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Gluten-Free Apple and Blackberry Pie

by . Featured in SIMPLY NIGELLA
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Introduction

As you can see by looking at my Gluten-free Cakes my way of tackling gluten-free-baking is simply to exclude flour altogether but, inspired by 'The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook' I have embarked on a pie that involves gluten-free flour and xanthan gum, both of which I found at my local supermarket. By the way, although it is called xanthan gum, it comes as a powder.

I have moreorless followed the America’s Test Kitchen recipe, with a couple of changes: I process the dough continuously rather than pulse to combine at the very end; and I roll out the pastry between sheets of baking parchment rather than clingfilm.

I love the look of a pie baked in one of those old-fashioned looking American-style cast iron skillets but you can just as easily use a pie dish, metal rather than ceramic for choice. And although you probably could make the dough stretch to line and cover a 22cm/9-inch pan or dish, it is less stressful to use one that is 20cm/8inch in diameter. Obviously, you can make whatever filling you like, adapting any recipes you already use.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

As you can see by looking at my Gluten-free Cakes my way of tackling gluten-free-baking is simply to exclude flour altogether but, inspired by 'The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook' I have embarked on a pie that involves gluten-free flour and xanthan gum, both of which I found at my local supermarket. By the way, although it is called xanthan gum, it comes as a powder.

I have moreorless followed the America’s Test Kitchen recipe, with a couple of changes: I process the dough continuously rather than pulse to combine at the very end; and I roll out the pastry between sheets of baking parchment rather than clingfilm.

I love the look of a pie baked in one of those old-fashioned looking American-style cast iron skillets but you can just as easily use a pie dish, metal rather than ceramic for choice. And although you probably could make the dough stretch to line and cover a 22cm/9-inch pan or dish, it is less stressful to use one that is 20cm/8inch in diameter. Obviously, you can make whatever filling you like, adapting any recipes you already use.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Ingredients

Serves: 6-8

Metric Cups

For the Pastry/Dough:

  • 200 grams unsalted butter
  • 80 millilitres ice-cold water
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 365 grams gluten-free flour
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum

For the Fruit Filling:

  • 500 grams bramley apples peeled, cored and sliced or chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of xanthan gum
  • 250 grams blackberries
  • 1 egg white
  • ½ teaspoon white sugar

For the Pastry/Dough:

  • 7 ounces unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons ice-cold water
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 13 ounces gluten-free flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum

For the Fruit Filling:

  • 4 cups bramley apples peeled, cored and sliced or chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of xanthan gum
  • 2 cups blackberries
  • 1 egg white
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar

Method

  1. Cut the butter into half centimetre/quarter inch cubes and put in a flat dish in the freezer for 15 mins and get on with the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Mix the water, sour cream and vinegar in a jug or bowl.
  3. Tip the gluten-free flour, sugar, salt and xanthan gum into a food processor and blitz quickly to combine.
  4. When the butter’s had its 15 mins of fame in the freezer, add it to the flour mixture in the processor and give about 10 pulses, until the butter is the size of large peas.
  5. Pour in half the sour cream mixture and pulse till incorporated. 3 to 5 pulses should do it: the mixture will be crumbly and quite fine.
  6. Pour in the remaining sour cream mixture and process until the dough just begins to come together, clumping around the blades.
  7. Tip out the pastry/dough and form into two equal sized balls, and flatten each into discs, wrap in cling and put in the fridge for 40 minutes to rest. (If you wanted you could leave the pastry/dough here for up to 2 days). While the pastry’s/dough's in the fridge, if you are proceeding to bake the pie straightaway, preheat the oven to 200°C/180ºC Fan/400°F.
  8. Melt the butter in a wide pan, and then add the sliced apples, sugar and cinnamon turning everything about and cooking for about 3 minutes or until the apples soften and make a caramelly liquid in the bottom of the pan. Add the blackberries, stir gently, take off the heat and stir in the xanthan gum.
  9. When the discs of pastry/dough have had their time to rest in the fridge, take one of the discs out and roll out between two pieces of greaseproof or parchment paper. It is important not to add any flour to the pastry/dough during the rolling out process.
  10. Once the pastry/dough is wide enough to line the bottom and sides of your dish or skillet, about 4cm/2 inches of overhang should do it. Take off the top layer of greaseproof or parchment, and then turn the pastry/dough upside down over your dish and carefully peel off the remaining paper.
  11. Ease the pastry/dough into your dish, and then take out the other disc and roll in out in the same way.
  12. Tip the apple and blackberry mixture into the pie case and dampen the lip with cold water, and then peel away the top layer of paper off the pastry/dough and flip it over the top of the pie.
  13. Cut around the overhang of pastry/dough with a knife and then seal the edge by either crimping or pressing it down with the prongs of a fork.
  14. Cut some slits in the centre of the pie for steam to escape, then paint with the egg white and sprinkle over the sugar.
  15. Put in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the pastry/dough is cooked and golden. If you use a regular pie dish, it may take longer.
  1. Cut the butter into half centimetre/quarter inch cubes and put in a flat dish in the freezer for 15 mins and get on with the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Mix the water, sour cream and vinegar in a jug or bowl.
  3. Tip the gluten-free flour, sugar, salt and xanthan gum into a food processor and blitz quickly to combine.
  4. When the butter’s had its 15 mins of fame in the freezer, add it to the flour mixture in the processor and give about 10 pulses, until the butter is the size of large peas.
  5. Pour in half the sour cream mixture and pulse till incorporated. 3 to 5 pulses should do it: the mixture will be crumbly and quite fine.
  6. Pour in the remaining sour cream mixture and process until the dough just begins to come together, clumping around the blades.
  7. Tip out the pastry/dough and form into two equal sized balls, and flatten each into discs, wrap in cling and put in the fridge for 40 minutes to rest. (If you wanted you could leave the pastry/dough here for up to 2 days). While the pastry’s/dough's in the fridge, if you are proceeding to bake the pie straightaway, preheat the oven to 200°C/180ºC Fan/400°F.
  8. Melt the butter in a wide pan, and then add the sliced apples, sugar and cinnamon turning everything about and cooking for about 3 minutes or until the apples soften and make a caramelly liquid in the bottom of the pan. Add the blackberries, stir gently, take off the heat and stir in the xanthan gum.
  9. When the discs of pastry/dough have had their time to rest in the fridge, take one of the discs out and roll out between two pieces of greaseproof or parchment paper. It is important not to add any flour to the pastry/dough during the rolling out process.
  10. Once the pastry/dough is wide enough to line the bottom and sides of your dish or skillet, about 4cm/2 inches of overhang should do it. Take off the top layer of greaseproof or parchment, and then turn the pastry/dough upside down over your dish and carefully peel off the remaining paper.
  11. Ease the pastry/dough into your dish, and then take out the other disc and roll in out in the same way.
  12. Tip the apple and blackberry mixture into the pie case and dampen the lip with cold water, and then peel away the top layer of paper off the pastry/dough and flip it over the top of the pie.
  13. Cut around the overhang of pastry/dough with a knife and then seal the edge by either crimping or pressing it down with the prongs of a fork.
  14. Cut some slits in the centre of the pie for steam to escape, then paint with the egg white and sprinkle over the sugar.
  15. Put in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the pastry/dough is cooked and golden. If you use a regular pie dish, it may take longer.

Tell us what you think

What 2 Others have said

  • This recipe is a revelation! The pastry is so pliable and easy to work with. It rolled like a dream, didn't break or crack, and was so easy to shape and flute. The small amount of xanthan gum in the filling set it just perfectly. It cut into neat, picture perfect slices. As the book says, you'd have to tell someone it was gluten free. I actually think it tastes better than my normal pastry. It tasted gorgeous with a dollop of White Miso Ice Cream (also from Simply Nigella) alongside!

    Posted by joshv41680 on 1st May 2020
  • Dear Nigella. Thank you so much for this gluten free pastry which works well. Your step by step is very helpful (especially rolling gf pastry), tastes nice and doesn’t crumble or fall apart when lifted out of pie dish. I’ve enjoyed making your recipes for years. Recently developed a gluten sensitivity which has been very annoying and challenging. Thank you for including more gf recipes which are also really great.

    Posted by AmandaR10 on 20th April 2020
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