Now that summer is here, I have had a real craving for pie. I keep buying all the fruit and eating it before it comes time to bake. But this week, I had some leftover apples from a client shoot and a big bag of cherries that were on sale from Whole Foods, so I decided to try an apple cherry pie. Apple cherry crisp is apparently a popular midwestern US recipe, but I have always had either all apple or all cherry in my pies and crisps.
So, I decided to do a little experimenting and come up with my own gluten free apple cherry pie recipe and I am really happy I did. The apples provide just the right amount of tempering for sweet dark cherries. It would be perfect served with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream on top.
How to make an apple cherry pie?
Pie making is not a quick process but it’s definitely worth all the work.
First, you will need to prepare your pie crust. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add in your very cold butter and work the fat into the flour. You can use forks, a pastry cutter, your hands or even a food processor to combine the butter and flour. The key is to work quickly to keep the butter as cold as possible. Ultimately, you want your butter to end up as pea-sized pieces and to be fully coated in flour. Then you will add your ice cold water, a little at a time. Work the water into the flour by tossing the ingredients together. If any big chunks of dough form, break them up as they will hide some of your moisture and keep it from distributing evenly. Just continue to add the water a little at a time until the dough is shaggy and just coming together. It is easier to make the dough more west than it is to dry it out again, so err on the side of too dry if you’re unsure.
Here is a video showing exactly how I work my pie dough together by hand.
Once the dough is ready, divide it into two even sized balls and wrap it in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. It will need to rest for about 2 hours, to let the water hydrate the flour. If you’re trying to prepare ahead of time, you can stop here and store the dough in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. If you do store it for an extended time, you may need to let it sit at room temperature about 10 minutes before moving to the next step. You can also freeze unbaked dough for up to 6 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.
After your dough has rested, remove one ball from the refrigerator and place it on a large work surface. Unwrap the plastic wrap, but use it as a base. You will need to cover the top of the dough with a second sheet of plastic wrap (like a sandwich – plastic wrap, dough, plastic wrap). Unlike gluten dough, you do not use flour to roll out gluten free pie crust. Using a rolling pin, you want to roll the dough out. Start from the middle and roll out to the edges. Occasionally turn your dough 90 degrees to make sure you’re evenly stretching the dough in each direction. Continue rolling until your dough is about 1-2 inches larger than your pie pan all around. Leaving the dough covered in plastic, place it on a baking sheet and into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to rest. Repeat with the second dough ball. Again you can stop here if you’re working ahead.
After the 2nd rest, remove one dough sheet from the refrigerator. Remove the top sheet of plastic and place your pie tin over the dough face down. Flip the dough and pie tin, placing the dough into the tin. The top of the dough should now be covered in plastic. Working gently, shape the dough into the tin. Don’t push down hard or stretch the dough. Once it is in the tin, remove the remaining plastic wrap. Now you can trim the excess dough from the edge.
Since this recipe is using a double crust (top and bottom), you can trim the bottom crust right at the edge of the pie tin. Once the pie tin is lined, place the bottom crust back in the freezer. The dough needs to remain as cold as possible right up until it goes into a hot oven to create the flaky crust you want. The flakes come from the butter melting and creating steam. If the dough is too warm when it goes in the oven, the butter will melt out leaving a greasy puddle and a dry cracker like crust. Again, you can stop at this point if you’re working ahead. If you plan to leave the dough in the freezer for longer than 30 minutes, then make sure to cover it with plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out. I frequently make several pie shells at one time and store them in the freezer (like store bought dough) so I don’t have to do all the work every time I want to make a pie.
While the pie shell is in the freezer prepare your filling. Simply add all of the filling ingredients to a large bowl and mix until the ingredients are well combined. Dump the filling into the prepared pie shell and spread it out evenly.
For the top crust, I made a kind of patchwork quilt pattern, but you can do any pattern or lattice you like. You can even do a solid top with vent holes. It’s fun to play with pie crust designs and see how they turn out.
To create a patchwork quilt design, remove your second rolled out piece of dough from the freezer. While it’s still frozen, work very quickly to cut out squares or rectangles with a sharp knife. I made random different sizes of squares so it would look more eclectic. Then prepare your egg wash. Start by brushing the egg wash all around the edge of the bottom crust. Begin by placing your first square in a place that will touch the edge of the bottom, press them together gently so the egg will stick. Then work your way across the top adding squares with a small overlap, making sure to brush egg wash between any two touching pieces of dough. Try to work as quickly as possible to keep the dough cold. Once you’re done, brush the entire top with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Then bake!
For more gluten free pie making tips, download my free guide below:
Does the cherry pie filling need to be cooked?
In a traditional cherry pie, you do cook your filling before adding it to the pie crust for baking. However, in this recipe all the ingredients go together uncooked and they do the cooking in the oven.
Do you need to refrigerate an apple cherry pie?
Ideally, yes. A refrigerated apple cherry pie will last for about 2-3 days. You can always reheat a slice if you prefer it to be warmed. Or you can reheat the whole pie, by covering it with foil and baking it at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Only do this once though, for food safety do not reheat and re-chill leftover food.
Can I make this pie ahead of time?
You can prepare this pie ahead of time with no problems. I have listed several stopping points in the dough making process. Or you can assemble the whole pie and then bake and freeze it. prepare the whole pie ahead of time. This is what I like to do especially for the holidays when there is already plenty of other cooking on the schedule. Bake the pie according to the instructions and let cool completely. Once cool, wrap the whole pie in 2-3 layers of plastic wrap. Make sure they are no exposed areas. Place the pie in the freezer. You can store it for 3-6 months. When you’re ready to serve, remove the pie from the freezer and thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes to reheat the pie. Let it cool for at least 30 minutes before serving for the best success with keeping the crust in tact.
If you love pie, check out these other great recipes!
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Gluten Free Apple Cherry Pie
For the pie crust
- 2 Cups Gluten Free 1-to-1 Flour Blend I use Bob's Red Mill
- 2 Tbsp Arrowroot Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 Tbsp Sugar
- 18 Tbsp Vegan Butter Regular butter works as well
- ⅔ Cup Water ice cold
For the pie filling
- 4 Cups Dark Sweet Cherries pitted and sliced in half
- 3 small Apples sliced into 1/4" thick wedges
- ½ Cup Sugar
- ¼ Cup Arrowroot Powder
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 Egg beaten, for egg wash
To make the pie crust
- Cut your butter into cubes and place it into the freezer while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Combine the flour, arrowroot powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
- Add the butter cubes to the flour mixture and work it together by hand or with a pastry cutter.
- Once all of the fat is coated with flour, add half of the ice cold water. Toss the ingredients to combine hydrate the flour. Continue adding half of the water at a time and working the ingredients together until the dough is a shaggy mess. It is common to add too much water and hard to recover from, so err on the side of too dry rather than too wet.
- Divide your dough into 2 equal pieces. Form them into a patty shape about 1 inch thick and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- After the dough has rested, remove one dough ball from the refrigerator. Unwrap it but leave it on the plastic wrap. Use another piece of plastic wrap to cover the top, like a sandwich (plastic-dough-plastic)
- Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough ball into a flat sheet between two pieces of plastic wrap. Rotate your dough as you're working to keep the stretch going evenly in all directions. Roll until the dough is about 1 inch larger than your pie plate.
- Place the dough sheet on a baking sheet (still covered in plastic) and return the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
- Roll out the second dough ball in the same manner and place the second dough sheet on a baking sheet in the freezer.
- After the second rest, remove the first dough sheet from the refrigerator. Remove the top layer of plastic wrap. Place your pie tin over the dough and then flip it all over so the pie tin is on bottom and the dough covered with the remaining plastic wrap is on top.
- Gently work the dough into the shape of the pie tin. Be careful not to stretch or tear the dough.
- Once your pie shell has been created, trim the edges to the lip of the pie tin. Return the pie shell to the freezer.
To make the filling
- Add all of the filling ingredients to a large bowl. Mix together until the fruit is evenly coated with the dry ingredients.
- Spread the filling into the frozen pie shell in an even layer.
- To make the top pie crust
To assemble and bake the pie
- Preheat the oven to 425F
- Remove the second frozen dough sheet. While it is still frozen cut your shapes out of the dough with a sharp knife. For this recipe I made a patchwork quilt pattern comprised of various sizes of squares and rectangles.
- Brush the lip of the pie crust with egg wash.
- Begin placing your squares with the first square overlapping the egg wash rim of the bottom pie shell.
- Continue to place the remaining shapes, using egg wash to stick pieces of dough together.
- Once complete, egg wash the entire top of the pie crust and sprinkle with coarse sugar (optional)
- Place your prepared pie on a baking sheet and bake on the bottom rack of the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Cover crust with foil if it starts to get too brown before the time is up.
- Cool before serving.