Most would agree that healthy living involves with healthy eating. However, we can take things to extremes and follow a strict diet all the time. We can try one diet that is all the rage, only to find out 5-10 years later that it is no longer considered healthy. Of course, we can only try our best. This is why I write recipes that take minimal preparation time pretty much from scratch for the modern person living in the modern world, using healthier yummy ingredients whenever possible. If you are gluten intolerant or find that your health does better without gluten, or if like me, you can be healthy eating gluten maybe 3 days a week, this apple pie recipe is for you.
This is an occasional treat that I cook, especially in winter, when loved ones are cold and need more energy for a normal day. I used a mixture of gluten-free flours. Amongst them was rice flour. This makes the addition of water a bit tricky, as you could be using a different mixture of gluten-free flour. So remember that adding more one tablespoon at a time is better than using too much. Otherwise, all is easy.
I also believe in using whatever you have around the home. You do not need a rolling pin. I use a mug or clean bottle instead. If you do not have a board or chopping board you can roll the dough on, use a very big plastic serving plate or normal-size tray. Whether using a rolling pin and proper board or not, the board has to be covered by a clean plain-woven dishcloth, and it is best to cover the rolling pin in a clean sock. It is always handy when you have an odd sock to save it for apple pie time! I use the nearest approximation to a 9-inch or 20 cm pie dish too. Oh, and I prefer using a plate for chopping the apples, because it can be much quicker, and easy to clean. Then cooking is fun and never a chore, because you do not have the stress of “doing it right”.
Ingredients for the pie crust (the dough bit):
2.5 cup flour (a cup is about 250 ml)
Tiny sprinkle of salt
1 cup butter
10-20 tbs cold water
Ingredients for the pie filling:
1 kg (about 2lbs) apples (tart ones are great, but any apples will do, no stress)
3/4 cup sugar
Just under 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
Shaving of a third of a nutmeg or about half a tsp of ground nutmeg (hint, shave it with an ordinary blunt eating knife in one hand whilst you hold it in the other hand).
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 cup water
2 tbs butter
Start by cutting the butter into the salted flour (or use salted butter). I like using an ordinary fork to do this, till the butter bits are about pea-sized. Then add the water, fluffing and almost-stirring, until you can gather the dough into your hands and it sticks together. Separate in half.
Heat oven to 230º C (450º F).
Put half the dough on the covered board sprinkled with flour. Roll with socked rolling pin also sprinkled with flour. Roll evenly until it is large enough to fit into the bowl and go over the edges. Fold in half, then half again. Pick it up and put the middle of the pointy bit in the middle of the pie dish. Unfold carefully. Wet your fingers with water and smooth over the crust, repairing any cracks with watery fingers.
Put the remaining half of the dough on the board to be rolled later. This enables you to use the same container for the making of the filling; easier!
Chop the apples into quarters and slice them thinly. If the apples are soft, you can slice them more thickly. Add all the other filling ingredients except for the butter. Mix together and put on top of pie crust in the pan. Add pea-sized pieces of the butter on top.
Roll the other half of the pie crust, fold in quarters, and cover the pan with it, tucking the dough under the first crust layer with watery fingers.
Put in oven for 15 minutes. Then reduce heat to 175ºC (350ºF) and bake for about another 45 minutes. Pie is ready to come out of oven when either the top starts to leak sugary liquid or it is getting brown.
Serve with good company!