This gluten free blueberry pie will blow you away with just how delicious it is. It’s everything sweet and buttery – comfort food at its best. And it’s really easy to make, as well! The perfect gluten free dessert for your next family gathering, potluck or picnic (if you can part with it, that is). And you totally want to read the recipe to discover my SUPER USEFUL TRICK for rolling out the pie crust without it sticking, and getting it into the pie dish without tearing!
It’s the beginning of August, and there’s already been talk of Christmas. That’s amazing… and also completely and utterly bonkers. Christmas!!! Let me reiterate: it’s the beginning of August. The only thing I want to think about is sun, ice cream and way too much watermelon.
Of course, this being the UK, what I actually think about is that I shouldn’t forget my umbrella, that taking a jacket with me is a must… and that I really shouldn’t have forgotten my umbrella. Oops. But I am most certainly not thinking about Christmas.
And anyway, by accelerating all the way to Christmas, we’re skipping over fall… and pies. Now, I know that pumpkin pie recipes have already started appearing (with startling frequency), but I’m not quite prepared to let go of summer just yet. (So sod off, UK weather!)
Which is why my pie of choice today is this gluten free blueberry pie. This pie is like late summer evenings, when it’s still warm enough for short sleeves but there’s this pleasant chill in the air. It’s sweet summer blueberries meeting crisp, flaky, buttery pie crust which carries the first greetings of fall.
The deliciousness of this blueberry pie is impossible to overstate. It’s everything sweet and buttery – comfort food at its best. It’s the perfect gluten free dessert for a family gathering, a potluck or a picnic, being easy to prepare, as well as easy to transport. That is, provided it doesn’t get eaten before it arrives at its destination. Things happen, you know.
There’s this belief that gluten free pie crust is difficult to make, verging on impossible. I don’t know where this idea comes from. It does require a few teaks, but honestly, nothing out of the ordinary. The two “tricks” are the addition of a small amount of coconut flour, which gives extra crispness – and xanthan gum.
Xanthan gum basically acts as a gluten substitute, adding a bit of rubberiness to the dough, so to speak. Not too much, but just enough to hold it together, so that it doesn’t crack and become all annoying when you roll it out.
That’s it. Really. Making this gluten free blueberry pie couldn’t be easier. And the results are mouthwatering. Just sayin’.
Now for a confession: blueberry pie has always intimidated me. I just had this picture in mind… of soggy bottoms, way too much liquid and an overall mess. But, lo and behold, everything turned out in one piece with no sogginess at all!
If you do like that extra bit of liquid in your blueberry pie, you can easily reduce the amount of cornflour (or other thickener of choice) that you use. No biggie.
Pies are forgiving. The sloppier you are with them, the better.
Big pieces of butter left because you couldn’t be bothered to make “pea sized pieces” when you pinch flour and butter together? Perfect!
Pie dough looking shaggy when you’re wrapping it in cling film because kneading it that extra three times was too much work? That’s OK!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not dissing pies. Pies are a work of art, but more importantly they are a work of love. And, trust me, whoever get a piece of this blueberry pie… will feel all the love in the world.
Gluten Free Blueberry Pie
For gluten free pie crust:
- 1 cup cold water
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups (250 g) plain gluten free flour blend (I've used a simple store-bought blend of rice, potato and maize flour with no added xanthan gum)
- 1/2 cup (50 g) coconut flour
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp (25 g) caster sugar
- 1 3/4 sticks (200 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into ~1/2 inch cubes
For blueberry filling:
- 2 cups (250 g) frozen or fresh blueberries
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 3/8 cup (75 g) caster sugar
- 1/8 cup (25 g) cornflour (Note 1)
You will also need:
- 1 egg, lightly whisked (or 3 tbsp of dairy or non-dairy milk for an egg-free option) – for egg wash
- 1 tbsp caster sugar – for sprinkling before baking
- round pie baking dish (for this recipe I used a pie baking dish 7 3/4 inches (20 cm) in diameter and 1 1/4 (3 cm) deep)
For gluten free pie crust:
- In a cup, mix together cold water and apple cider vinegar, and place them into the freezer until needed.
- Sift together gluten free flour, coconut flour, xanthan gum, salt and caster sugar.
- Add the butter and toss it in the flour until all butter pieces are covered with it.
- Using your hands, pinch together the butter pieces and flour until you get a mix of fine pea-size pieces and larger, ~1/3 inch size pieces.
- Add the ice cold water-vinegar mixture, 2 tbsp at a time, and mix the pie dough with a fork until it comes together. You will need 14 – 16 tbsp of water. The dough at the end should be slightly more damp/wet than typical pie crust because gluten free flour tends to absorb more moisture during baking, so we want to counteract that.
- Shape the pie dough into a disc (if needed, knead it slightly – but don't overwork it!), wrap it into cling film and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
For blueberry filling:
- Mix all the blueberry filling ingredients together, until the sugar and cornflour are evenly distributed.
- If you are using frozen blueberries, place the filling mixture into the fridge until you start assembling the pie.
For pie bottom:
- Remove 1/2 of the pie crust dough from the fridge, shape it roughly into a disc, and place it in between two pieces of cling film. The cling film pieces should be at least 3 - 4 inches larger than the pie dish diameter. They will stop the pie crust from sticking to the rolling pin and the surface underneath. And the pie bottom will be much easier to transfer into the pie dish!
- Roll the pie dough out into a roughly circular shape, at least 2 1/2 - 3 inches larger than the pie dish. The dough should be about 3 mm thick.
- Peel back the top layer of cling film. Slide the pie crust with the bottom cling film layer onto a plate. Turn the pie dish upside-down onto the plate, and then turn it around (basically the same procedure as turning a bundt cake onto a plate). The bottom cling film layer should not be on top – do not remove it yet!
- Carefully shape the pasty so that it's snug against the pie dish sides. The cling film should keep it from tearing.
- With the cling film still in place and without cutting off the excess dough, place the pie dish into the fridge.
For pie lattice:
- Remove the remaining 1/2 of the pie crust dough from the fridge, shape it roughly into a disc, and place it in between two pieces of cling film. The cling film pieces should be at least 3 - 4 inches larger than the pie dish diameter.
- Roll the pie dough out into a roughly circular shape, at least 1 inch larger than the pie dish. The dough should be about 3 mm thick (but you can easily go a bit thicker – I rolled mine to about 3.5 mm, as I like how it puffs up!).
- Remove the top cling film layer. Cut the pie dough into strips, roughly 3/4 inch wide. If you use a 7 3/4 inch (20 cm) diameter pie dish, you will need 8 such strips.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 ºC (390 ºF).
- Remove the pie dish from the fridge, and peel away the cling film layer on the pie crust bottom. Do not cut away the excess pie dough!
- Transfer the blueberry filling into the pie dish, flattening it out with a spoon or spatula.
- Place 4 parallel strips on top of the filling.
- Fold back the 1st and the 3rd strip, and place a strip perpendicular to them, slightly displaced away from the middle (i.e. it should be at the same perpendicular distance from the edge of the pie dish as the 2nd and 3rd strips). Straighten back the 1st and the 3rd strip.
- Fold back the 2nd and 4th strip, and place a strip perpendicular to them, this time closer to the edge (i.e. it should be at the same perpendicular distance from the edge of the pie dish as the 1st and 4th strips). Straighten back the 2nd and 4th strip.
- Repeat on the other half.
- The final pattern should be like that on the pictures above.
- Using either scissors or a knife, cut away the excess pie dough – both from the pie crust bottom and from the strips. You can crimp the pie edges, or decorate the border by pressing a fork along the edge, but I prefer the minimalistic style!
- Brush the pie crust strips with the egg wash (or milk for an egg-free version) and sprinkle lightly with caster sugar.
- Bake the pie in the pre-heated oven at 200 ºC (390 ºF) for 22 - 24 minutes or until golden on top. The edges will start browning quicker – when they are a dark golden brown colour, cover them with aluminium foil. (Take a square of aluminium foil that is slightly larger than the pie dish diameter and cut a circle with a diameter that is ~3/4 that of the pie dish).
- Allow to cool and enjoy!
- The gluten free blueberry pie keeps well covered in cling film in a cool, dry place for about 3 days (but that's only wishful thinking).
Note 1: If you don't want to use cornflour, you can use the equivalent amount of gluten free flour. If you want the blueberry pie to be a bit more "liquidy", decrease the amount of the thickener used.
Looking for more gluten free dessert inspiration? Look no further!