If there will be any gluten-free guests at your Thanksgiving dinner this year, you might want to make this pie for dessert. Not only is it indistinguishable from the traditional version, it’s sure to bring huge smiles to guests who hardly ever get to partake in this most iconic of holiday desserts.
I went a decidedly D.I.Y. route with this pie, roasting a pumpkin for the filling, as well as making the crust from scratch. My efforts paid off — all of the guests at last weekend’s harvest-themed cooking club agreed that this was a really special dessert. The pie filling starts with a sugar pie pumpkin, roasted to concentrated, candy-like sweetness. Judicious amounts of freshly ground nutmeg, Vietnamese cinnamon, and microplaned ginger make for a well-balanced filling, mellow enough to please every palette. The crust is tender and rich, owing to a blend of Irish butter and virgin coconut oil.
Below, you’ll find instructions for baking the pumpkin, assembling the crust, making the filling, and baking the pies. This recipe makes two small pies, as I used 8″ cake pans instead of 9″ pie tins. I actually prefer this smaller size — a wedge of this dessert won’t put you over the edge into food coma territory at the end of a big meal. It’s also a little cuter and homier looking than most pies, adding to its charm.
Baked Sugar Pie Pumpkin
yields 2 1/2 C. mashed pumpkin
1 medium sugar pie pumpkin
1. Use a heavy knife to carefully cut the pumpkin in half.
2. Scoop out the pumpkin seeds, reserving them if you want to roast them for a snack.
3. Wrap the pumpkin halves in aluminum foil, then place cut-side down on a cookie sheet. Bake the pumpkin for an hour and a half.
4. When the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and discard the skins.
Gluten Free Pie Crust
makes enough for two pie crusts
5 ounces almond flour
5 ounces tapioca flour
4 ounces brown rice flour
2 ounces ivory teff flour
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
5 tablespoons (70 grams) cold Kerrygold butter, shaved in thin slices with a vegetable peeler
4 tablespoons (56 grams) extra virgin coconut oil, in small pieces
1 large egg
1/4 C. cold water (plus more if needed)
1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (i.e. the flours, xanthan gum, and salt). Stir until evenly combined.
2. Add the butter and coconut oil to the bowl with the dry ingredients. Using your fingers, incorporate the butter and oil until the mixture is sandy and uniform.
3. In a small bowl, combine the egg and water. Whisk until evenly mixed, then add to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Using your fingers, work the egg mixture into the dough, just until it holds together and is evenly combined. If it is not holding together, add water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough forms a cohesive ball.
4. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, pat into 1″-thick disks, wrap with plastic wrap, then refrigerate for 30 minutes.
5. Remove a disk of dough from the refrigerator, unwrapping it and placing it between two sheets of parchment paper. Use a rolling pin to gently roll the dough into an approximately 11″ circle.
6. Peel off one piece of the parchment paper, then flip the dough into your pie tin, parchment side up. Peel off the remaining parchment paper, easing the dough into the pie tin. Use your fingers to crimp the edges if desired.
7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 with the other disk of dough. Set aside pie crust-lined pie pans until ready to bake — you can even freeze these for later use.
Pumpkin Pie Filling
makes enough for 2 small pies (made in in 8″ cake pans)
2 C. mashed pumpkin
1 C. organic cane sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 C. half and half
3 Tbsp. nonfat dry milk
5 ounces water
1 Tbsp. tapioca starch
1″ knob ginger, microplaned
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
1. Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Use an immersion blender to blend for about a minute, until smooth.
2. Bake the pies in a 350F oven for 50-55 minutes, until the filling has puffed up in the middle and the crust is golden brown.
3. Remove pies from oven and let cool for at least 2 hours before serving. The filling will flatten out and become firmer as the pies cool.