This recipe is thanks to my dear French friend Magali from Geneva. One of her friends has a strong allergy to gluten (he actually went to the hospital a few times due to bad reactions before he was told about having an intolerance), so her daughter Gaelle made him these apple squares with gluten-free ingredients so he could enjoy eating this absolutely perfect dessert.
I made this one myself and it’s truly sweet and delicious. And because I made it on a weeknight, I made the dough for the crust the night before and chilled it overnight, then prepared the dessert the next evening. I also used regular flour as I didn’t have any xanthan gum on hand — it worked out perfectly. It may seem like a lot of steps to make this, but it’s actually really simple and easy!
I hope you enjoy this one as much as we did — I’m pretty sure you won’t be disappointed!
PS) For those of you that like things a little less sweet (like me) — go ahead and reduce the sugar for the filling by half the amount.
Gluten-Free Apple Pie Squares
STEP 1 – For the crust:
Gluten-free crust can be tough. It’s more delicate and can sometimes be hard to create that “perfect” double crust you might be accustomed to. When making gluten-free crust, it is best not to use your food processor. Working the butter in and incorporating the wet ingredients by hand leads to a more flaky and delicate result. And not having a food processor myself, this is what I am accustomed too.
2 cups gluten-free multi-purpose flour (King Arthur) or brown rice flour (250 g)
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (help keep the crust pliable and easy to roll out)
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and diced into cubes (170 g)
1/4 cup milk (60 ml)
1 egg yolk
optional*: 1 teaspoon lemon juice
1. Whisk together the flour or flour blend, xanthan gum and salt.
2. Cut the chilled butter into cubes, then work it into the flour mixture until it’s crumbly, with some larger, pea-sized chunks of butter remaining.
3. Whisk the egg and the milk and lemon juice* together till very foamy. Mix into the dry ingredients. Stir until the mixture holds together, adding 1 to 3 additional tablespoons cold water if necessary.
4. Shape into a ball, cover and chill for one hour while preparing the filling, alternatively chill overnight.
5. Allow the dough to rest at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before rolling. Roll out on a piece of plastic wrap, heavily sprinkled with gluten-free flour or flour blend.
STEP 2 – For the filling:
5 cups apples, peeled, cored, and diced (about 5 large apples – I used Braeburn)
1 teaspoon vanilla powder
1/2 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour or brown rice flour (60 g)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (115 g)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar (60 g)
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6. Place diced apples in a large mixing bowl. Add the vanilla and toss to coat. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour the flour mixture over apples and toss until evenly coated.
7. To assemble, divide pie crust dough into 2 equal portions. Roll the first portion into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer dough into the bottom of an ungreased baking dish (30 x 20 cm). Carefully spread the apples over the bottom crust, mounding them slightly in the middle. Roll out the second dough portion in the same manner and then transfer dough over apples and tuck sides of dough down into the baking dish, sealing the apples inside the crust.
STEP 3 – For the topping:
1 egg white
1 1/2 tablespoons Turbinado sugar (alternatively use Muscovado or raw cane sugar)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
8. Preheat oven to 350ºF / 180°C.
9. In a small bowl, whisk the egg white until foamy and brush over the top of the pie. In another small bowl, combine the Turbinado sugar and cinnamon, then sprinkle evenly over pie.
10. Bake for 50-60 minutes until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 1 hour on a baking rack before cutting into squares.
11. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy!