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The GFCF Apple Week Recipe Experience: Apple Pie

Posted Nov 05 2010 1:55pm
It's Apple Week at the GFCF Experience, and Apple Week wouldn't be complete without some apple pie!

Here is some history and fun facts about apple pie
  • One of the first mentions of apple pie was in the cookbook The Forme of Cury by Samual Pegge, published around 1390. Back in those days sugar was scarce and expensive, and thus not used too often in baking. The crust of the pie, known then as a coffin, was not meant to be eaten. By the 1500s this had changed as sugar became readily more available.
  • Robert Green (1558-1592), English dramatist and poet, wrote in praise of a lovely lady, "They breath is like the steame of apple-pyes."
  • The earliest mention of apple pies in the US is in the 1700s. While apple orchards were commonplace by the 1640s, the colonists then were still mostly making meat pies. Then apple pies became popular in England, and the recipes and popularity soon spread to the colonies.
  • As people like John Chapman and Captain Aemilius Simmons (who introduced apples to the Pacific Northwest)spread apple trees across the US, and the US became the world's largest producer of apples, the apple pie became symbolic with American culture.
  • From the history of apple pie at What's Cooking America : in the 1890s, according to the historians of the Cambridge Hotel in Washington County New York, Professor Charles Watson Townsend dined regularly at the Cambridge Hotel during the mid 1890's. He often ordered ice cream with his apple pie. Mrs. Berry Hall, a diner seated next to him, asked what it was called. He said it didn’t have a name, and she promptly dubbed it Pie a la mode. Townsend liked the name so much he asked for it each day by that name. When Townsend visited the famous Delmonico Restaurant in New York City, he asked for pie a la mode. When the waiter proclaimed he never heard of it, Townsend chastised him and the manager, and was quoted as saying; "Do you mean to tell me that so famous an eating place as Delmonico's has never heard of Pie a la Mode, when the Hotel Cambridge, up in the village of Cambridge, NY serves it every day? Call the manager at once, I demand as good serve here as I get in Cambridge." The following day it became a regular at Delmonico and a resulting story in the New York Sun (a reporter was listening to the whole conversation) made it a country favorite with the publicity that ensued.
  • "When you say that something is "as American as apple pie," what you're really saying is that the item came to this country from elsewhere and was transformed into a distinctly American experience."
    ---As American as Apple Pie, John Lehndorff, American Pie Council.
  • Finally, does anyone remember this?

My apple pie was derived from this recipe at . The crust was my adaptation of Carol Fenster's Double Pie Crust recipe found in her book 1000 Gluten Free Recipes - you can find the recipe here. The main adjustment I made was that I reserved about 1/3 cup of the glaze to brush on the lattice top and incorporated the remainder into the filling.

My problem was that I didn't keep the remaining glaze on the stove at least over low heat, and it stiffened to the point where it didn't go on the top crust as smoothly as it should have. Hence, the globby texture. I also used 8 apples as the recipe suggested; in retrospect, that was too much and really overfilled the pie pan. For my shallow pan, 6 would have been plenty.

But, quite frankly, the proof is in the taste. And this is one of the best tasting apple pies I've ever had.

Adapted from Grandma Ople's Recipe at

1 GFCF recipe for a 9" double crust pie (click here for my recipe)
6 Granny Smith or other cooking apples (8 for a deep dish pie, peeled, cored, and sliced
1/2 cup (1 stick) CF butter (I used Earthbalance Buttery Sticks)
3 Tbsp GF all purpose flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 425° and place a large baking sheet lined with foil on the bottom rack. Place the apples in a large mixing bowl.

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and stir to form a paste. Add the water, sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the temperature and let it simmer.

Roll out the bottom crust and place it in the pan. Roll out the top crust and, using a pizza cutter or knife, cut into strips to be used for the lattice top (I used 10 strips). Set aside.

Add all but 1/3 cup of the sugar-butter mixture to the apples, and combine until the apples are evenly coated. Keep the remaining 1/3 cup of liquid on the stove over low heat.

Place the apples evenly in the pie pan. Arrange the strips of dough on top of the apples in a lattice formation, pinching at the edges to seal. Using a pastry brush, brush the remaining sugar-butter mixture on to the lattice crust and around the edges.

Place the pie in the oven on the middle rack and back at 425° for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°, rotate the pie 180°, and bake for an additional 35 to 45 minutes or until the crust is browned and the apples are cooked through. If the crust is browning too fast, cover with aluminum foil.

Sources used for the historical information include What's Cooking America and Food Timeline .

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