*Pumpkin pie

Hello my American friends approaching Thanksgiving. I have adapted below Karina Allrich’s recipe for a gluten free crustless pumpkin pie from the excellent “Gluten Free Goddess” website. Her version is vegan, because it includes egg replacer* (which I think we are supposed to avoid on the WA diet). I made it with 2 eggs and consequently omitted the oil. She advised using canned pumpkin to get a firmness and lack of wateriness, but we can’t get that over here, so I made a fresh puree (see “Notes on using fresh pumpkin” after the recipe).

I really need your comments if you try this recipe. I am at a disadvantage because we just don’t eat pumpkin pie over here. As such, I have no idea how it is supposed to look or taste. My version (with eggs and fresh puree) took longer to cook and had a cracked top. I don’t know which of the many variables I changed caused the cracked top. I also don’t know how firm or wobbly the pie is supposed to be. This is what Karina says about knowing when it’s done: “The pie should be firm- but still give a little when lightly touched. The center should not be wet. It will fall a bit as it cools.” But does she say this because she doesn’t use eggs? If you use eggs, would you expect the middle to be completely firm or would you remove the pie from the oven when it is not quite set in the middle (as for a custard tart)? After all, the eggs do keep cooking under those circumstances and firm up, don’t they? The first time, I cooked the pie for 1¼ hours, and the second time for 1 hour 40 mins in order to get this fully firm centre, but I think the second time was too much.

Anyway, do let me know how yours turns out, and if you don’t get a cracked top, please tell me what you did!

Vegan Pumpkin Pie (with my alterations/comments in brackets)
by Karina Allrich

… I have two more secret ingredients that make this pie work. No wait. Three. Good tasting hemp milk is a must. The reason is the thickness and richness (and the good-for-you fat- EFA's, in fact). If you can't find hemp milk, coconut milk would be the next best option. Thin non-dairy milks like rice milk aren't gonna cut it.

Next up is tapioca starch. I prefer it to cornstarch for thickening gluten-free pie filling. There's not much in here, but it works hard to keep your custard together. Which brings me to the final magic ingredient.

Xanthan gum. I know xanthan gum is a weird and scary ingredient but in this recipe it's worth it's weight in gold because it lends a silky smoothness to the custard as well as helps to bind it (akin to what egg whites do).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-inch glass pie plate.

I made the pie in a food processor. It helps to thoroughly process the ingredients. If you don't have a food processor, a macho stand mixer will work.

In a food processor bowl add:

1 14 to 15-oz can pumpkin (I used 14oz/400g fresh puree, see below)
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) plain hemp milk (I used full fat coconut milk)
2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla (this is alcohol based and I did use it. If you have alcohol-free, perhaps you’ll need more?)
2 tablespoons light olive oil (omit oil if using eggs)
1 tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer (or sub 2 large eggs)
3/4 cup organic brown sugar (I used 5 tsp FOS/stevia mix)
1/2 cup (90g) buckwheat flour
2 tablespoons tapioca starch/flour
2 teaspoons baking powder (I used ¼ tsp Vit C crystals mixed in a cup with 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda)
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (leave this out if using the raising agent I did)
1 teaspoon cinnamon or pie spice (I used mixed spice, which I’m guessing is equivalent)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (if grating your own whole nutmeg, try ¼ tsp not ½ if using in addition to pie/mixed spice).

Cover and process until smooth and creamy. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl, if necessary to incorporate all of the dry ingredients. (I suggest you process all the ingredients except the sweetener, then add your sweetener to taste, processing again).

Pour into the prepared pie plate and smooth evenly. Bake in the center of a preheated oven for about an hour until done. (Check after one hour. If it’s not done, cover loosely with foil and bake for longer – 15 mins? I don’t know how long – see above!). The pie should be firm- but still give a little when lightly touched. The center should not be wet. It will fall a bit as it cools, like my Flourless Chocolate Cake recipe.

Cool the pie on a wire rack completely. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until serving.

Makes 8 slices.


Notes on using fresh pumpkin

Can you get canned pumpkin in the UK?
The short answer is “only with great difficulty”. If you have access to a store with a posh food hall (e.g. Selfridges, Harvey Nicholls, Harrods), you might find it in there. If you intend to make a special journey, I suggest you phone first to see if they stock it (if it ever was available there, I bet all the US ex-pats have cleared the shelves at this time of year).

If you want to buy online, Libby’s 425 g can (= 15 oz) is available from these websites in the UK: “American Sweets” and “American Soda” (sold out on the latter - Nov 08). Put the names into Google to find the websites. However, you will of course have to pay p+p on top of the product price.

All in all, I think it’s easier to make your own puree.

Making your own puree
I used butternut squash because I read that it is less watery than pumpkin for this purpose and that what is labelled as pumpkin on the American cans is in fact very often butternut squash, presumably for this reason.

The first time I made the pie, I bought 2 extra large butternut squashes, with a total unprepared weight of 2.2 kg. The second time, I bought 4 smaller butternut squashes with a total unprepared weight of 3.1 kg. In each case, this gave me enough puree for 14oz (400g) for the pie + one cup (8oz/225g) to freeze for a later recipe. So, bear in mind that the smaller the squash, the more proportional space the seeds will take up and make sure you buy enough.

To make the puree
One option is to peel, deseed, chop and boil the squash till tender, then drain, cool and puree. I chose instead to bake the squash in the oven (and I had to use two tins/dishes and two oven shelves when I baked the smaller ones). I washed the squash, cut them in half lengthways and took out the seeds. Then I placed the halves flesh side down in an oiled roasting tin/large Pyrex dish and baked in the oven at 200 C/ 400 F/ Gas Mark 6 for about an hour and a half. When I used the smaller squash, I moved the second dish to the top shelf after removing the top dish and cooked those squash for a little longer.

Then I removed the squash from the tin/dish and place on plates to cool. When cool, I tore off the skins by hand and discarded those, placing the pulp in the largest bowl of my food processor. I processed until smooth. Then I placed a colander over a large saucepan, placed an old, clean tea towel inside the colander (the towel will stain) and placed the squash puree in the towel, covering the top of the puree with the towel. I placed this whole apparatus in the fridge till the next day to drain. (Tip – check you can fit this in your fridge before you put the pulp into the tea towel).

Next day, I discarded the water that had drained into the saucepan, scraped the squash puree off the tea towel and weighed it ready for the pie. I had one cup of puree left over and froze that to use later.
Original Post
HI Helen,

Thank you for all your recipes. I'm amazed by the way you can cook, even when you don't feel good. Cooking must bring you much joy!

We all know, it's not my forte! I get tired just reading your recipes! lol

I, for one, am thankful this Thanksgiving, that we have canned pumpkin. We take alot for granted here.

BTW, my pies (it I make them!) crack also. I usually buy them, and apologize for serving something with all those additives. And, of course, I don't eat them.

But this year I'm gonna give it a try. Baking, that is. I found a recipe with a flax crust. I'd use your pie recipe, but I kindof like the idea of a crust with it. Any thought on that? I'll post the recipe sometime and maybe you wouldn't mind helping me convert it?

Then we'll see how ambitious I am when the time comes.

Thanks again for sharing your recipes and your cleverness!

Gay hearthrob
Hi Gay

Nice to hear from you and thanks for your compliments!

I haven't perfected my gluten free pastry recipe yet, so can't offer you anything along those lines. However, I have copied some gluten free pie crust recipes (which haven't been adapted - they all contain sugar and butter) and which I could email you if you like. Just let me know.

Are you saying that the recipe you have for pumpkin pie has a suitable gluten free crust but a sugar filled topping? Why not make that crust and use the above filling? It's so easy, especially with the canned pumpkin. I think it would make for a very filling pie with the pastry as well, but you could give everyone thin slices and it would serve more than 8.

And if you want to post that particular recipe you mention, I'm happy to comment on it if I can.

hi all--

last month was our Canadian Thanksgiving, and I experimented with some pumpkin pies.

one crust that tasted super good was a nut crust. i ground up some almonds with a small amount of flour (rice, i think), some stevia powder, and coconut butter. if you tolerate vegetable glycerin, it would be a great addition as it would provide something sticky.
i pressed the nut mixture into a pie plate, and par-baked before adding the filling.

for filling, i used two cans of pumpkin, some soy or rice milk, two eggs, plenty of spices, and about a teaspoon of stevia.

it worked out really well. i recommend experimenting with nuts to make pie crust, it certainly added a delicious crunch!

johanna banana
Helen, pumpkin pie should be more firm than a custard. You want the whole thing to be set (but not hard and dry) when it comes out of the oven.

I would give my left arm for a tin of English custard right now. With a pack of digestive biscuits and a Cadbury bar along side.
Hi Kay

Thanks for the tip about the pumpkin pie. I did find that it continued to cook more once I took it out of the oven, so in the end was very set. I just need to keep checking it after 1 hour 15 mins. I hour 40 mins made it slightly dry round the edges, but still moist and firm over the rest of it. Perhaps 1 hour 30 mins might be about right. I'll try that next time.

From your comments on the food you miss, are you a British ex-pat living abroad, or are you just very keen on British food?

Helen, if you need to keep the crust from browning too much, just crimp some foil around the edges of the pie tin/crust.

My husband is an ex-pat--born and raised in West London. He's been in Colorado not quite 13 years. We get back every few years, though I'm nervous about our 2009 trip now with all of my dietary considerations. Plus, I'm going to miss my one special Thornton's bar. ::sigh::
Hi Kay

This recipe is actually a crustless one (and I covered the whole pie with foil after 1 hr 15. My problem is knowing whether it's set or not, but I just have to see what happens next time. As I was the only one who ate the pie (my husband wasn't that keen), I ended throwing some away, so I expect I'll wait till I have visitors before making it again.

When you come to England, look for the shop "Hotel Chocolat". You can get 100% organic dark chocolate, which is both sugar and dairy free. I eat a square with a mouthful of nuts, nut butter and sweetener and it's not bad at all like that. It's expensive, though. My mother-in-law is so sweet, she has a shop near her and sends me little parcels of chocolate bars! They also do internet mail order, so you could even get some delivered to where you're going to be staying, so that some is waiting for you when you arrive!

Cadbury's and Thornton's chocolate is not really the real deal by comparison. And don't you find Bird's custard alarmingly yellow? These are things to hold onto, are they not?

Thanks for the chocolate tip!

It's funny, I've eaten "clean" for years and I'm even known as a foodie to my friends, but I can't resist the junk food treats (well, I can now but I still dream of them.) My husband turns up his nose at Bird's custard but I love it. He laughs at many of the English foods I love--yet he won't eat pumpkin pie!

We found a wonderful shop near Spitalfields Market--Montezuma Chocolate? Something like that. They may have something perfect for me while we're there. Their chocolates were absolutely gorgeous and some of the best quality I've had.

Mmmm, now I'm dreaming of London.....
HI Kay

I emailed Montezuma on your behalf to ask if they do organic 100% cocoa solids chocolate without sugar or milk. Here is their reply:
"Thank you for your e-mail and interest in Montezuma's. Unfortunately We do not sell any chocolate with a Cocoa solids content higher than 73% and this does include Sugar.
Although none of our dark chocolate actively contains dairy products, it is all made in a factory where dairy is used. Therefore there is a potential risk of milk contamination at a particle level of 1-20 ppm (parts per million)."

Maybe you'll be making a journey to Hotel Chocolat instead!

I've got this in the oven. I didn't really make any modifications except that I carefully mixed in different ingredient types--the pumpkin and the coconut milk, the eggs one at a time, and the dry ingredients--separately.

I also did all the seasoning before I put in the dry ingredients to make sure it had the flavor I was after and I'm glad I did that as the dry ingredients definitely changed the flavor.

Oh, I only used two teaspoons of stevia. It was sweet enough for me.

It's about to go in the oven and then I'll sample a slice. Cannot wait.
It is surprisingly good! (I'm always suspicious of candida-safe "sweet" recipes.)

Helen, the top of mine cracked a lot--more than the typical pumpkin pie. The coconut milk adds a lovely richness. I could have used 1 more teaspoon of stevia, but eh, it's just fine the way it is. I'm super pleased with this and I hope none of the sugar eaters want *my* pie, because I want to come home and freeze the leftovers for future treats!
Thanks, Kay and Helen. I went out and got all my ingredients. I'm going to try a crust that has ground nuts and flax. It called for oatmeal, but I'm going to try to substitute oat bran.

I tried a crust last year and didn't like it. I'm not a good cook as it is, so I get a lot of good natured crap from my brothers. I'd like it to be better this year. We always will have the regular pie, but everyone wants a taste of my weird stuff. I don't mind really. But I want to make sure it tastes better than last year.

I've learned to be a little leary of sugar free recipes too, because they don't act the same as the original ones and I'm disappoined sometimes with my results. Now it's been so long since I've eaten real treats that I'm sure I'll love anything.

Well, wish me luck!

Hi Kay

My sweetener is a mix of FOS and stevia, so you would need less if you are just using straight stevia. I'm glad you liked the pie. Thanks for letting me know about the cracked top - how long did you cook the pie for and did you need to cover it after 1 hour?


Hi Gay

Don't give up on trying out sweet recipes. Some do turn out well. The trouble is, I find that my recipe ideas often have to go through a lot of incarnations to get to that stage and I know you don't have the time (or the confidence, so it seems?) to experiment.

I would happily bake a pumpkin pie for you (and more), if I lived nearby!


My oven (I typed "husband"... ha ha) runs hot so even with the temp lower, it was in there for about 50 minutes. I covered it after about 20, just to be safe. I was worried about the sides getting over-cooked while the center was still not set.

I've been dreaming of it all day but it's in the freezer now. It may be breakfast on Thursday!
We need to replace the oven, but keep running into little financial setbacks (like my five weeks on the dole.....) It's about a million years old, it leaks, and it runs hot. Hey, just like my husband! Ha.

I should just have someone come out an adjust it in the meantime. Good suggestion. Replacing the oven and the fridge are the two main things left to do in greening our home.
are you kidding me? This pie is so darn good that it really made me feel like I was not on a special diet this year. This is the first Thanksgiving in my life that I did not have my grandmother's pumpkin pie. She said that this might be her last year of making pumpkin pie (though she has said that every year for the last 5 years!) and I thought that there was no way I could resist....but this pie saved me today from breaking the diet! I used amaranth flour, almond milk, extra vanilla, and a dash of ground cloves. I made a crust with ground almonds, tapioca, amaranth flour, veg. glycerin and stevia. My sugar eating family and friends ate my pie (they got to have whipped cream and maple syrup on it) which is good because I would be eating more of it right now if it was here! Thank you for this recipe- I LOVED it! yippee
It really is. I'm used to people turning up their nose at whatever I'm eating...or making fun of my food. When they eat it and like it, I am reminded that healthy food can be really good and that it isnt such a bad thing for me to be on this diet!
My daughter and I finished off the last slice of pie this morning- it's tradition to eat pumpkin pie for breakfast the day after Thanksgiving- it was such a treat!
Hi jye and almost birthday girl!

I think this is the recipe. I don't have time to read this whole post - shouldn't even be here now since I have work to do, but this is my treat after a busy day.

This recipe was in the stage 2 section. I added a couple others that I like. The brownies don't have flour and the muffins have flax.



Hope this is what you were looking for. Happy Baking!

I love pumkin, so I am looking for new and original pumpkin recipe, so I would like to do like a recipe exchange next time!Here you have a very good recipe that i found here Free Coupons so you must try it!
2 1/2 cup gluten-free flour blend*
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup raisins or chocolate chips
1. Combine gluten-free flour mix, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, pumpkin, and vanilla. Add in dry ingredients. Stir in raisins or chocolate chips.
3. Drop by tablespoons onto an oil sprayed baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 15 to 18 minutes.

This is currently in the oven to take to my family thanksgiving gathering tonight. I am so excited. I followed the recipe exactly but used the eggs and coconut milk. I used vanilla flavor liquid stevia in place of the extract and I upped the cinnamon. I made a crust out of buckwheat flour/brown rice flour blend, some olive oil and water (recipe found in Sondra Lewis's Candida cookbook). I'm SOOOO excited!
Here is how we tweaked it a just a little bit. I have been trying to perfect it this last year.

15oz pumpkin
1 can organic coconut milk (full fat)
1 tsp cin.
1 tsp of whole foods bulk pie spice
2 tsp stevia plus (we use sweetleaf)
8 drops of liquid vanilla stevia
1-flax gel
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1 1/2 tbsp tapioca flour/starch (I left this out last time to limit the starch and couldn't tell the difference)
2 tsp non-aluminium baking powder
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp sea salt

350 for an hour and a half. I think it taste better if its left out or refrigerated over night. Thanks so much for the original recipe Big Grin I'm making it today so my daughter can have it for breakfast tomorrow cause its her birthday!

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