This paleo American flag pie is the absolute perfect paleo 4th of July dessert. Full of fresh strawberries and blueberries with a crunchy crust, it’s a stellar paleo pie that’s just stunning. Is there a better paleo pie for the ultimate paleo 4th of July dessert table? I think not!
This paleo American flag pie happened in an absolute whirlwind.
I was in the car with my mom and Leo, headed to visit greatgrandma (or guh GAMAMA, as Leo pronounces it), reveling in the fact that I was “working” from my iPhone (You know, responding to Instagram comments? Yeah. Working.) taking a couple hours out of my day to visit with my gorgeous grandma and meet the hubs for lunch. Best job ever?
And I started craving cherry pie. These things happen.
So I started writing a cherry pie recipe, and I told myself I’d just head to the store on the way back to “work” (Remember? Making food and taking pictures of it and posting self-deprecating comments on Facebook? Work.). But wait… isn’t Memorial Day kind of soon?
What about… ohmygah. I absolutely have to make a paleo American flag pie. Like, will die without making a paleo American flag pie. HOW DID I NOT THINK OF THE PALEO AMERICAN FLAG PIE ALREADY TOO BUSY RESPONDING TO INSTAGRAM COMMENTS CHERYL STUPID STUPID GAH
^^^ That’s… kind of how it happened. Pretty close.
So I spent the rest of our lunch frantically planning my paleo American flag pie slash paleo 4th of July pie, but for Memorial Day, too, of course, because #murica and then I sprinted to the grocery store and grabbed containers and containers of red and blue fruit and headed home, all pumped with pride for inevitably delicious outcome of incoming pie.
And yeah, disaster. The filling was completely liquid, the crust dissolved entirely, and it was just… beautiful but terrible?
So I turned Test Kitchen mode up to 11. I woke up early the next morning and had test fillings with various amounts of thickeners portioned out in a cupcake tin, labeled with Post-It notes, diagrammed just in case I somehow got turned around.
With the perfect filling recipe in hand, I tested a brand new crust recipe, essentially holding my breath the entire time because… pies are not frivolous things? They take a while and a decent amount of ingredients, and they’re so delicate and require such specific ratios and practices and I need to get this paleo 4th of July pie out on May 19th or else will die.
And somehow my job went from responding to Instagram comments to pie-related death threats in like 24 hours.
But as I pinched off a piece of the crust and tasted the slightly flaky, crunchy crumb, as I lifted the first piece out of the pan and marveled at the perfectly formed filling, as I tasted the first bite and heard the angels emit a collective “AHHHH!” up above? Worth it.
The resulting paleo 4th of July pie (slash anytime-patriotic pie) is fruity but buttery and a bit crunchy and tender. It’s beautiful and the absolute perfect paleo 4th of July pie, as well as a fabulous paleo American flag pie for Memorial Day, Labor Day, or Flag Day. Why settle for a “🇺🇸” when you can have a 👇
Note: This crust is delish, but it’s not going to behave or taste just like a buttery, gluteny crust. It’s a bit more delicate to work with but also more forgiving.
What I used to make this paleo flag pie:
- 1 1/2 cup tapioca flour
- 3 tablespoons arrowroot flour + additional for dusting
- 1 1/2 teaspoons maple sugar (or coconut sugar)
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup palm shortening , very cold
- 1 large egg , whisked
- 1/4-1/2 cup cold water
- 2 sheets of parchment paper
- a little coconut oil or extra shortening , for greasing
- sheet of aluminum foil
Make your crust:
Preheat oven to 375º F.
Place tapioca flour, 3 tablespoons arrowroot flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to thoroughly combine.
Drop in very cold palm shortening, in about 1 tablespoon drops. Pulse a couple times until shortening is incorporated and resembles coarse crumbs.
Pour in egg and pulse a couple times again until mixture again resembles coarse crumbs. Then, add in water, about 1-2 tablespoons at a time, pulsing after each addition, until it’s beginning to form a dough. It shouldn’t be too sticky.
Lay a sheet of parchment paper on your countertop and dust with arrowroot. Turn dough out onto parchment paper and form into a ball. You may need to add arrowroot to work with it. Pull about 1/3 of the dough off the ball, form a smaller ball out of this dough, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill. The total dough will make about 415 grams, and you’ll want to reserve about 140 grams, leaving about 275 grams.
Dust the larger ball with arrowroot and flatten into a disc. Place the second sheet of parchment paper on top. Roll out into a circle, the size of your pie pan. Lightly sprinkle arrowroot onto the edge of your pie pan. Then gently transfer rolled-out crust to pie pan and press down into pan, fluting edges. If the crust breaks, repair it by pressing the dough back together or adding a bit more dough in. It’s very forgiving.
Prick lightly all over with a fork, then grease a sheet of aluminum foil with coconut oil or more shortening then place, greased-side down, in the crust. Fill with pie weights, dried rice or beans. Bake for 5 minutes then remove weights and foil. Bake another 2 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Now make your filling.
Make your filling:
Mix together sugar, 1/2 cup tapioca flour, and salt in a bowl.
Pour 3/4 of the sugar mixture on the strawberries, add 1 tablespoon extra tapioca flour, and vanilla extract. Stir to combine very well. Set aside for 10 minutes to macerate.
Pour the remaining 1/4 of the sugar mixture on the blueberries and add lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir to combine well. If the mixture seems very dry, smash a few blueberries to allow the mixture to coat the blueberries better.
Add in a bit more sugar to the berries, if necessary, depending on the sweetness of your fruit.
Once the strawberries have macerated (softened and produced juice), sprinkle in the remaining 1 tablespoon of tapioca flour and stir to mix very, very well (see note).
Fold a piece of aluminum foil in half width-wise a couple times to make a divider for the fruit. Put the foil inside the pie crust blocking off a third of the inside of the pie (see photo).
Spoon blueberries into the smaller side. Then, using a slotted spoon, spoon strawberries into larger side, leaving strawberry liquid in bowl. Carefully remove the foil.
Roll out smaller ball of dough and cut out a few strips, about 3/4-1” thick. Slide a kitchen knife under the crust strips (above the parchment paper) and lift up to remove. Place over strawberry section to resemble American flag. Cut out stars with cookie cutter and place over blueberry section. Use your fingers or a kitchen knife to easy away the dough around the star, then slide the knife under the star and lift up. Be very gentle, as this dough can be delicate.
In a small bowl, combine whisked egg with 1 teaspoon water. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the top crust and bottom crust edges with the egg wash. Bake for 25-30 minutes uncovered, or until top crust is golden brown. Cover edges or entire pie (depending on how brown the stars and stripes are) and bake another 5-10 minutes, or until filling is bubbly and crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool at least 2 hours before cutting. Perfect with coconut ice cream!
Mix in the 1 tablespoon tapioca flour with the strawberries very well, otherwise the mixture can become gummy.
You can use coconut sugar instead of maple sugar, if you have it on hand or are trying to be more budget-conscious. However, I recommend maple sugar, since it’s sweeter, lighter, and perfect with the strawberries. You might have to use more coconut sugar then maple sugar, too.
Pie crust recipe adapted from Back Porch Paleo.