{gluten-free} Caramel Apple Pie

Last week we spent a few days in Istanbul – just a 4-hour flight away, it was the perfect escape. My lingering impression, other than how utterly delicious fresh Turkish Delight tastes, is of blue: Blue water, blue sky, blue mosque, blue air. Every morning was an early one, and while we waited in the semi-darkness for the first call to prayer of the day we felt the sweet breeze come through the open windows and listened to the raucous seagulls outside. We wore sweaters and took the ferry, drinking tea and munching on chewy, sesame seed-strewn ‘bagels’, drank thick and gritty cups of Turkish coffee, toured Ottoman-era palaces and ate flaky spinach pastry (with buttery, fruity cookies for dessert).

Upon our return, sobered and quiet from the terrible news from Europe, we found the weather in Riyadh had turned at last into what I can only describe as cool. Or at least: not hot. And so it feels natural on this sunny fall-feeling (!) day to start Thanksgiving planning a week out — this Friday I’ll go in search of a turkey, stock up on sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts if I can, plan when I’ll bake my pies and persimmon cake.

I’ll make a slight change this year from the traditional apple pie in that I will make a caramel apple pie, my love for all thing caramel being quite unabated. The crust here is naturally gluten-free and, in my opinion, not too awfully finicky although it does call for a combination of flours (oat/sweet white rice/brown rice). It is, however, more delicate than a pie crust made with all purpose flour so keep that in mind when you roll it out. It is completely acceptable to press the crust into the pan and if your top crust is likewise not ‘perfect’, don’t fret. This pie’s taste will make up for anything it lacks aesthetically.

Think crisp apples wrapped in a buttery pastry and bound with caramel sauce that contains a hint of maple syrup in a festive nod and also because I dearly love maple syrup. I adapted the recipe from williams-sonoma.com, one of my favorite sites for reliable, simple, and consistently stand-out recipes that always call for whole foods ingredients. And if you’re looking for even more, might I suggest my naturally gluten-free Thanksgiving ebook?

(And re that ebook, I’m putting the finishing touches on another one! for the naturally gluten-free holiday table, with a generous cookie section and a few very special desserts as well as a well-stocked table of contents for vegetable mains and sides. Link for that one coming soon.)

As is typical my Thanksgiving dinner will be comprised of healthy vegetable dishes plus the turkey, with nothing too heavy so that we may indulge a bit more come dessert time. This pie will certainly be served first.

I’ll be back next week with my menu and some thoughts on cooking a wholesome, healthy + happy feast.

nicole spiridakis © copyright 2023