Recipe: Gluten-Free Apple Hand Pies

Recipe: Gluten-Free Apple Hand Pies

I’ve started preparing for a 16 km Tough Mudder race and it feels like I haven’t been this ill-prepared for anything my entire life. And I don’t think it’s because the race itself will be that competitive or soul-crushing, but the fun of these ‘military’ type of obstacle courses is that to pretend that it will be. That way, at the end, we can all wipe the sweat from our (mud-covered) faces up and say: ‘See? That wasn’t that bad!’.

My team – team Olive Branch – has been sending out fitness tips (‘do more push-ups’) and nutrition tips (‘drink less booze’) daily, and the first training workout that we did on Saturday almost made me throw up from the running (and the squats and the planks). But I’m being good about it. I went to a 2-hour yoga class this Sunday and ran 2.5 miles today. Tuesday I am going to a spin class and on Wednesday, Olive Branch is doing an ACT class (not the standardized test for college-bound students, but a HIIT body weight class that’s supposed to make your legs feel like jelly for days).

So I guess what I’m trying to lead up to is that I probably should be eating less apple pies, but it’s fall, and in the fall I make pie, and the fact that these are gluten-free and mini should could as something, right?

Gluten-Free Apple Hand Pies

Makes 3 large or 4 medium hand pies


For the Crust

  • 1 cup (114g) white rice flour
  • 3/8 cup (42g) tapioca starch
  • 1.5 tbsp (19g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (subsitute flax or crushed chia seeds if you don’t have xantham gum)
  • 1/2 stick of butter (114 g) cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 4 tbsp water (more, if needed)

For the Filling

  • 1 large apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1.5 tbsp (19g) dark brown sugar
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 tbsp Cointreau (optional)
  • 1 tbsp white rice flour

For the glaze

  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp (12g) granulated sugar
NOTE: I used glutinous rice flour for this recipe, which made the dough a little chewy. If you like a shortcake-like crust, white rice flour may be a better bet. If you don’t have Cointreau,  I also think this would work well with Amaretto or another flavoured liqueur.


  1. Make the crust in a food processor or large mixing bowl. Combine white rice flour, tapioca starch, granulated sugar, salt, and xanthan gum (or alternative). Pulse to combine. Add the butter. Pulse until no large pieces remain. Add 2 tablespoons water. Pulse until a ball of dough forms. Add additional water, by table spoon if dough doesn’t form.
  2. Place dough ball on lightly floured counter. Divide halves into two balls and shape each into a pancake. Wrap in plastic film and chill at least two hours. Make ahead: dough could be made up to a month ahead and chilled in the freezer. Transfer dough to refrigerator about 4 hours before making the pies. 
  3. Preheat oven to 375 °F. Prepare filling while oven preheats.
  4. Toss together apple pieces, dark brown sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon or liquer. Combine mixture with the white rice flour. If too sweet, add more sugar to taste.
  5. Prepare the pie crusts. Remove one disk from the refrigerator. Roll out dough to 1/8″ thickness between two sheets of lightly floured parchment paper.
  6. Cut dough into 3 or 4 pieces using a 3-inch cutter or a similarly sized cup for the pie bases. Place dough on pre-greased baking sheet and transfer back into refrigerator to chill.
  7. Take out the remaining ball of dough and roll it out similarly to the first batch. Remove pie bases from the fridge. Evenly spoon apple pie filling on the bases and cover with the pie tops from the second batch.
  8. Crimp edges together with a fork. If the dough is soft, place in the refrigerator for 5 minutes to chill.
  9. Brush pies with egg glaze and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until tops are a crisp brown and the filling bubbles, about 20-25 minutes.
  10. Cool pies on baking sheet. These pies are best eaten within a day, but can be stored, covered, for up to three days.IMG_1376.jpg

Adapted from Serious Eats

Leave a Reply