French Apple Pie

Sarah Smith

  • Prep: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Cook: 1 hour
  • Inactive: 2 hours
  • Yield: 6-8 Servings

French Apple Pie differs from the traditional apple pie in that, instead of having a crust on top, it has a crumble topping. This pie is sweetened with honey and sucanat. The apple filling in this recipe is only lightly sweetened, preserving the delicious taste of the apples and cinnamon. For the bottom crust, I combined rice flour and ground nuts; I used a butter, rice flour, and sucanat-based crumble for the top. Like most homemade pies, this recipe takes a bit of time to put together, but it is well worth it. My family really enjoyed this recipe, and it is sure to become a family tradition for us in the fall and winter seasons.

Ingredients

Bottom crust

  • 1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) cold butter
  • 1/2 cup cold ground crispy pecans or almonds (or use almond flour)
  • 1/2 cup cold white rice flour
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 Tbsp arrowroot
  • 1/4 tsp fine ground celtic sea salt
  • 1 egg, preferably from a pastured hen

Crumble topping

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp sucanat
  • pinch of fine ground Celtic sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 Tbsp arrowroot
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp white rice flour

Apple filling

  • 4 medium-large sweet-tart apples, such as Cameo, Fuji, or Granny Smith
  • 2 Tbsp arrowroot
  • 2 Tbsp mild-flavored honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp fine ground Celtic sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Directions

Make the bottom crust

  1. This crust recipe will work best with cold ingredients. Start by chopping the butter into small, pea-sized pieces. Place the chopped butter into the freezer to cool more while you get everything else ready.
  2. Combine the ground nuts, rice flour, coconut flour, arrowroot, and salt in a food processor*. Pulse a few times to combine.
  3. Add the cold chopped butter to the food processor and mix just until the butter is well-incorporated into the dry ingredients and the mixture has a fine texture. Don't over-mix during this step.
  4. With the processor running, add the egg and mix just until well-combined and starting to clump-up.
  5. Grease a 9-inch pie plate with butter. Dump the mixed crust ingredients straight into the pie plate. Use your fingers to spread and press the crust into the pie plate. Make sure the crust is spread evenly over the bottom and sides of the pie plate.
  6. Put the crust in the fridge to chill while you assemble the rest of the ingredients.
  7. Wash and dry the food processor parts so you can prepare the crumble topping next.

Make the crumble topping

  1. Chop the butter into small, pea-sized pieces. Place the chopped butter into the freezer to cool more while you get everything else ready.
  2. Combine the sucanat, salt, coconut flour, arrowroot, and rice flour in the food processor*. Pulse a few times to combine.
  3. Add the cold butter and pulse until you achieve a coarse texture, a bit more chunky than a cornmeal consistency.
  4. Put this crumble topping in the fridge to cool while you make the apple filling.

Make the apple filling

  1. Peel the apples. Remove the cores and slice the apples thinly, about 1/8-inch thick.
  2. Place the sliced apples into a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir it all together.

Put it all together

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Remove the bottom crust and crumble topping from the fridge.
  3. Pour the apple filling into the bottom crust, and then top with the crumble topping.
  4. Bake for about 1 hour, until the topping is slightly browned.
  5. Remove from the oven and cool for a couple hours before you cut into it.

*If you don't have a food processor, I bet you could make this by cutting in the butter and then the other ingredients with a pastry cutter or a couple of butter knives. If you try that, I'd recommend that you beat the egg before adding it and then use a hand mixer to make sure it gets fully incorporated.

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