Blackberry Picnic Pies, Gluten Free

Road trip food doesn’t have to be boring. Bring the unexpected,  like little picnic pies on your next picnic or road trip. Almost everyone loves a little pie and these travel well.  They’ll keep for a few days tucked into a tin.

If you travel and are gluten-free you know that the pickings are slim, especially on long stretches of road where the only eats available are from those fast food chains. Never mind most airports. Ick.

Road trips and picnics can be an opportunity for making some really great food when you are living gluten-free. Since we can’t just stop anywhere and expect to find a great snack or decent picnic fixings, it makes sense that we should bring along food that is tasty and would make others watching us eat wish they were eating gluten-free, too.

I can think of lots of gluten-free treats that would do that, and these little berry picnic pies top the list.

Happily, they’re easy to make. Once you have the technique down, they go together in no time at all. You could probably make enough to share with everyone on your flight, or at the rest stop on that long highway, but they can go make their own, thank you.

Just send them this way for the recipe.

Happy trails and good eats!

Blackberry Picnic Pies, Gluten Free
Easy picnic pies are a great dessert or snack to take along with you almost anywhere. They store easily in a tin lined with parchment. Use a pizza or pastry cutter to make the circles or a large round biscuit/cookie cutter works, too. Be sure to use plenty of starch under the dough when you roll it out so each circle can be lifted easily into your hand. Brush off the excess starch once the pie is formed. Crimp or pinch the edges closed and fold gently so they don't crack. After making a couple you will find they go together quickly. Makes 10-12 tasty picnic pies.
Pie Crust
  • 300 grams AP GF flour (150 grams superfine brown rice flour, 75 grams each superfine white rice flour and tapioca starch/flour) (2⅓ cups)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 115 grams unsalted butter, chilled (1 stick)
  • 40 grams cream cheese, chilled (3 tablespoons)
  • 45 grams solid Spectrum Vegetable Shortening (3 tablespoons)
  • 80-100 grams ice-cold water
Blackberry Filling (prepare in advance)
  • 2 half-pints blackberries
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon Framboise
  • 3 tablespoons tapioca starch/flour
  • zest of one lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 extra-large egg, beaten (for brushing)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Pie Crust
  1. In the bowl of a food processor, mix flour with sugar and salt. Pulse once. Cube chilled butter and cream cheese and add to food processor bowl. Add shortening. Pulse a few times until mixture is like ragged coarse peas. While processor is running, add water to chute just until a ragged ball forms. Place on plastic wrap and remove blade carefully. Gather dough and form into 2 disks. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least two hours. Remove one disk at a time and bring to room temperature (about 30 minutes) before rolling. Using plastic wrap on the bottom and top, dusted with starch, roll dough into 5 inch circles about ⅛ inch thick. Be sure to dust with enough starch so that you can lift each small circle when it comes time to fill each picnic pie. Each dough disk will make about 5-6 picnic pies. Brush edges of each circle with water.
Blackberry Filling (prepare in advance)
  1. In a small saucepan place one half-pint blackberries, 2 tablespoons sugar, water, Framboise and lemon zest. Heat on medium until mixture simmers. Turn to lowest heat and simmer until berries and mushy and mixture thickens, about 5-8 minutes, stirring often. Strain into a container and press on the solids and cool. When cool, add 2nd half-pint blackberries and 3 tablespoons tapioca starch, 2 tablespoons remaining granulated sugar, lemon zest and salt. Stir and let the mixture sit while preparing dough.
Assembly and Baking
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking pan with parchment.
  2. Pick up one circle at a time in the palm of your hand and make sure edges are still slightly wet from brushing with water. Use a small offset spatula to help lift the small circle so it doesn't tear. Add tablespoon of filling in center of circle while holding dough. Gently fold it over so edges meet and you have a half-circle. Gently pinch edges closed so the filling remains inside. Place on parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat until you have as many pies as you wish. Place sheet pan in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to chill.
  3. Mix the beaten egg and sugar together. Remove from the refrigerator and brush the tops of each pie with the egg/sugar mixture. Using a sharp paring knife, gently cut slits in each pie. Bake about 20 minutes and rotate. Bake about 15 minutes more or until filling is bubbling out the vents and crusts are golden brown. Cool thoroughly on baking sheet until each pie lifts off easily - that can take some time, so be patient. Finish cooling on a rack.


  1. Those hand pies look awfully tasty! Thanks for the recipe. I just got done using all my garden strawberries in some tartlets. Blackberries aren’t too far off I think!

  2. I love that, making people wish they were eating gluten-free because your pies look so good. They really do look scrumptious, and pretty cute too!

  3. Do you know how this recipe works with dairy free ingredients?

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Juleigh, I have not made this DF so I am not sure. But you could use DF cream cheese and more shortening or DF spread to make up the difference in the fats. The flavor will not be the same as the original recipe with butter, but as long as you use the = amount of fats in total it should be ok. It might be slightly more crumbly so take extra care when trying to fold them. Hope that helps.