Fast gluten-free, butter-free apple pie!

When my husband stopped eating dairy, gluten and eggs at the beginning of the year, we assumed the allergy trial would last two weeks. Sadly, those two weeks fell right over his birthday. (Three months later, he's just barely begun to try these foods again.)

Each month at work, they have a birthday party for that month's honorees, and they weren't going to run out and buy a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free cake for one poor person. He was okay with being left out, but I wasn't. So I decided to make him a surprise:

It's a gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free apple pie!

The biggest challenge to eating around gluten, eggs & dairy is how they sneak into things. Obviously there's gluten in pie crust, and maybe butter (I'm a shortening crust girl myself). But the egg wash on a pie? The butter cubes in the filling?

So I went simple. My husband had already picked up refrigerated gluten-free pie dough which happened to also be egg- and dairy-free. (I joke that it's not made from real food.) I chopped up some apples we had around and tossed them with sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon. You could use a dairy-free butter substitute, of course. (You still have to bake the pie almost as long.)

I also got to use my mini-pie pans, since it seemed ridiculous to bake a whole pie just for one person to eat. I brought it to him at work and surprised him . . . once I found him, avoiding the party.

This is less of a recipe and more of a technique, learning to substitute out allergenic foods. Instead of an egg wash, for example, I used almond milk (because real milk is another type of wash, right?) and raw sugar. That experiment didn't work as well, and the applies could have used a little longer to bake, but all in all, it was much better than foregoing cake.

Especially since my daughters and I got ice cream out of the deal.

What's your favorite way to surprise someone?

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