Cherries have always been one of my favorite fruits, even when I was a young child that refused to eat much of anything. Cranberries were something that grew on me. Together the sweet and tart berries create an outstanding harmony, so they are naturals to put together, especially a streusel- topped pie. A gluten-free pie with streusel topping? All it took is a little creative thinking to come up with a solution that gave this pie’s a unique flavor plus a nice dose of protein and fiber as well. Now, doesn’t that sound healthier than a bunch of flour and sugar mixed together?
You can use fresh cherries, but in the winter season, probably only frozen and canned will be available, Avoid the sugary pie filling and go for the frozen cherries. Cranberries are fresh and in demand during the holidays, so locating a package of them shouldn’t be a challenge. I also cut the added sugar in this pie to a minimum, and as always, I don’t cook with white sugar.
I’m happy with Deanna’s Gluten-Free Pie Crusts, which I buy at my local Kroger market (Ralphs.) While there probably isn’t a gluten-free pie crust that can measure up to the flakiness of a crust made with flour, Deanna’s bake well, stay together and taste good. The same goes for Glutenfreeda’s Instant Oatmeal, which I also purchase at Ralphs.
This pie is festive to look at and not complicated to make. More importantly, it tastes delightful. Bake one and see.
1 Deanna’s gluten-free pie crust
For Streusel Topping:
6 tbsp. butter, softened
1 egg (or egg white only)
1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 packets Glutenfreeda gluten-free instant oatmeal
1/3 cup Brazil nuts
1/3 cup walnuts
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. pink Himalayan salt
1 pkg. frozen cherries
1 pkg. fresh cranberries
1 cup organic turbinado sugar
4 tbsp. instant tapioca or corn starch
1 tsp. brandy
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp. pink Himalayan salt
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Pulse the nuts in a food processor until they have the texture of a meal (still somewhat chunky.)
3. Combine butter and sugar in a bowl and fluff with a fork until creamy. Mix in the egg (or egg white) and vanilla and stir until mixed well. Stir in the salt, nut meal and oatmeal and combine well. Set aside.
4. Place the cherries and cranberries in a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar and tapioca or cornstarch. Toss the berries to completely coat with sugar and tapioca or starch. Add the brandy, lemon juice and salt, and continue tossing until all the berries are completely covered.
5. Pour the cherry cranberry filling into the pie shell, creating a small mound toward the center. The cherries and cranberries will shrink in cooking, so it’s okay to pile them up a bit.
6. Spoon the streusel topping over the filling, making sure to leave areas where steam can escape. I created four symmetrical slots near the center.
7. Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees F for ten minutes (watch the pie because the nuts will brown quickly.) Cover the top with aluminum foil after the ten minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 350° F and bake for approximately one hour, until the crust is browned nicely and the filling is bubbly.
8. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Note: For a spicier pie, add 3’4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ginger, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg and a sprinkle of cloves.