It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Time for gatherings and holiday festivities centered around family, friends and feasting! In late October/early November, we at Sirens & Scoundrels make our annual pilgrimage to Oak Glen, Ca. (Check out our Oak Glen adventures: HERE.) We wander through apple orchards for apple picking season, watch a mountain sunset and end the day at Apple Annie’s for a piece of Mile-High Apple Pie. Being gluten-free, I’m usually the one in the group observing all of the delight and minds being blown as friends consume a hot buttery piece of Mile-High Pie. I always ask, “How is it? How does it taste?” To which the reply is always, “Absolutely. Perfect.” The Apple Annie’s famous Mile-High Apple Pie is 5 pounds of pure apple. I’m told it’s not too sweet…a buttery, flaky piece of heaven, especially when served warm and á la mode.
Partially out of pure eating envy and partially out of curiosity if I could replicate this masterpiece without actually having tasted it, I wanting to experiment with the idea of a pure fruit, flaky, gluten-free, sugar-free, optional diary-free version of a Mile-High Apple Pie. It was an absolute success over Thanksgiving and I am happy to share my recipe with you to enjoy throughout the holiday season. Happy Holidays!
Mile-High Apple Pie
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
- 2~ 9″ Gluten-Free Pie Crusts
- 5 lbs. of Organic Apples
- 2 Tbsp. Butter (or Coconut Oil)
- 1 Organic Lemon
- 1/2 to 1 tsp. Cinnamon (depending on preference)
- dash of Nutmeg
- pinch of Salt
- 1 Egg
- 1 tsp. Honey
There are so many varieties of apples. Depending on which apples you choose to bake with, your pie will be more or less sweet. I prefer Granny Smith apples because they are a little tart. All fruit when cooked down excrete sugars. The sweeter your apples are raw, the sweeter your pie will be. I have experimented with a mixture of sweet and tart apples for baking, which is a nice balance, but choose whichever apples are to your taste preference.
You can make your own pie crust or, as a time-saver, you can buy frozen pre-made gluten-free crusts in your grocer’s freezer. If you choose to do this, pull your crust out of the freezer and let it thaw on the counter at least 1 hour before you bake or you can place the frozen crusts in the refrigerator over night.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Peel the skin off of 5 lbs. of apples. Cut the peeled apples into 1/4 inch slices. Discard the peel and cores. In a pan, melt 2 Tbsp. of butter (you can substitute coconut oil if you are baking dairy-free). Add the sliced apples, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir. Squeeze the juice of the lemon over the top. Zest the lemon peel into the pan. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the apples are fork tender. Remove from heat.
It is a lot of apples, so depending upon how big your pan is, you can divide the amount of sliced apples and cook them in stages. I cooked about 1/3 of the apples at a time. As a batch was done, I pulled the cooked apples out of the pan and added the next raw batch to the leftover apple juices. After all of the apples are cooked down, set aside.
You can use the pre-made pie crust in the pan as-is or transfer the dough to an iron skillet or pie dish.
TIP: If you choose to transfer the dough and do not own a rolling pin, you can use a bottle of wine to flatten the dough between parchment paper.
Depending upon the type of apples you choose, there will be more or less liquid when you cook them down. Drain off the excess liquid. This will keep your bottom crust crisp and flaky. Spoon the cooked apples into your pie crust. Pat down and position the apples so that there isn’t any excess space between slices. The apples should pile high towards the middle so that they do not fall out of your pie dish.
Take your second thawed pie crust and place it over the apples. I have found that thawed gluten-free crust tends to crumble. The best method is to scrape the dough out of your pre-bought pan and roll it flat. (See tip above.) Patchwork pieces of it over the top of the apples in as thin a layer as possible. Use your fingers to seal the edges together. It’s fun! It reminded me of playing with Play-Doh as a kid.
In a bowl, crack the egg and use a fork to whip it with 1 tsp. of honey. Brush the top of your crust with the egg wash. This will give your crust a beautiful golden brown color when baked. If you do not have a basting brush, you can use a wadded paper towel and dab a coat of the egg wash over the top.
Bake the pie in the oven for 45-50 minutes, depending on how tender you prefer the apple filling to be. After 30 minutes, place aluminum foil lightly over the top of your pie to keep the crust from burning. Place the pie back in the oven and finish the remaining cook time.
Serve á la mode by adding a creamy spoonful of Alden’s Organic Vanilla Bean Ice Cream onto a warm slice. For a dairy-free version, top with a scoop of Vanilla Bean Coconut Bliss.
Bon Appétit and Happy Holidays!! ~ love, Sirens & Scoundrels
If you enjoyed this recipe, try our other decadent Gluten-Free and Vegan Baked Apple Dessert Recipes~
Apple Oat Cookies: https://sirensandscoundrels.com/2016/02/18/vegan-gluten-free-apple-oat-cookies/
Apple Crumble: https://sirensandscoundrels.com/2015/12/23/gluten-free-apple-crumble-with-vegan-option/
Apple Castles: https://sirensandscoundrels.com/2015/11/08/apple-castles/
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Recipe by Sarah Prikryl // Words & Photography by Sarah Prikryl
© 2016 Sirens and Scoundrels