This post is officially my last summer-berry hoorah. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a sucker for bargains/sales and anything food related. This means I regularly buy a plethora of unnecessary kitchen items, whether it’s new & whacky ingredients, handy & unique (but still mostly useless) kitchen utensils, or a crapton of fresh berries. Pretty much anytime there was a berry sale over the last 3 months, I bought & froze 2-4 boxes. (FYI, the summer has berry sales every day, all season -er, wait, make that ALL YEAR- long… sigh. What’s wrong with meeee.)
As you can imagine, my freezer is packed with fresh, ripe berries & cherries galore and our kitchen (and every cabinet in the living room… oops. need new house plz.) is packed with kitchen tools, appliances, dishes & food photography props. Ask me about the most bizarre ingredient or tool you can think of and I guarantee I’ll have it. Cherry pitter even though I haven’t pitted cherries in 5 years? NEED IT. Strawberry huller even though I haven’t hulled strawberries in 10 years? NEED IT. Avocado slicer even though I hate avocados? DEFINITELY NEED IT. Eco-friendly overpriced-bamboo potato scrubber? YUP. I’m one of those idiots keeping the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer in production.
My secret is… I go to TJ Maxx and become a Maxxinista. They always have new, popular items and they’re always selling discounted Le Creuset pieces. I mean, yeah a 9×13 Le Creuset baking dish is still $30, but, that’s just fine with me because DISCOUNT. I always leave TJ Maxx spending about $200, feeling fairly guilt-ridden and sad that again, I could not exercise self-control. I JUST NEEDED ALL THE KITCHEN THINGS. WHYYY, GOD, WHY. This definitely does not stop at TJ Maxx, either… send me to any grocery store, farmers market, or roadside stand and I go apeshit. I simply love fresh produce and trying new things. Even if that new thing is a $20 salami from some hip & trendy organic Salumeria or $100 in exotic spices & halal meats from my local Indo-Pak grocer. Hey, at least I’m not spending my money on clothes and shoes, right? IT’S FOR THE GOOD OF THE BLOG, PEOPLE.
If you’re picturing my tiny freezer packed full of frozen berry clamshells, your vision is correct! (I would store them in the chest freezer… if that wasn’t packed, too.) As you can expect, I really need to use those fresh summer berries. I figured now is better than ever to post this recipe since you can still get perfectly ripe berries almost anywhere and, soon, we’ll be transitioning into more Autumnal recipes. (I’ve always wanted to use that word.) Can I get a “WOOP WOOP!” from all my pumpkin-spice-loving yoga-pant-wearers!?
The crust is an adapted version of an Elana’s Pantry pie crust and is, in my opinion, awesome! It tastes just like the real thing and until I develop my own wow-worthy pie crust recipe, I will continue to use and love this slightly adapted version. I replaced some of the almond flour with tapioca starch to prevent over-browning and used a bit more lard/shortening in place of the coconut oil. You do need to be more careful with it than a typical glutenous pie crust, but, if you’ve worked with almond flour-based pie crust before, you know what you’re working with, just gotta pinch any cracks back together. The toughest part is flipping the top crust onto the pie, but, I’ve never messed it up to the point where it’s unsalvageable. If you’re careful, you’ll have perfect paleo pie crust in no time. You can use this crust for sweet OR savory dishes, too! (chicken pot pie. mmmmmm)
This pie is so, so, so easy to make and you can fill it with virtually any type of fruit you want. I personally think it tastes, like most dishes, even better the day after making it. Once the filling has time to cool, it gets thick & gooey and you don’t have to worry about the hot, melted contents of your pie slice oozing all over your plate. Let the tapioca do it’s job overnight and ENJOY!
- 2 eggs
- 3 cups almond flour
- 1 cup tapioca flour
- 6 tbsp lard OR shortening, chilled (you could use coconut oil if necessary)
- 2 tsp cold water
- 2 tsp sweetener of choice (I use maple sugar)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 5 cups berries (I used 3 cups blueberries & 2 cups blackberries)
- ¼ cup tapioca flour
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp honey
- ¼ cup maple sugar (or sweetener of choice - if using liquid, very slightly increase the tapioca)
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg (I looove fresh nutmeg and use about ½ tsp)
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 425 and set pie dish, parchment paper & rolling pin aside.
- Prepare pie crust in food processor. Pulse all crust ingredients together until dough ball forms. Cut dough ball evenly in half and flatten both balls into disks. Wrap disks in saran wrap and refrigerate while preparing berry filling.
- Place berries in a large bowl and using a spatula, gently toss with tapioca flour until evenly coated, being careful not to break the berries.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together lemon zest, juice & honey. Pour lemon juice mixture over berries & gently toss. Add sweetener of choice (I used maple sugar), salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon and gently toss again.
- Remove ONE chilled pie crust disk from fridge, leaving the other to continue chilling.
- Using rolling pin, roll out bottom-dough until it fits your baking dish and carefully flip into pie plate.
- Pinch together any cracks and use your hands to adjust/make it pretty. Don't be afraid of tears & cracks, just press them back together.
- Remove the other dough-disk from the fridge and roll out the top crust. Once rolled out and before flipping, cut ventilation slits/holes in the crust. This is when you can make a pretty design or simply cut a small round hole in the very-center. I like to cut a floral pattern, kind of similar to this.
- Flip prepared top-crust onto filled pie. Seal the edges with a fork (or crimp/pinch with your fingers) and remove any excess dough. Bake at 425 for first 10 mins, then, reduce to 325 for remaining 30 mins.
- Let cool COMPLETELY before attempting to slice & serve. I know this is extremely difficult for most, but, the cooler it is, the better it is. Tapioca-berry filling thickens as it chills.