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Gluten-Free Nectarine Pie with Lavender, Thyme & Tarragon

Course Dessert
Keyword gluten-free, whole grain

Ingredients

*Pie Crust for Cutout Pies & Pawdowdies (see note)

  • 3/4 cup (110 g) sweet rice flour
  • ½ cup (55 g) GF oat flour
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp (50 g) millet flour
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp (45 g) cornstarch
  • 3 Tbsp (25 g) tapioca flour
  • 4 Tbsp 25 g finely ground chia seed
  • ¾ tsp fine sea salt
  • 12 Tbsp (170 g) cold, unsalted butter, sliced ¼-inch thick
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp (90 mL) ice water
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp (90 mL) well-shaken buttermilk

Nectarine Pie Filling:

  • 6-7 medium nectarines
  • Finely grated zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp dried ginger
  • tsp sea salt
  • 2-3 sprigs lavender, stemmed & coarsely chopped
  • 2-3 sprigs thyme, stemmed & coarsely chopped
  • 2-3 sprigs tarragon, stemmed & coarsely chopped

Finishing

  • 2-3 Tbsps organic granulated cane sugar
  • 1 sprig fresh lavender, stemmed
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme, stemmed
  • 1 sprig fresh tarragon, stemmed
  • Buttermilk, milk, nut milk or water, for brushing

Instructions

To Make the Dough:

  • In a large bowl, combine the rice, oat, and millet flours with the cornstarch, tapioca flour, ground chia seed, and salt. Scatter the butter pieces over the top, and work in with a pastry blender or your fingers until the mixture resembles gravel, with lots of butter chunks the size of large peas.
  • Stir together the ice water and buttermilk, and drizzle the mixture into the flour mixture 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing the dough with a rubber spatula to moisten evenly. Add just enough liquid for the dough to hold together when you give it a squeeze, and add it directly to the dry floury bits that like to hang out on the bottom of the bowl; you may need all of the liquid.

For A Quicker Dough Assembly:

  • Knead the dough in the bowl 10-20 times to bring it together.

The Fraisage Method For Flaky Crust:

  • Dump the dough out onto the counter and fraisage by dragging portions of the dough across the counter with the heel of your hand (this makes for a flakier dough). Either way, gather the dough up into a ball (a metal bench scraper helps if using the fraisage method). Divide the dough into ⅓ and ⅔ portions, and wrap each portion loosely in plastic wrap or beeswax, and flatten it into a disk. Chill the dough for 30 minutes.

For An Extra Flaky Crust:

  • On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of chilled dough into a rough square that is about 1/4" thick. Fold it in thirds like you're folding a letter, then roll up from a skinny end into a loose spiral. Gently press to flatten it slightly. Repeat with the second portion of dough, and chill both for 30 minutes.

Optional:

  • Repeat the above step once more.

For the Filling:

  • Halve the nectarines, remove the pits, then cut each half into wedges, then halve the wedges. Place the nectarines in a large bowl, and add the lemon zest, juice, sugar, cornstarch, salt, ginger and fresh herbs. Toss gently to combine, and set aside for a few minutes to draw out the juices.

To Assemble the Pie:

  • Remove the larger portion of dough from the fridge, unwrap, and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough into a 12" circle, dusting the dough lightly with oat flour as needed, rotating and flipping it to prevent it from sticking. Ease the dough into a 9" glass pie plate, fit it into the corners, and trim the overhang. (Save the scraps to fold into the top layer of dough.) Crimp the overhang of the crust with the tines of a fork.
  • Spoon the fruit and juices into the chilled crust, smoothing it flat. Chill the crust and fruit filling while working with the second portion of dough.
  • On a surface dusted lightly with oat flour, roll out the smaller piece of dough to a 9-inch (23-cm) round about 1⁄4-inch (6-mm) thick. Use a fluted cookie cutter or biscuit cutter (or small glass) to cut out shapes measuring about 2-inches in diameter, or use a small paring knife to create a free-form design like mine. Remove the pie base from the fridge, and place the pie crust shapes over the surface. Brush the overlapping crusts with buttermilk or water to help them adhere. Chill the entire pie in the freezer for about 20 minutes, until the top crust is fairly solid.
  • While the pie chills, muddle the granulated cane sugar and fresh herbs until the herbs are broken down more crumb-like. Set aside.

To Finish & Bake the Pie:

  • Position a rack in the lower third of the oven, top with a baking stone if you’ve got one, and preheat to 425ºF (220ºC). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
  • Brush the decorative top pie crust with the liquid of your choice, and sprinkle with the muddled sugar.
  • Place the pie on the lined baking sheet and slide into the oven on the baking stone. Bake at 425ºF (220ºC) for 15 minutes, then decrease the oven temperature to 375ºF (190ºC) and continue baking until the crust is golden and the fruit is bubbling thickly, 35–50 more minutes.
  • Note on Baking: Err on the side of overbaking lest you wind up with a soupy filling that doesn't set.
  • Let the pie cool completely and the fruit to set, at least 2 hours.

To Serve:

  • Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature with a scoop of ice cream.

To Store:

  • The pie is best shortly after baking but will keep at room temperature for up to 1 day, or refrigerated for several days.

Notes

*The gluten-free, whole-grain pie crust and method in this recipe is adapted slightly from the book Alternative Baker by Alanna Taylor-Tobin, the creator of The Bojon Gourmet