Three Cheers for Cherry Crumb Pie

Pie is a classic American dessert, what guy doesn’t like a fat slice of juicy pie? Cherry pie is perfect for the weeks before and after the Fourth of July or anytime you can get frozen sour cherries.  My sister sometimes uses jarred cherries but I prefer fresh or frozen sours.  You can make it gf easily with this recipe – this crust is really tasty; my family practically cheers when I serve homemade gf pie and they don’t eat gluten free. Another option is to buy a ready made unbaked crust and just use my crumb topping on it; very easy way to make a homemade pie.

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Fresh tasting, locally sourced fruits are exactly in the spirit of summer.  I picked mine at an orchard down in Bucks County near the Turnpike along Limekiln Pike, about 20 minutes from Hellertown. I hear Bechdolts Orchard has sour cherries too.

The sugar, cinnamon and almond extract combine to create an intense cherry flavor.  If you prefer a lattice it can be made by doubling this pie crust and some careful construction work.  I tend to go the easy route of the crumb as everyone loves it. You could make a smaller 8 inch pie; use a cup less fruit and cut the sugar some, ditto for the tapioca. If you ate tapioca you can use white rice flour instead. I baked mine on a pie ring that captures overflow juices; this is one juicy pie!

This pie is fantastic with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.

This recipe is a blending of my own pie filling and the pie crust and crumb recipes from Annalise Robert’s cookbook, Gluten-Free Baking Classics.  I used a touch less sugar, more fruit, and made a few other changes to create my own special pie.  Her cookbook is a fabulous resource and I can’t recommend it enough to anyone trying to bake gluten free for a family member.  There is nothing like the classic desserts that we used to enjoy seasonally to comfort a celiac who can’t eat what they used to.

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Angie’s GF Cherry Crumb Pie


1 c plus 2 tbsp brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe)

2 tbsp sweet rice flour

1 Tbps. granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

6 Tbps. cold butter cut into 6 chunks

1 lg egg

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Spray 9 inch metal pie pan with cooking spray, dust with white rice flour.

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer.  Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal.  Add egg and juice.  Mix until it comes together into big chunks.  Shape into a ball with your hands. Put it on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust ball some; put on top of it another piece of wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes while you pit the fruit.


6 cups pitted fresh sour cherries: place in medium bowl (If frozen do not defrost and bake the pie maybe ten extra minutes until good and bubbly)

Mix the following in a small bowl and pour over the cherries:

¾ cup granulated sugar

3-4 tbsp. tapioca flour

1/4 to ½ tsp. cinnamon

Directions: Roll out the pie crust between two sheets of wax paper or in a pie bag; try to get the thickness even, no thick middle! Peel off one side of paper and place in pie pan, centered.  Remove other slice of wax paper.  Crimp edges all around.  Fill with sweetened fruit mix.  Sprinkle the crumb topping (1 to 1½ cup) evenly over this mixture.  The more crumbs the thicker the crust they will form; for a really thick crust use all the crumbs from the recipe below.

If you love your pie really sweet add another ¼ cup granulated sugar to the dry mix part of the filling.  I found the pie to be plenty sweet but everyone has their own sweetness level.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes with a piece of aluminum foil on top of the pie, then 15-20 more minutes uncovered until bubbly and the crust is light brown.  Cool at least 2 hours before serving at room temperature.

Note: I bake pies in my bottom heat pizza oven and it gives me a great browned crust.  If your oven isn’t bottom heat you might want to pre-bake the crust 10 minutes before filling and topping the fruit.

Crumb topping

Put all four ingredients in the same mixing bowl you made the bottom crust in and mix well with mixer paddle until crumbs form. Don’t over mix or you will get a soft dough; not a good thing…done it and not happy with myself…

¾ c brown rice flour mix

½ c granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

1/3 c cold butter cut into six chunks

Brown Rice Flour Mix  (Same as King Arthur GF blend)
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour