Gluten-Free Apple Pie Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Gluten-Free Apple Pie

Total Time
Prep: 25 min. Cook: 1 hour
Learn how to bake a homemade gluten-free apple pie from scratch so everyone can enjoy a great dessert. It's time to bake!

Updated: May 03, 2024

Some baked goods are more than desserts: They’re traditions to mark the passing of the seasons, reliable touchstones of nostalgia even as the years march on. For us, that includes birthday cakes, Christmas cookies and all-American apple pie.

If you need to stop eating gluten, you might worry you’re missing out on specialty treats. Luckily, you can turn many of Grandma’s best baking recipes into gluten-free desserts, including gluten-free apple pie.

While pie crust might seem intimidating, it’s forgiving enough to make for any skill level. Here’s how.

Gluten-Free Apple Pie Ingredients

Crust:

  • White rice flour
  • Brown rice flour
  • Tapioca flour (also known as tapioca starch)
  • Potato starch
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Egg
  • Cider vinegar
  • Ice water

Filling:

  • Apples, preferably a mix of tart and sweet
  • Lemon juice
  • Sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Butter
  • Egg yolk
  • Water

Directions

Editor’s Note: If you’re using a store-bought GF pastry crust, skip to steps 6 through 9 to prepare the filling, and then jump to step 11. To make baking go faster, you could also substitute a quick gluten-free crumb crust.

Step 1: Whisk the flours together

fork in a bowl of dry ingredients for a gluten free pie crustTMB studio

In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients of the pastry together with a fork or whisk. Mix until the color is uniform.

You may substitute other gluten-free flours for the ones listed here, but bear in mind that experimenting with GF pie crust can change the end result. In general, whole grain flours like sorghum or oat can replace the brown rice, and starches like potato or corn may be swapped for the tapioca flour. You may also swap in a store-bought or homemade gluten-free baking mix.

Step 2: Add butter

mixing gluten free pie crust in a bowl with a forkTMB studio

Using a fork or pastry cutter, cut in the butter until a crumbly texture forms.

Step 3: Add the liquids

mixing gluten free pie crust in a bowl with a forkTMB studio

Stir in the egg and vinegar. Then gradually add ice water, tossing with a fork until the dough holds together when pressed. Make sure it’s just enough—adding too much water will make the dough easier to roll out, but less tender.

Step 4: Chill the dough

two pieces of dough wrapped in plastic wrap on the kitchen counterTMB studio

Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a disk, and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate one hour or overnight.

Step 5: Slice the apples

a variety of sliced apples in a bowl with three apples off to the sideTMB studio

Slice up a variety of apples and put them in a large bowl.

What makes this pie recipe stand out is that it encourages bakers to use many types of apples, including tart, semi-sweet and sweet, while most apple pies call for a single varietal, usually a tart baking apple. The resulting pie has different tastes and textures in every bite, which makes for a more complex, delicious flavor. Use up farmers market apples, u-pick-em apples or supermarket picks.

Step 6: Toss

adding lemon juice to a bowl of sliced applesTMB studio

Toss the apples with lemon juice. This will add flavor and keep them from browning. You may do step 6 and 7 up to one day before baking, though the apples will soften a bit. Store them in the fridge until you’re ready to use them.

Step 7: Make the filling mix

a apple pie cinnamon sugar mix in a small bowl with a fork and the bowl with sliced apples off to the sideTMB studio

In a small bowl, mix sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg. These ingredients will both flavor and thicken the juices from the apples, so your pie won’t get a soggy bottom.

Step 8: Finish the filling

tossing apples with the cinnamon sugar mixture on a bowl on a kitchen counterTMB studio

Add the thickener mix to the apple mixture and toss to coat.

Step 9: Roll out the crust

rolling out gluten free pie crust on a teal cutting boardTMB studio

Preheat the oven to 425°F, then roll out the dough.

On a lightly floured surface, roll one disc of dough to a 1/8-inch-thick circle. Add a little water if your dough is falling apart or crumbling when you roll. If the dough is melting and squishing to the counter, return it to the fridge for a few minutes to firm up again.

Carefully transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. If any pieces tear, gently pat them back into place. Trim even with rim.

Step 10: Fill the pie

filling a pie crust with sliced applesTMB studio

Add the filling and layer evenly over the crust. Dot with butter.

Step 11: Add the top crust

putting the crust on top of the pieTMB studio

Roll the remaining dough to a 1/8-inch-thick circle. Place over filling. Trim, seal and flute edge.

Step 12: Put on the finishing touches

an unbaked gluten free apple pie with slits in the top and a hand brushing egg whites on the top of the crustTMB studio

Cut slits in the top to allow steam to escape. Whisk egg yolk and water and brush over top to give the crust a nice golden brown color.

Step 13: Bake

Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly, 40 to 45 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack completely before cutting, which allows the filling to set properly. Slice and serve plain, topped with whipped cream or with ice cream. Enjoy!

a baked gluten free apple pieTMB studio

How should you store gluten-free apple pie?

Gluten-free pie, like most pies, is best the day it’s made. Store leftover pie, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to four days. The crust will get a bit soggy as it sits, but it will still taste great. Zap it in the microwave before eating, if you like.

Can you make gluten-free pie ahead of time?

Yes. Work through step 5, and put the dough discs in the freezer. Defrost them in the fridge overnight before rolling them out as usual.

Baking an entire pie ahead of time isn’t a great idea, gluten-free or not. Most pie crusts will get soggy as they sit. Gluten-free pastry is a bit more fragile and will lose some structural integrity (aka get crumbly) over time.

Gluten-Free Apple Pie Tips

What’s the difference between making gluten-free pie crust and regular pie crust?

The truth is, all pie crust is a little tricky to make. It requires a light but confident touch to roll the dough without sticking or tearing, and you need to be quick enough that the ingredients stay cool, all while resisting adding too much water or flour. Our top tip for pastry, including gluten-free pastry, is practice. If your early pies are a little tough or a bit lumpy, keep on practicing.

The bad news for GF bakers is that gluten-free pastry is a bit more delicate to work with. The good news is that the crust is relatively forgiving of re-rolling or patch-up work, since there’s no gluten in the flour to make it tough.

What kind of apples should you use for apple pie?

This recipe embraces the quirks of a variety of apples. If you prefer a crisper apple, try Pink Lady or Cortlands. If you like your pie less sweet, lean towards varietals like classic Granny Smith, the delicious Braeburn and the heirloom Winesap.

What are the best gluten-free flours for baking?

The world of gluten-free flours is vast, which makes it both fun and daunting. Many bakers new to GF stick to the classic brown and white rice flours, which have simple flavors, are easy to find at most grocery stores and are relatively affordable.

If you want to experiment, branch out into whole grain flours. Oat and sorghum are healthy and yield a satisfying crumb, while tasting simple enough in flavor to use in most recipes. More experimental flavors include sour (in a good way) teff, toasty buckwheat and protein-rich nut flours. Flours like coconut and potato flour (not to be confused with potato starch) absorb liquid at a very high rate, and should only be used in tested recipes.

Most starches are fairly interchangeable, but potato veers a bit denser and tapioca a bit lighter.

Gluten-Free Apple Pie

Prep Time 25 min
Yield 8 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
  • FILLING:
  • 7 cups thinly sliced peeled apples
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon water

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix the first 5 ingredients; cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in egg and vinegar. Gradually add ice water, tossing with a fork until dough holds together when pressed. Divide dough in half. Shape each into a disk; wrap and refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°. For filling, in a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice. In a small bowl, mix sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg; add to apple mixture and toss to coat.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll 1 half of dough to a 1/8-in.-thick circle; transfer to a 9-in. pie plate. Trim even with rim. Add filling; dot with butter. Roll remaining dough to a 1/8-in.-thick circle. Place over filling. Trim, seal and flute edge. Cut slits in top. Whisk egg yolk and water; brush over top. Bake 15 minutes.
  4. Reduce oven setting to 350°. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly, 40-45 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 392 calories, 13g fat (8g saturated fat), 77mg cholesterol, 177mg sodium, 69g carbohydrate (35g sugars, 3g fiber), 3g protein.