Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free pie. Is it even worth it?
As a child, one of my favorite foods was pie. Really, I liked just about every kind of pie. Chicken pot pie, Quiche, Fruit pies… all of it. However, my all time favorite was cherry pie. I loved it so much I always chose cherry pie over birthday cake on my birthday. The sweet cherries in their warm, bubbly syrup wrapped in a flaky, buttery crust was so much more appealing to me than cake with icing that was so intensely sweet I couldn’t have more than a mouthful without wincing. And the smell of pie baking… mmmm….
On rainy weekend nights, my teenage friends and I would curl up to watch old movies like Casablanca, Breakfast At Tiffany’s, or Singing In The Rain with a warm, delicious pie nestled in our laps.
Then, after some health issues myself, and my daughter’s sensitivities, the main ingredients of pie: gluten, dairy and sugar, were removed from our diet. Goodbye pies.
But I love pie.
So, giving up pie just wasn’t an option.
After much trial and error, I finally made a great pie crust with no dairy and no gluten! It is an easy pie crust that I don’t even roll out. I do it two-year-old style. Think play-dough… The filling was super easy too, and takes hardly any effort.
My daughter loves to help with the pie. I give her some extra dough to play with while I make the crust, and she usually helps me make the lattice top. And when she sees the berries, she immediately says, “I want some berries, please!” So she’s pretty entertained while I make this.
We made an apple pie and a blueberry pie for my husband’s birthday last month and the praise from friends was outstanding! By the end of the night everyone asked for the recipe, and within a week or so other people were asking for the recipe too.
And this from people who CAN eat gluten, diary and sugar.
Now that’s good pie.
So here it is. The greatest pie recipe of all-time, for those of us who have ingredient-free diets, and are entertaining a two-year-old, ha ha!
NOTE: If you can eat diary, gluten and sugar, you can certainly substitute and add them in as needed. If you like sweeter pies, or if you normally eat standard American food, this pie may not be sweet enough for your taste. If that’s the case, just add in some of your favorite sweetener to sweeten it a bit. Once you go off sugar for good, you’ll find your tastes change and suddenly you can taste all the different flavors you were missing before, so you don’t even miss the sugar!
- 2 cups Gluten-free flour (I use this mix)
- 1 cup organic coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup water
- Fresh or frozen blueberries, about 2-3 pints
- 1 teaspoon organic cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon thickening agent (Kudzu root works, just dissolve it in 2 Tablespoons of water before sprinkling it in) (I use Sunrider’s NuPlus – Regular flavor)
- A dash of salt
- Mixing bowl
- Pie plate
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in coconut oil until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. I like to use my hands here to mix it together. Stir in as much of the water as you need so dough comes together into a ball. (Sometimes I use the whole 1/2 cup, other times I use none at all. It will vary depending on the humidity, warmth, etc of your kitchen.)
- Divide into 2 balls.
- Now take one ball and squish it between your palms like you did when you were a kid playing with play-dough. Then, place your flattened ball into the pie plate. Now using your hands, gently spread the dough out evenly to cover the surface of the pie plate. Then work the crust up the sides until it comes to the rim.
- Pour half of the blueberries into the pie crust. Sprinkle with half the cinnamon, half the thickener, and a dash of salt. Then pour the remaining blueberries on top and sprinkle with the remainder of the cinnamon and thickener. Make sure the cinnamon and thickener are evenly spread out. If they aren’t, GENLTY mix the blueberries around (without harming the crust).
- Now for the “lattice” top. I put it in quotes because any real pie maker would probably cringe at this method, but this is the “I’m doing this with my two year old at my side helping me” version. Take a handful of dough from the remaining ball and squish it out on a clean countertop. Spread it out using the heel of your hand and your palm until it’s about 1/4 of an inch thick. Using the spatula, sharp knife, pizza cutter, or scallop-edged pastry wheel, cut a strip of crust about 1 inch wide and as long as you have available. Lift it up with the spatula and place it on top of the pie. If it breaks, no problem, just take it over piece by piece and gently attach the ends together on the pie. I usually do 4 strips across, turn it 90 degrees, and do 4 more strips.
- Place pie in the oven for 45 min, or until the blueberries are bubbling and the crust is golden brown.
Now you will have pie in 45 minutes and you have only two dishes to do: the bowl and spatula. And cleaning the counter top. That’s it!
Relax and enjoy your pie