyfriend didn’t really agree with eating stuff that hadn’t been baked. So I set myself a goal: make a great-tasting apple pie that adheres to my stupid food rules, is delicious to eat and makes my boyfriend reach for a second slice.
Since I hate throwing even failed food away, I really needed a smaller cakeform for conducting my pie experiments. So I bought a tiny springform (12 cm diametre) and three apples and started testing. It only took three tries to come up with a recipe that tasted similar to my old apple pies and fulfilled all the requirements. This adorable little pie takes only one apple and feeds two-three people for dessert. If you want a bigger pie, you’ll have to multiply the ingredients by three or so.
Gluten free one-apple pie
50 ml rice flour
1 tbsp oat flour
1 (flax) egg
1 tbsp coconut oil
3 tsp coconut sugar
0.5 tsp arrowroot powder
0.25 tsp cinnamon
0.25 tsp nutmeg
If you can’t eat eggs, there’s this amazingly easy way of replacing them for a lot of foods with flax seeds. You can of course use an actual egg if you wish – in that case skip the flax egg steps. For the replacement, take one tablespoon of flax seeds and put them in a grinder. I’ve also made mine in a blender, but now I have an actual grinder for it. Yet again – thank you, parents! It also doubles as a coffee grinder for my boyfriend since he is lucky enough to be able to drink that.
Grind the flax seeds into a fine powder. Then put it in a bowl and add three tablespoons of cold water. Whisk it together with a fork and place the mixture in the fridge. Now you can start gathering all other ingredients and pile them on the table. During that time, the ground seeds will turn into a weird goopy mixture that binds foods together like egg whites do.
Take all the dry ingredients and sift them together. The arrowroot powder is there to make the non-wheat flours a bit fluffier and give the pie a nice texture. The tablespoon of oat flour is also there for a more interesting texture, but it has the bonus of adding some nice oaty flavour. (The photo has a chickpea flour package in the background since I used that on my first try, but I vastly prefer the oaty addition from my next versions of this recipe.) I guess using only rice flour could work as well, but oat or even buckwheat flour adds this little extra oomph that gluten free foods often need.
Now add coconut oil and the (flax) egg. Mix well. The dough should have a quite nice consistency now – not too dry and not too runny. Of course it will be a bit sticky, but that’s to be expected from a recipe like this.
Grease your 12 cm springform (or line the bottom with baking paper) and use your fingers to spread the dough nicely. I like making quite high edges so there’s something to keep the apples and the crumble in place later. No need to use a rolling pin or anything, just pinch a bit of dough and spread it, adding next pieces next to it and connecting them. The dough is sticky enough for playing around with it.
some cinnamon and lemon juice
Dice the apple into small cubes. Peel it first if the peel is weird and waxy. Fill the springform halfway, then sprinkle some lemon juice and cinnamon on top. The lemon juice adds some nice sour notes to the pie, this is especially important with more ripe apples. Apples for a pie should always be slightly on the “green” side. If they’re too ripe, they’ll just form a sweet mush – which is great if that’s what you’re aiming for. But if you want your apple cubes to stay as cubes and have a nice fresh flavour even when baked, go for less ripe ones. Even rather raw apples can be used successfully for pies!
Now fill the form properly. One apple should be exactly enough for it, or in case of a bigger apple, you’ll even have a bit extra to munch on. This is why I really love this recipe – it literally only takes one apple and not much of the other ingredients either, so you can make a fresh mini-pie every day if you wish.
50 ml almond meal
1 tsp coconut sugar
1 tsp coconut oil
0.5 tsp cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mixing properly. Here you can use leftover almond meal from making almond milk, chop up some fresh almonds or even use some other nuts. Walnuts are lovely for apple pies, but I use almonds because these are the safest option for me. (I’m still testing other nuts to see whether they make me feel ill after eating.)
Cover the pie with the crumble. Put it in the oven (200°C / 392°F) for 35. I recommend using the lower part of the oven so the top doesn’t burn and the crust gets nicely cooked. Depending on your oven, the cake can be ready sooner or later than the recommended time. Definitely check the cake every now and then to make sure you won’t end up with a burned crumble or dry pie.
Let the pie cool down a bit before cutting it open – otherwise the filling might run away before you can lift the piece. This tiny pie was perfect as a sweet lunch for two people. I had half and then tried to attack my boyfriend’s half with a fork to get some extra. I did not succeed. I probably could eat this entire pie alone as well. Tiny and delicious!