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Chef Michael Smith Apple Pie recipe

Nina Linton/Nina Linton/The Globe and Mail

Servings: 6 to 8

CRUST

2 cups ground almond meal

2 cups rolled oats

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup melted butter

1/4 cup or so water

FILLING

10 or 12 pie apples, peeled, cored and cut into 6 even pieces

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons corn starch

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 cup rice flour

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk oats, almond meal, brown sugar and salt together in a large bowl. Add butter and mix well until evenly combined. Add water and stir until mixture forms a cohesive dough. Knead once or twice to gather up any extra dry ingredients. Add a few more drops water if needed. Divide in half and form into 2 flattened discs, one slightly larger than the other. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm and ready to use (at least one hour). Toss the apples with the brown sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon.

Using rice flour, dust your hands, the work surface, the roller and the dough, then roll the larger pastry disc out into a 12-inch round and fit it into an 8-inch pie plate. You will find the dough easy to work with but also easily torn, so patch as needed. You may find it easy to fold the disc into quarters than pick it up and unfold it over the pie plate. Add the apples.

Roll out the other disc into a 12-inch round and place over top of apples. Trim and seal edges of pie and poke 3 or 4 vent holes into the top of the pie so that steam will be released and not blow out the crust. Place onto the bottom rack of the oven and bake for 1 hour or until the crust is golden and juices are bubbling.

TIP: Wheat flour lends flavour, mass and critical strength to normal pie pastry, replacing all three factors is one of the challenges in wheat-free cooking. Rice flour is a common substitute but in pastry its grainy blandness is a liability. Try almond meal: It's not as strong as wheat flour but it's much tastier.

Michael Smith is the host of the Food Network's Chef at Home, Chef at Large and The Inn Chef.

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