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Posted on November 8, 2010 by Glutenfreeda

>With the holidays fast approaching, gluten free chefs everywhere are already beginning to plan and test their dessert menu. From pie crusts to cake batter, cheesecakes and tarts, creating elegant and delicious gluten free confections is a challenge to be faced and overcome each holiday season. With all of the amazing recipes available at, we wanted to highlight a few of our favorite recipes and techniques.

While this recipe calls for creating pie crust from scratch, we have recently discovered (and fallen in love with!)Gluten Free Mama’s Pie Crust Mix, making this recipe Gluten-free/Dairy-free (or GF/CF) is, well, easy as pie! Even easier, her pie crust can also be egg-free by substituting honey for an equally delicious option. Using this pie crust, not only can you make a delicious, easy and impressive gluten free dessert, but it can just as easily be
dairy free/casein free and egg free as well. (For more information, check out our product review of Mama’s Pie Crust!)

A message from our head chef:

This holiday season, if you’d like to enjoy your favorite fruit pies without all the construction work, we have a beautiful and delicious option; free form pies. A free form pie is simply a pie without the pie dish. The steps are easy and the result is a gorgeous dessert that we think is much more beautiful than a traditional pie.

Free form pies are best suited to fruit pies, such as apple, peach or cherry; fillings made of mostly fruit because they do not have the pie dish to hold in a great deal of liquid.

The chilled dough is rolled out the same as a traditional pie and cut into the largest even circle you can make. Transfer the dough disk to a parchment lined baking sheet and fill the center with sugared fruit. Gently fold an edge of the dough about 3” over the filling then lift another section of the edge and fold it up over the filling, laying it on top of the last fold. This process is continued around the pie until all edges are folded over. The end result will leave the center of the ‘pie’ uncovered with the fruit exposed.

This is a beautiful dessert that is simple to make and eliminates any of the typical difficulties associated with making gluten-free crust. Try this recipe and you may never need a pie dish again!

-Chef Yvonne

Apple & Cranberry Free Form Pie
Be sure to thoroughly chill the dough and this recipe will be as easy as pie!

Makes 2 pies/Serves 10

2-1/2 cups gluten free flour mix
1/2 cup sugar (extra for sprinkling)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1/2” pieces and chilled
1/2-3/4 cup ice water
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1 egg white, beaten

Add gluten free flour, 1 teaspoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the bowl of a electric stand mixer. Add chilled butter and mix with a paddle at low speed until the mixture resembles the size of small peas. With the machine running gradually add the ice water, about 1 Tablespoon at a time, until the dough is evenly moistened and looks like it will hold together when kneaded into a ball. (We used about ¾ cup water to get to this stage) Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and form into two balls. Form each ball into disks, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

On a lightly (gluten free) floured surface, roll out a disk into a large round, dough should be about 1/8” thick. Loosen the dough from the surface with a spatula and carefully transfer it to the baking sheet. Repeat with other disk.

In a large bowl, add 1/2 cup sugar, lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Add apples, cranberries and lemon juice and toss well. Arrange apple mixture in the center of each dough round, leaving a 3” border all around. You can decoratively arrange the apples so they make a design when baked. Brush the overlapped top of the crust with egg white and sprinkle with sugar. Place pie in oven and bake for 55 minutes. Let cool, then transfer to a plate and cut into wedges to serve.

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