Sunday, September 27, 2009

Gluten-Free Wild Blueberry Pie

"Have I missed blueberry season?" I ask my mother before embarking upon the 9-hour drive from Chicago to Oscoda, Michigan. My mother informs me that she has seen a few berries hanging from the spindly bushes, but doubts there is enough to bake a pie with - as if reading my mind. When I think of Oscoda in late summer, I immediately imagine the wild blueberry bushes filling the forest behind my parent's house. Tiny, dark, and richly flavored, wild blueberries have always rivaled conventional blueberries in my mind. They are crunchy as well, due to the disproportionately sized seeds inside, but instead of being bothersome, it adds a wonderful texture. I was able to find enough blueberries on the bushes, searching for hours, picking delicate berries in a bathrobe and sandals under the shade of the tall pines, making sure to handle the berries with such care. Hours later, my fingers stained purple, my hair windblown, my arms scratched and mosquito-bitten, i emerged from the woods with a basket of berries. 6 cups, to be exact. It's pie time.



6 cups of fresh wild blueberries (can substitute conventional blueberries)

3/4 c. sugar

1/3 c. potato starch

1 tbsp. lemon zest

1/2 fresh lemon


Makes two pie crusts (one top, one bottom)

2/3 c. brown rice flour

2/3 c. tapioca flour

2/3 c. potato starch

2 tbs. arrowroot starch

4 tsp sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

3 tsp. xanthan gum

1 tsp salt

1 c. unsalted butter, chilled

2 large eggs, cold

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine the sugar, potato starch, and blueberries in a large bowl. Add the lemon zest and stir. Set aside.

Sift together rice and tapioca flour, potato and arrowroot starch, sugar, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt into a mixing bowl.

Cut cold butter into the dry ingredients. Blend with a pastry cutter until butter is incorporated into the dry ingredients.

The dough should hold together when squeezed. Beat egg with vinegar and mix into dough.

Form dough into a ball with your hands. Add a little tapioca flour if the dough is too sticky. Separate the ball into two balls. Roll out one section of dough between two sheets of waxed paper. The dough should be about 1 1/2 inches larger in diameter than the pie plate.

Peel one sheet of waxed paper away from the dough. Place dough in pan. Remove top sheet of waxed paper. Fill Pie with Blueberry filling and place a few pats of butter on top of the blueberry filling. Squeeze some of the lemon juice from the lemon half directly on top of the pie. Place the top crust, rolled out between two sheets of waxed paper, on the top. Trim the excess dough and crimp the top and bottom crust edges together to ensure a proper seal.

Brush the top pastry with milk and sprinkle with additional sugar. Poke holes in the top crust to decrease the chance of air bubbles in the crust. Cover the edge of the crust with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning.

Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. remove foil. Bake pie for 25 to 30 minutes more or until filling is bubbly and pastry is slightly golden. Cool on a wire rack.

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