Best Raspberry Pie Ever

Pie. Oh pie. Just—pie. 

I mean, seriously: does it get any better than a flakey, buttery crust filled with fresh fruit? I personally think it doesn’t, which is why raspberry pie has been my favorite food since ever. (For my sixteenth birthday, all I asked for was a raspberry pie. My dad ate it “accidentally.” I still give him a hard time for this.)

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The beautiful thing about food, beyond keeping us alive and (usually) tasting fan-freaking-tastic, is the memories a certain dish can hold. The memories married to a flavor or recipe may seem random, like bubblegum bringing a ski lift to mind, or predictable, like turkey and the Super Bowl. Each time we make a dish, we add another ingredient to the bowl of memories it holds. 

Given this fact, I’m grateful to have brought my “tester” for this recipe to a very special camping weekend up in the Madison Range south of Bozeman. A group of us ran/hiked up Alp Creek, over the saddle between Imp Peak and Woodward Mountain, and back down Taylor Creek. All in memory of a beloved friend. 

 Running up Alp Creek south of Bozeman, Montana

Running up Alp Creek south of Bozeman, Montana

Moving forward, when I make this pie, I can remember being up in those mountains, feeling the wild power of this world. I can remember sitting around a campfire with new and old friends, enjoying cold beers after a long day on the move. 

I hope this recipe brings you memories of days spent with good people, enjoying the beauty of life. Or in the least, I hope you enjoy a slice on the patio or even just next to an open window. The summer is a'flying. Time to make time to enjoy its bounty and simple pleasures--like pie. 

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Raspberry Pie (With a GF Option)

What You'll Need

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For the Crust

2 1/4 C + 1/4 C Flour (The gluten free mix I make has 2 C brown rice and a 1/3 C of tapioca flour and potato starch each; I create a big jar of it with 6X the proportions.*)

* If going gluten free, add in a heaping teaspoon of xantham gum.

1 C Butter (I use Earthbalance dairy-free butter only 'cause dairy and I are best friendemies)

1/2 t Salt

2-4 T Ice cold water

For the Filling

5 C Raspberries

3/4 C Sugar

1/2 Lemon

What You'll Do

1. Preheat oven to 375

2. Mix flour with salt (and xantham gum, if you're going gf). Cut in about half-inch cubes of butter. Mash together with either a pie cutter, fork, or (very clean) hands. 

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3. Here's the tricky part for my fellow gluten-free folk in the crowd. We wanna get the dough a little cold and wet with water, but not so much it begins to fall apart. I gently mash 2 T of ice cold water into the dough and scatter flour across the table. Careful not to overwork the crust here, or it will fall apart. 

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4. Divide the dough into a third and two-thirds chunks. Place the one-third aside and roll out the two-thirds until it's about an 1/8 inch thick. 

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5. If you can, set the dough into the pie and press it in. My gluten-free pastry crust ended up coming apart in chunks, so I did it piecemeal. When it was all in, I smoothed out any irregularities with a spoon and pinched the crust for the quintessential wave effect. You may have some dough left over - we'll use it for the top layer.

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6. Place the raspberries in a bowl with the sugar. Add the juice as well as shredded peel from the lemon. Mash together with a spoon and place the filling in the pie crust. 

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7. Roll out the remaining dough. (Cuteness factor: use a cookie cutter for a little flair. Learned this from my mama.) If gluten-free, cut the dough in half and use a spatula to help place the dough atop the filling, one half at a time. Blend the halves together carefully. (I still f'ed it up. It doesn't have to be perfect. The pie will taste great even if it's not Good Housekeeping cover material.)

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8. Slice breathing slits onto the top layer and bake for 50 minutes. 

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Eat yer heart out, friends! (But be weary of dads...)


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