Oh, how I miss pie.
I was looking back over some old blueberry recipes, and came across one for my first blueberry pie. Just looking at the (admittedly-average) photo made me salivate. I could hear the knife cut into the flaky crust, feel the crumbs stick to the corners of my mouth, smell the butter that lingered after the plate was licked clean.
Pie, the ways that I love it. If I mourn fruit now, my woes will shift to tomatoes come August.
‘Cause you know what? There’s no good way to make a grain-free pie crust. Nut flours just don’t behave for the likes of that.
My solution? Let us eat tart.
In researching this recipe, I combed through varieties involving cheeses, custards, pastry creams and jams. But since what I wanted was PIE, I went with a filling that is as close to that as possible. In fact, it closely resembles the filling for that delightful pie of yore, from Cook’s Illustrated. I wanted something that showcased the plump and sweet blueberries we picked last week (still happy in their bag in my fridge) — something fresh but also intense and jammy. Something in want of a dollop of whipped coconut cream (or whipped dairy cream, for the lucky among us).
After one miserable tart shell failure, I happily landed on a winner. The crust is mild and buttery with a good crumb, the filling simultaneously rich and fresh, scented with lemon, just-sweet-enough. So good, in fact, I’m filing this under recipes-I’ll-make-again-even-when-I’m-no-longer-grain-free.
Right after I make that pie.
Recipe: Grain-free Blueberry Tart (refined-sweetener-free, optional dairy-free)
This recipe is not GAPS-legal because of the starch thickener necessary for the filling. I have found that I tolerate small amounts of tapioca starch — an alternative would be using gelatin, but I’m not sure of the ratios. I do not recommend making the tart without a thickener, as the filling would be watery.
If you have sweet berries, you can likely use just 1/4 cup of honey — use up to 1/2 cup if berries are on the tart side.
For the shell:
- 1 3/4 cups blanched almond flour
- 2 Tbsp coconut flour
- 1/2 tsp gelatin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter or cold coconut oil, cut into small pieces (plus more for pan)
- 3 Tbsp honey
For the filling:
- 5 cups fresh blueberries, divided
- 1 Tbsp pearl or instant tapioca, ground to a fine powder in a coffee or spice mill (or use tapioca starch)
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup mild honey (see note)
- pinch salt
For the shell:
- Preheat oven to 350º. Brush a 9″ tart pan with melted butter or coconut oil.
- In the work bowl of a food processor, add the flours, gelatin, and salt, and pulse to combine.
- Scatter butter or oil over top of the flour. Pulse about 8 times (1 second each), or until mixture resembles meal.
- Pour honey over the top of the mixture, and pulse a few more times until dough comes together.
- Spread dough evenly into tart pan, making sure to evenly cover the sides.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown (watch carefully during last minutes, almond flour burns quickly). Allow to cool to room temperature while you prepare the filling.
For the filling:
- Reserve one cup of berries for the top.
- Place 2 cups of berries into a small saucepan with 2 Tbsp water. Cook over low heat, mashing the berries with a potato masher until only a few remain whole. Bring to a simmer.
- Add tapioca, lemon zest and juice, honey, and salt. Return to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes, or until thickened.
- Stir 2 cups of fresh berries into the cooked mixture, and immediately pour into the cooled tart shell.
- Scatter reserved cup of berries over the top of the filling, pressing gently so they adhere.
- Chill until set, about an hour.
- Serve topped with fresh whipped cream or whipped coconut cream.
Copyright © Katy Carter, 2012.
This post was linked up to Simple Lives Thursday, via GNOWFGLINS.