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Gluten-Free Cherry Pie


"Cut my pie into four pieces—I don't think I could eat eight." - Yogi Berra

Yogi was talking about pizza, but every year I make this amazing cherry pie, I have to work hard to stop myself from having a second piece. This is a real pie, with real butter (like, lots of it) in the crust. But, if you allow yourself the luxury of an occasional splurge, this gluten-free cherry pie is made with fresh fruit, no gluten, and very few ingredients. It comes together pretty quickly, and even I managed to make it look relatively pretty. I mean, The Great British Baking Show isn't knocking on my door asking for my technique, but I'm still proud. I make soap, not pie.

Gluten-free pie crust

  • 2 1/4 cups GF flour (I use Bob's Red Mill 1:1)
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 T fine organic sugar
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 sticks of chilled, unsalted butter
  • 6-7 T ice water

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the dry ingredients well. Cut the butter into small cubes and add it to the mixer. Turn the mixer on low, and mix until it looks like bread crumbs. Add the water very gradually, 2T at a time, until the dough comes together and pulls away from the bowl. Remove the dough and shape into two balls. Press each one into a disc shape, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes as you prepare the filling.

For the filling, we used freshly picked, tart cherries from our cherry trees, and that, of course, would be ideal. If you don't have cherry trees in your yard, look for fresh, tart cherries. If you can't find those, use regular cherries, and cut the sugar in half (or less). 

CHERRY PIE FILLING

  • 4-5 cups pitted tart cherries
  • 1/2 cup organic sugar (less if using sweet cherries)
  • 1/2 t cornstarch
  • zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 2T GF flour
  • 2T coconut oil

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

ASSEMBLING YOUR CHERRY PIE

Remove the dough from the fridge. Using wax paper or plastic wrap on either side of the dough, begin to roll it flat, flipping the dough frequently and removing/reapplying the paper on each side as you roll. Once you have rolled out the first disc, turn it carefully into the pie dish. Gluten-free dough must be handled gingerly—it has a tendency to break because it doesn't have...what's that stuff, again? Oh, gluten. So, move slowly, and if it breaks or tears, just smoosh it back together gently. Pour the filling in the bottom half of the crust.

 

Once you have the first half of the crust and the filling in the pie pan, roll out the other half and cut it into strips. Arrange the strips in a criss-cross pattern on the top of the filling, using a flat knife or pastry tool to loosen the strips from the paper before you lift them onto the pie. If you try to peel them off the paper, they will break apart. I know this for good reason.

Baking your cherry pie

Put that baby in the oven! Bake at 375 degrees in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes with a piece of foil or parchment paper loosely sitting over the top. Remove the cover and bake for another 15 minutes. Finish with 1-2 minutes under the broiler, watching closely for that perfect shade of brown.

Remove and let cool for 15-20 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla gelato, and be sure to eat the leftovers cold the next day, preferably directly from the pan with a fork. That way you're in position jab the hand of anyone who tries to get the last bite. You think I'm kidding? Ask my husband.  

With love and a perfect slice of pie,