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Recipe: Gluten-Free Apple Pie With Almond Coconut Crust

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Photo by Krista Simmons/LAist
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Fall is here, people. And that means it's time to start baking and braising. My apple tree was bursting with fruit last week, so I went outdoors to pick the tart, acidic apples. Unfortunately, once I'd gotten to the tree there was only enough fruit left for one pie, so the pressure was on.

I've tried several almond flour crusts as of late, and have had zero success. So my fingers were crossed when I used a recipe for almond crust with coconut oil from Elana's Pantry.

I tweaked it a little due to what I already know about how this gluten-free flour behaves, and it turned out a treat. I pre-cooked my apples since this crust doesn't take as long too bake, and I didn't want it to turn into a crumbly mess. For the French crumble topping, I used butter, but you could also easily use a dairy-free substitute or coconut oil if you're keeping paleo.

Sticking with the health-conscious sentiment, I substituted tapioca flour for corn starch to thicken up the juices from the cooked apples in the filling. If you want to go further and make this a truly paleo-pie, the French crumble topping could use dark coconut sugar instead of brown sugar or coconut oil instead of butter. But the amount of butter for a single serving is so small that to me it's not worth messing with, especially considering the texture you get from a real crumble. Besides, life is all about balance, right?

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Here's how it's done:

Almond Coconut Crust

2 cups blanched almond flour
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 egg

Place flour and salt in food processor and pulse briefly. Add coconut oil and egg and pulse just until mixture forms a ball. Just like any crust, you don't want it to be overworked. Press dough into a 9-inch pie dish. Blind bake at 350° for 5 minutes.

Apple Pie Filling

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3 cups tart green apples, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
1/3 cup organic grade B maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons tapioca flour
2 tablespoons orange juice

While pie is blind baking in the oven, put all ingredients except for the tapioca flour into a large saucepan over medium heat. Cover the pan, and stir occasionally. Once the apples are soft but still have some crunch, stir in the tapioca flour. Once the liquid from the apples has thickened and the flour has dissolved, remove from heat. Transfer the cooked apples to the blind-baked pie crust.

Crumble

1/3 cup almond flour
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup rolled oats, plus 2 tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter

Pulse all of the ingredients in a food processor, except for the additional 2 tablespoons oats, until butter has formed little peas. Add in two tablespoons whole oats, then sprinkle mixture over the top of your pie.

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Bake the pie in the oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees, or until the crust is golden brown and the crumble has toasted up. Cool and serve.