Really giddy to share this recipe for a gluten free blackcurrant pie, as it’s one of my favourite puddings that my grandma used to make, and since being diagnosed with coeliac I have never made myself a gluten free version……until today! And what’s really nice, is the blackcurrants I’ve used for this pie, have come from my dad’s next-door neighbours garden. She let me pop in the other day and pick myself a container full!
People very often feel a bit daunted when it comes to making gluten free pastry, but I personally now prefer to work with it, as unlike traditional pastry that you can make tough if you over handle, gluten free pastry is the complete opposite, so instead, you really want to work and knead it for a few minutes to improve the texture before you start to roll it out. And if you do then happen to get the odd crack in the pastry, don’t bother, as it won’t affect the overall pie. In fact, my grandmas blackcurrant pies were only enhanced by the cracks, as they allowed the bubbling blackcurrant juice to seep through, which made the pie look perfect in my eyes!
Ingredients (serves 6)
For the pastry
200g (7oz) gluten free plain flour or mix (I used Doves Farm gluten free plain flour for this pie!)
100g (3½oz) hard butter (or margarine) cubed
½ teaspoon of *xanthan gum (optional)
1 large beaten egg
Add a pinch of salt to the flour if using unsalted butter
300g (11oz) blackcurrants – washed and any odd stalks removed
50g (2oz) sugar – if you like your pie a little sweeter add an extra 10g
Preheat oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6/Fan 180C
Lightly grease an enamel plate if you have one (love pies on these!) or a pie dish. Approximate size you need is about 8½ inch 22cm.
Blend together the gluten free flour/mix and xanthan gum in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub it in until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs (any larger bits of butter will be blended when you work the pastry before rolling it out).
Stir in the egg and then add enough water to bring the pastry together. If you don’t add enough water, you will find the pastry difficult to work with. if you add a bit too much, don’t worry as you can ‘bring it back’ by adding a little extra gluten free flour!
Form the pastry into a ball and transfer onto a surface dusted with gluten free flour and knead for a couple of minutes until the pastry becomes smooth. By doing this the pastry will be much easier to handle!
Cut the pastry in half, roll out the first half on worktop lightly dusted with gluten free flour. Once you have a circle slightly bigger than your pie dish, gently roll the pastry around the rolling pin and lift and guide it into the pie dish.
Fill the pastry base with blackcurrants and sprinkle sugar over the top of them.
Roll out the remaining pastry. Just before you place the rolled-out pastry on top of the blackcurrants, dab a little cold water around the edge of the pie, this will help the pastry bond together. Lay the pastry over the blackcurrants and gently press around the edge of the pie before trimming off the excess pastry. Edge the pastry, by pinching it with your fingers or gently pressing the edge down with a fork. With a sharp knife make two slits in the pastry to allow the steam to escape.
Brush the top of the pie with a little milk and scatter lots of caster sugar over the top (this gives the pie such a delicious sweet crunchy topping!)
Pop the pie in the oven and baked for about 25 – 30 minutes. I did turn the pie a couple of times during this time to ensure I got an even bake. Once golden brown remove from the oven.
My very favourite way of enjoying blackcurrant pie is with *custard, but cream, *ice-cream is also rather gorgeous with it!!
Few things to add before I head off.
You don’t have to use Xanthan gum if you dont want to. I don’t tend to use it in baking, but do like to use it in pastry and scones, as I find it holds the ‘crumb’ together better, but if it’s not for you, just skip it!
I keep a separate rolling pin for gluten free pastry etc that I wash by hand after each use, and I also have a great little washable plastic mat that I like to roll my gluten free pastry out on.
I’ve used blackcurrants for this pie, as that’s what in season right now, but obviously, you can use whatever takes your fancy. And don’t forget this pastry recipe is perfect for savoury pies too…. of course without the sugar topping!!
Oh, and If you like your pastry and puddings, you must check out my gluten free Manchester tart recipe out!!
P.S. If your gluten free pastry is misbehaving this little video I popped together may help.
*Check this product out to ensure no gluten containing ingredients or ‘may contain’ or ‘not suitable’ warnings on the pack. If in doubt leave it out.
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