Gluten free berry pie - nut crust?

cloud_swiftNovember 23, 2012

Our son surprised us by bringing home a girl friend for Thanksgiving and she can't have gluten. I'd like to make a black berry pie for tonight so we can all enjoy it.

The berries were frozen from our berry bushes - I plan to drain them and reduce the juice to add back to the filling so it can be a thick filling without over cooking the berries.

Perhaps a nut crust on the bottom and no top crust more like a tart?

Any advice on a good nut crust?

I'm wondering if there should be another layer of something under the berries.

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How about a crisp instead of a pie? You could even make individual servings in ramekins or tart pans if you don't want to make all of them gluten-free.

6 tablespoons room temperature unsalted butter
1/2 cup gluten-free oats (oats certified free of cross-contamination with gluten)
1/4 cup gluten-free all purpose flour mix

Combine topping ingredients and use a fork or pastry cutter and blend until butter is evenly distributed and the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle topping mixture evenly over fruit. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

NOTE: The ingredients are readily available anywhere they sell gluten-free ingredients. Our Wal-Mart has a good selection of gluten-free ingredients and mixes and I'm pretty sure they have a pastry-type mix.

Simple Tart Crust   
(source: The Gluten\-Free Almond Flour Cookbook \- by Elana Amsterdam) 

1\-1/2 c. blanched almond flour (Honeyville Grain Almond Flour is suggested in the book, but other brands, such as Bob's Red Mill, should work)   
1/2 t. sea salt   
1/4 t. baking soda   
1/4 c. grapeseed oil (or vegetable or coconut oil)   
2 T. agave nectar (or honey) 

Preheat oven to 350\-degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, and baking soda. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil and agave nectar. Stir the wet ingredients into the almond flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Press the mixture into a 9\-inch tart pan. Bake for 7\-10 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely before filling.   

The link below has a gluten-free pastry that uses three simple ingredients: rice flour, shortening, and water. You can make your own rice flour at home in a coffee/spice mill. It's best to use short- or medium-grain rice for rice flour (white or brown rice - which ever you like), instead of long-grain rice for bake goods, but in this recipe long-grain rice will probably work.

I personally don't like nut crusts. They are often greasy and can burn easily. I also use homemade granola as a topping for crisps.


Here is a link that might be useful: Gluten-Free Pie Crust

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 2:31PM
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cloudswift, if you need to bake the pie tonight and don't have any of the gluten free flours or certified gluten free oats, etc., I'd say the nut crust is a good idea, although I also agree that a crisp might be easier.

I use this one for my stepdaughter, nut "flour" can be ground from any nut you have, put it in the food processor and grind it up.

Grain Free Nut Crust

�1 1/2 cups nut meal of your choice
�3 tablespoons butter
�3 tablespoons sugar

Mix all the ingredients together. Press into a greased pie plate and bake at 325 degrees F. for 10 to 15 minutes.
Watch this carefully, nut crusts burn easily.

this is more like a graham cracker type crust than a true pie crust. Are you thinking of thickening the filling at all other than by cooking down the juice? A cream cheese/cheesecake kind of filling might be good on the bottom, if you have ingredients on hand. You know, one of those uncooked cheesecake layers.....


Makes one nut crust.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 3:58PM
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I have some tapioca starch that I'm thinking of adding to the juice to thicken it.

I was thinking of a baked cheese-cake-ish or custard under the blackberries.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 5:59PM
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Good, I was afraid it wouldn't be thick enough if you had no additional thickener, but you never really know what is on hand to be used either. I came back to edit this just to see if I could, LOL. You know a meringue type crust would also work, kind of like a pavlova...

Elery would vote for the cheesecake but I'd vote for the custard.


    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 6:48PM
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I made a low carb/gluten free pie crust for Thanksgiving for our diabetic relatives. It got good reviews from all who ate it.

1 1/2 cup ground almonds or almond flour
1 egg white
3 tablespoons softened butter
2 tablespoons splenda

Mix together pressing into sprayed pie pan. Bake 10 minutes for things like strawberry pie or fill immediately for cheesecake instead of pre-baking it.

This post was edited by annie1992 on Fri, Nov 23, 12 at 18:50

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 9:18PM
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If you're not adverse to the "B" word, Bisquick has a gluten free version out now.

You can also buy a gluten free crust at specialty stores and bakeries. Expensive, yes, but you can see if you like the pie that way and see how long the relationship lasts before committing to a whole new cooking/baking method and new inventory of ingredients!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 5:11AM
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Thanks for the advice.

The pie turned out very delicious and the nut crust complimented the other flavors. I used walnuts in a recipe similar to what cj47 posted except using 3 tbsp of sugar and no egg white. I might add an egg white if we make it again as a bit more "glue" would be helpful.

I couldn't find quite what I was looking for online for a custard or cheese cake filling so I winged a filling mixing some cream cheese, cream, sugar and an egg. Then put berries on top of that topping with some of the thickened juice and baking at 350 until it seemed done enough.

The nut crust had a good toasted nut flavor and no burnt taste. I probably should have chilled the pie before serving as the slices didn't come out very cleanly with it slightly warm but the flavor was wonderful that way. The leftover from the fridge this morning slices very neatly.

I really was more in the mood for the nut crust and didn't want to go out shopping for gluten free flour ingredients or spend time getting it to roll out when we had company. The nut crust was very fast to make - just whizz everything for a bit in the food processor and pat into the pan.

Gee thanks cynic - I've got enough sense to know that already since he hasn't known her long. However, I hope it works out because we all like her and they seem well suited. She felt very welcomed by us adapting the pie for her.

This post was edited by cynic on Sat, Nov 24, 12 at 5:18

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 10:03PM
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