Pumpkin Pie

Description

Nothing says Thanksgiving like pumpkin pie.

In Canada we celebrate Thanksgiving in October. For us it is truly fall with warm sunny afternoons, the spectacular colours of autumn and daylight into the early evening. To me it also feels like the official beginning of pumpkin season. Suddenly pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin cookies and pumpkin muffins appear everywhere.

Then, at the perfect moment everyone wants pie, there it is. Boxes of pies piled high at the entrance of every store you enter. Does anyone make homemade pie anymore?

Baking is a skill you can learn and a homemade pumpkin pie is not unrealistic. All you need to learn is how to make a gluten free pie crust and, as pumpkin lovers will tell you, the season goes all the way to the end of the year.

PIN Pumpkin Pie for later…

Gluten free Pumpkin Pie for Thanksgiving is a must.

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American Thanksgiving

Our friends to the south celebrate Thanksgiving in late November. I think this presents a wonderful opportunity for all of us. If you want practice before the big event American’s can host a Canadian Thanksgiving feast in October. For us northerners we can plan a menu with all the things that weren’t served at our family event by hosting an American Thanksgiving dinner. It seems to me that these events would be hosted with friends rather than family, but hey, it’s your party so do what you want. Break all the rules and make it entirely gluten free. You could break tradition and serve my Southwestern Turkey Feast, or just make dessert. Who wouldn’t come to an all pumpkin dessert buffet?

Flaky Pie Pastry

My mom was the maker of pies in my family. She made perfect, flaky pie crust using lard, and in later years changing that to shortening. She says it is the key ingredient but she has only ever baked with wheat flour.

I turned to America’s Test Kitchen for tips and tricks on pie making. I own, and highly recommend, both volumes;

These are excellent resources for cooking in general and baking in particular. They would also be a perfect gift idea.

Top Tips For Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie

  • xanthan gum adds structure
  • sour cream makes the dough easier to work with
  • vinegar makes a flaky, tender pastry
  • rolling the dough between plastic wrap makes it easy to flip
  • adding warm filling to a partially baked crust helps cook pastry and filling evenly

The recipe instructions tell you how to successfully roll out and bake gluten free pastry. For more tips you can also refer to the recipe description in my post titled Homemade Flaky Pie Crust.

I tweaked the America’s Test Kitchen recipe and used my own gluten free flour mix. People often say they have trouble with overly brown edges on their pumpkin pie. I didn’t have that problem but if you do you can make a homemade piecrust shield using tin foil. For serious pie makers with this problem you can purchase silicone pie crust shields…who knew!

Pumpkin Puree vs Pumpkin Pie Filling

You can buy fresh pumpkin, and there are varieties of pumpkin, but let’s assume you are a normal busy person and you’re looking for canned pumpkin.

The shelves are piled high with canned pumpkin but when you look at the label you learn a little more. Some cans are pure pumpkin and others are pumpkin pie filling. I like to eat real food as much as possible so I buy pumpkin. The ingredient list should say pumpkin. That’s it.

Store bought canned pumpkin pie filling will have an ingredient list. It may include spices, additives and preservatives including wheat. I just avoid it.

A Traditional Thanksgiving Turkey Feast

Whether you look forward to your family’s traditional Turkey Feast or dread these events, offering to bring the pumpkin pie is a great way to ensure you will be able to eat it. If it is your first pie I recommend a practice session well in advance of the dinner. Making the same recipe twice within a few days or a few weeks is the best way to learn. Most importantly, it takes the pressure off when you know the recipe works.

Eat your practice pie, share it with friends, freeze some and decide what you think of thawed pumpkin pie. The more practice you get the more confident you will be, and then you can get a little adventurous with the pastry and maybe make another kind of pie.

Let me know in the comments below how your pie turned out. This is the longest recipe I have ever posted. I’d love to hear in the comments below if some of them were helpful.


More Pumpkin Recipes

Click on the (hard to see) text on the bottom of each image to go to the recipe/blog post.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie

Follow all the steps for perfect pumpkin pie the first time!
Author: Cinde Little
Course: Dessert
Keyword: gluten free pumpkin pie from scratch, gluten free pumpkin pie recipe
Servings: 8 people

Ingredients

  • 1 uncooked gluten free pie crust (See notes for recipe link)
  • 1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz/425 g)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup light cream 10%
  • cup whipping cream 35%
  • 4 eggs

Instructions

Partially Precook Pie Crust

  • Cover uncooked single pie crust loosely with plastic wrap and freeze for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in lower third of the oven.
  • Remove plastic wrap and bake piecrust until light brown, about 20 minutes.
  • While crust is baking make or reheat the pumpkin filling.
  • Remove partially baked crust from oven to wire rack and increase heat to 425°F.
  • Pour warm pumpkin filling into the WARM piecrust.
  • Bake until the filling is puffed and lightly cracked around the edges but center wiggles slightly, 20-25 minutes.
  • Let pie cool on wire rack until set. Serve with whipping cream or ice cream.

PUMPKIN PIE FILLING

  • Mix pumpkin puree, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt in food processor or stand mixed until combined, about 1 minute.
  • Transfer pumpkin to medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook pumpkin, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  • Whisk in cream, return to simmer briefly. Remove from heat.
  • Put eggs in food processor and pulse for 5 seconds.
  • With machine running slowly add hot pumpkin mixture through feed tube. Once all pumpkin is added, process an additional 30 seconds until evenly combined.
  • Return pie filling to saucepan to reheat while pastry is cooking.

FILL PIE CRUST

  • Remove partially baked crust from oven to wire rack and increase heat to 425°F.
  • KEY STEP - Pour warm pumpkin filling into the hot piecrust right away.
  • Bake until the filling is puffed and lightly cracked around the edges but the center wiggles slightly, 20-25 minutes.
  • Let pie cool on wire rack until set and cooled completely.
  • Serve with whipping cream or ice cream.

Notes

BEST BAKING TIP EVER – Read the entire recipe before you start.
I used my gluten free pie crust recipe made with my EGFG flour blend: 300g sweet rice flour, 300g potato starch, 200g sorghum flour, 200g millet flour (makes ~8 cups).
Extra pumpkin filling can be cooked in ramekin dishes placed in a water bath, following my instructions in this recipe for crème brulee.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

2 Comments

  • Karen Saville says:

    Hi Cinde,
    I don’t use my previous GF go to flour mix any more, I prefer your mix. THANK YOU!
    I’m planning to bake a GF pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. It will be the first time I attempt GF pie crust. My question is: would using a pastry cloth and rolling pin cover NOT be a good idea? I use it all the time with wheat pastry and I like the way I don’t have to use much flour when rolling out the dough. I’ve never had much luck using plastic wrap…

    • Cinde Little says:

      Hi Karen. We always want to minimize the use of sprinkling flour in gluten free baking so yes, the pastry cloth would be perfect! I’m glad to hear your making the pie, I know it’ll be delicious. I’m also glad to hear you like what I now call my EGFG flour blend, it has served me well for many years now. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Ingredients

Directions