Pumpkin Pie, Gluten-Free (w/instructions for dairy-free adaptation)

Hey all!  My pal, Shauna James Ahern–aka The Gluten-Free Girl–asked that her gluten-free (and non-gluten-free) peeps all write a post with a gluten-free recipe that would be appropriate for Thanksgiving and to post it today.  Her thought was that it would be so great for gluten-free folks to be able to cruise the internet in this week and a half (eek!) before Thanksgiving and find a bunch of terrific recipes to use.  I love this idea!

By the way, did you know that she and her husband, Danny, have a new cookbook out?  It’s The Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef.  Check it out–it’s a love story (how they met, fell in love, married, and had a baby) in addition to a being a cookbook.  Danny is a trained chef and the recipes look fab!  I’m dying to try the Umbrian Lentils with Duck Confit, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Cabernet Sauce on p. 186.  Wow–that sounds amazing.  We love duck–maybe that will be our Christmas dinner…

Anyway, if you’re gluten-free, you know what a minefield a holiday like Thanksgiving can be.  You run into all sorts of “have-tos”, both your own and those of others.  If you cook your own Thanksgiving dinner, it’s a bit easier–but even then it’s tough sometimes to come up with gluten-free adaptations that will please you and everyone around you.   So, this big Thanksgiving round-up idea from Shauna will help you and others be able to find all sorts of good recipes to try for Thanksgiving–yay!

As we head into the holiday season, I’ve been getting requests for certain recipes that everyone loves for their Thanksgiving table. Last week I got a request for a dairy-free, gluten-free pumpkin pie. Gah. I can’t believe I don’t already have a pumpkin pie on my site already. I’m rectifying that now.

This pie is one that I’ve been making for the past several years for Thanksgiving. Before I settled on this one, I tried many, many recipes and haven’t been that keen on any of them. My trouble is that many recipes out there over-use the spices (at least for my tastebuds) and don’t allow the pumpkin flavor to shine through.  I finally found a recipe in the Tao of Cooking, by Sally Pasley (which is one of my favorite cookbooks ever!) that focuses more on the pumpkin flavor and less on the spices. I have used this recipe as the inspiration for my recipe.

My friends and family rave over this pie–they love it!  Even I (not a huge fan of most pumpkin pies) love it!  And it’s terrific as a dessert or a breakfast snack. I made one a couple of days ago for this post and we have been munching on it as breakfast for the past few days.  Oh, and another terrific thing about it is that it is easily made dairy-free.

The original recipe uses evaporated milk or cream to create a super-lucious pie. These days Girlfriend doesn’t react so well to lots of dairy. She’s also recently tested allergic to soy (which is common among peanut-allergic kids), so we can’t do soy either.  So I’ve come up with a version of rice evaporated milk that works well.  It involves simmering rice milk over low heat for a couple of hours in order to steam off much of the water.  You are left with a more rich rice milk at the end of the process.  Yay!

Pumpkin Pie, Gluten-Free (can be made dairy-free)
-makes one 9″ pie

1/2 recipe for  Gluten-Free Flaky Pie Crust dough (for one 9 inch pie)
2 large or extra large eggs
1/2 cup (105g) dark or light brown sugar (I like dark brown)
1 1/2 cup (355ml) evaporated milk, cream, or dairy substitute (see below for rice evaporated milk substitute)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
1 1/2-2 cup pumpkin puree or one 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons melted butter (or butter substitute)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Prepare your pie crust dough.  Keep it refrigerated until ready to roll out.

Beat eggs with a whisk.  Beat in brown sugar, and spices.  Mix well.  Stir in evaporated milk or cream.  Stir in pumpkin puree and mix well.  Add melted butter and mix well.

Roll out pie crust dough and use it to line your 9″ pie pan.  Pour filling into pie pan.  Place into preheated oven.  Immediately reduce temperature to 375 degrees and bake for about 60 to 75 minutes–or until a tester inserted into the middle of the pie comes out fairly clean (and not goopy).

Allow to cool to room temperature to allow the custard to set before serving.  Serve alone or with a dollop of unsweetened whip cream on the side.  Makes a fabulous breakfast pie, too!

How to make evaporated rice milk:
Place 4 C of gluten-free rice milk in a wide pan over low heat. Simmer for about 2 hours, stirring every so often, until it has reduced to 1 1/2 C. Make sure not to burn the bottom–just barely simmering is what you want. Once reduced, remove from heat to cool before using it in the pie. You can also do this ahead of time and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Be sure to shake/mix well before using.


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  1. Marci says

    It’s my very first gluten free Thanksgiving !! I followed this recipe exactly and they are now ( made 2 ) in the oven !! I’ve never made homemade pumpkinpie at all so this is very exciting !! I’m making one to take to a birthday party tonight , she’s gluten free too and asked me to make one for her… The other I’m keeping for myself and if it turns out well I’ll be making more for Thanksgiving next week !

  2. Remy says

    I made this last night (with the evaporated rice milk) and it’s excellent! I’ve made a few pumpkin pies, and this is by far my favorite. I’ve never been a big fan of them, but my boyfriend requested one. I think the evaporated rice milk gives it a better texture than cow milk. It seems like it’s got a smoother texture than the pumpkin pies I’ve had before.

    It’s already half gone, and it’s just been my boyfriend and me. 😀

  3. Karyl says

    I’ve tried coconut milk straight in the past as a sub for evaporated milk, and I haven’t been too happy with it. I’ll try to make evaporated coconut milk, and if it works, it’s going into a pumpkin pie!

    • admin says

      Megan: I haven’t tried coconut milk, so I can’t say for sure. But I would try it and see what happens! If you do, let me know how it worked!

  4. dee says

    Did you have a different pumpkin pie recipe posted before? I have one on that has your name and flour mix on it but it is nothing like the one posted now. If you do have a different one, the recipe I have does not call for a crust, it has 2 1/4 c flour mixed into the filling…does this sound familiar? If so can you tell me am I correct that it does not have a crust? Help…thanks

    • admin says

      Dee: Hm. I don’t recall posting one before. Is the one you have actually printed out from my site? Gah. Let me go check, but I don’t think so.

  5. says

    Jeanne! This is beautiful. I am a sucker for pumpkin pie, especially topped with some whipped cream :). What a great idea with the evaporated rice milk! So glad she can enjoy it too!

  6. gwynn says

    This looks fabulous, and I’m wondering if you have experimented with an egg-free version or one using an egg substitute? I’ve recently needed to go dairy, gluten and egg free and am having a heck of a time figuring out pie for Thanksgiving this year!!! (And I want my pumpkin pie darn it! 😉

    • admin says

      Gwynn: You know, I haven’t done it egg-free. I know a lot of folks use silken tofu to substitute for the eggs. But we can’t eat soy, so that’s out for us. My research into this online seems to suggest that if you add 1/4 C of cornstarch in the place of the eggs, and whip that well with the pumpkin, it will give it the structure the eggs provide. You might want to try that and see how it works. If you do, let me know what your results are! Thanks!

    • admin says

      Gwynn: OK, I made another pie last night and used 1/4 C of tapioca flour (because that’s what I had) in place of the eggs. It still tastes good–but it’s more runny than the one with eggs–more like a thick pudding than a custard. I will try one with cornstarch at some point. I would recommend experimenting!

    • says

      You can always substitute 150ml of milk(any),1 banana, or 2tbsp. of arrowroot or potato starch or 1 heaping tbsp of soya powder or 1/4 cup of tofu. Good Luck! :)

  7. says

    Oh man! It never occurred to me to just boil down the rice milk and make a denser thicker milk substitute! Brilliant!

    I’m lucky that I don’t have many food allergies, but I’m always on the look out for different methods to accommodate my friends and family that do. By the way, one way you can intensify the pumpkin puree, is putting the puree in cheesecloth and hanging it overnight in a colander with a bowl underneath. The water will drain out and you’ll have a more intense flavor. Though you’ll also have less pumpkin puree, so you’ll probably need to start with more.

    Mmm… pumpkin pie. I’m so glad you did this! Now EVERYONE can have pumpkin pie!

    • admin says

      Irvin: Thanks! And your idea of straining the pumpkin puree is terrific–I will try it next time. And I agree–it’s so great to be able to accomodate everyone at the table! It warms my heart to know that people like you, who don’t have any food allergies, is so willing to work with us food allergic folks and make things we can eat, too!


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