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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Craving Fall

Orignally posted 9/13/09 

Do I NEED an apple pie in the house?

No. I do not.

I do, however, need Fall.

I miss Maryland during this time of year. I remember getting excited every year when the colors began changing...needing a sweater for cool mornings...going for a walk and hearing the crunching of leaves underfoot. I always knew Fall was approaching by the crisp smell in the air and I loved the anticipation of a burning fireplace.

I love harvest scented candles and pumpkins and people wearing jeans!

Fall is also my favorite time to eat! I love apple spice and pumpkin spice ANYTHING. I distinctly remember the most delicious pumpkin beer from my days on the East Coast! Thanksgiving foods are comfort foods to me -- mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, turkey with cranberry sauce...mmmm....

Jason and I were even married in November. Fall truly is my FAVORITE time of year!!!

Fall is different the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, surrounded by saguaro cacti that don't change colors. It's still 100 degrees every day and it's hard to distinguish between the changing of seasons.

But I knew it was just about Fall when Jason announced that he wanted to watch football. FOOTBALL???? Already???? I never thought I'd say this, but today I was THANKFUL for football. Thankful for some sort of a resemblance that Fall is approaching!

Football put me in the FALL SPIRIT and I wanted my house to smell and feel MORE like Fall...soooo...

I made an apple pie. From scratch.

Ehum....a GLUTEN FREE apple pie, that is...

Now, mind you, I've never made an apple pie before. I had quite a time figuring out how to get the top crust over my apples. After some frustration, my dear husband came to my rescue and systematically cut out strips to make a criss-cross pattern over top. Thanks, Honey!

Jules Gluten Free Apple Pie

Grandma's Pie Crust:

2 cups Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon salt
2⁄3 cup shortening or butter (I like Earth Balance Buttery Sticks/Shortening)
4 - 6 tablespoons warm water
milk (dairy or non-dairy like soy, hemp or almond)


In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Cut in the shortening using two knives or a pastry cutter until it resembles a fine meal. Add the water gradually to make the consistency you need to form a ball - err on the side of it being wetter rather than crumbly. Form a ball with the dough and wrap in plastic and set aside on the counter for 30 minutes while you make your filling.

After allowing the dough to rest, roll the pastry out onto a surface dusted with Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Flour. A flexible pastry sheet (e.g. Silpat) for that purpose works well. Roll to a diameter at least 1 inch larger than the diameter of your pie pan. Gently lift an edge of the rolled out crust over your rolling pin and use the pin to lift the crust so that it is supported by the rolling pin as you lift it onto your pie plate.

Pat into shape and fill with your desired filling. If baking a fruit pie, put small pats of butter or Earth Balance Buttery Sticks on top of the filling and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar if you desire.

For a two-crust pie like an apple pie, the ingredients are doubled, so divide the doubled pie crust before setting aside and wrap each equal ball of dough in plastic wrap. Repeat the rolling out steps and lay the second crust gently onto the top of the filled pie pan. Cut off all but ½ - 1 inch of excess pie crust from around the edge of the pan. For fruit pies, cut small slits in the center of the top crust to allow the hot steam to escape.

If there are any tears in your top crust, never fear! Simply take leftover crust and use decorative cookie cutters to cut out leaves, pumpkins, etc., wet the backside of each cut-out with a dab of milk, then lay on top of any tears to cover the flaw. Fold approximately ½ inch of excess pie crust over all around the edge to form the crust, then using your fingers, press a fluted design in the crust to finish.
Cover crust edges with foil or pie saver to minimize burning. Remove the foil with 10 minutes left of baking and brush the crust with your milk of choice - this step helps it to brown nicely.

Preheat oven to 400F and bake for 40 minutes, remove foil or a pie saver, brush with milk and bake for another 10-20 minutes, or until the juices are bubbling.

Apple Pie Filling:

4 large or 5-6 small tart apples, cored, peeled and sliced (approximately 6 cups)
¼ cup granulated cane sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. salt
1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar or lemon juice


Peel, core and slice apples. While you are slicing the apples, put cut apples in a bowl with cold water and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to keep the slices from turning brown while you are slicing the rest of the apples.

Drain the apples and toss with the remaining ingredients. Set aside to help juices to form while you are finishing the crust.

Copyright 2009 Jules E. Dowler Shepard

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1 comment:

  1. Sing it, sister! I am CRAVING fall too...I peeked at the forecast for this week and it looks like it might finally be coming. But until then, I turn down our A/C and light candles on my mantle, tricking myself into thinking I live back in the Midwest. :) Pie sounds good too...


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