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Flourless Pear & Cranberry Pie

This gluten-free pie crust is designed to work with any of your favourite fruit pie fillings. When making a fruit pie with pears, if the pears are in peak season or are particularly juicy (ripe) when peeling, you can poach them in a simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water) until tender before draining and adding to your pie, in order to prevent too much liquid when the pie bakes.

Makes 1 9-inch pie

Ingredients

  • Crust:
    • 2 cups brown rice flour
    • ½ cup tapioca starch
    • ¼ cup sugar
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 1 cup chilled cream cheese
    • 1 cup chilled unsalted butter
    • 2 egg whites
  • Fruit Filling:
    • 3 cups peeled and sliced Bartlett or Anjou pears (about 4 medium pears)
    • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
    • 1 ½ cups sugar
    • 2 Tbsp tapioca starch
    • 2 tsp finely grated orange zest
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • ¼ tsp ground allspice
    • 1 egg whisked with 2 Tbsp water, for brushing

Method

  1. For the crust, combine the rice flour, tapioca starch, sugar and salt. Cut the cream cheese into large pieces and the butter into pieces about half that size (so that they work into the dough evenly) and cut in until the dough is a rough, crumbly texture. In a small bowl, whisk the whites until frothy and then add to the dough, mixing until it comes together. Shape the dough into 2 discs, wrap and chill until firm, about an hour.
  2. For the filling, toss the pears and cranberries with the sugar, tapioca starch, zest, vanilla and allspice.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 °F. Pull the first disc of pastry from the fridge, unwrap it, sprinkle lightly with rice flour and place it between 2 sheets of parchment paper. Roll the dough into a circle bout 12 inches across. Remove the top layer of parchment paper and transfer the pastry to a 9-inch pie plate and peel away the remaining layer of parchment. Fill the pie with the fruit filling.
  4. Roll the second disc of dough in the same manner and place it on top of the fruit filling. Trim and pinch the edges of the dough and use scissors or a paring knife the cut holes in the top to allow steam to escape. Brush the top of the pie with the egg wash and place the pie on a parchment or foil-lined baking tray. Bake the pie for about 50 minutes, until the crust is a rich brown and the filling is bubbling. Cool the pie completely to room temperature before slicing, or chill and serve cold.