Thanksgiving would not be the same without this traditional pumpkin pie, so if you have been missing out due to your gluten-free restrictions, then this recipe will help bring it back to your Thanksgiving table. I like to bake this sweet pie several times between Thanksgiving and Christmas, not only because it tastes so amazing, but all the flavours are cosy and warm. The perfect winter, festive dessert!
What does pumpkin pie taste like?
For those who have never tried pumpkin pie before, a good description of its flavours is a sweet pumpkin mousse spiced with a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and salt, baked in a buttery shortcrust pastry. It has a nice balance of textures with the light mousse filling and the crisp pastry. This combination of taste and texture makes every bite a festive experience.
My first taste of pumpkin pie was when my American father introduced pumpkin pie to me while we were living in Singapore to celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas. Back then, I remember our friends questioning why pumpkin was in a dessert and while expecting a savoury flavour, they were always pleasantly surprised by the sweet and spiced flavour together with the buttery pie crust.
Should I use fresh pumpkin or tinned?
Conveniently many countries sell tins of pumpkin pie filling to add to the pie crust. There is nothing wrong with using tinned filling, but I prefer to make mine “homemade” and I do believe it tastes better than the tin version as it is a little too sweet for me. To be organised, I freeze tubs of cooked, mashed pumpkin to be on stand by for making the pie filling at a later stage.
What is in pumpkin pie spice seasoning?
Besides the pumpkin pie filling, pumpkin pie spice seasoning is also hitting the shelves in many countries. If you do happen to find it, remember to check the ingredients list for any gluten, otherwise making your own is very easy with spices that are probably already in your kitchen cupboards. Inspired to make your own? Then check to see if you have the following spices:
The exact measurements are listed in the recipe section below. Why not make a jar (measurements also included) if you plan to make plenty of pumpkin pie this season!
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie
(*Updated on 8 November 2021)
For the gluten-free pie crust:
- 210g store-bought or homemade gluten-free plain flour
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
- 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 100g unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 8 tablespoons cold water
Enough pie crust for a 25cm diameter pie tin.
For the pumpkin filling:
- 375g pumpkin, rind removed, chopped coarsely
- 50g unsalted butter, melted
- 125g caster sugar
- 125ml maple syrup
- 3 teaspoons store-bought or homemade pumpkin pie spice blend (see recipe below)
- 125ml milk
- 60ml pouring cream
- 3 eggs, separated
- whipped cream, to serve with the pie
For the homemade pumpkin pie spice blend:
Makes 3 teaspoons for this recipe:
- 1 ½ tablespoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamon
Makes a small jar (enough for 4 pies)
- 6 tablespoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamon
- Preparation time: 25 minutes
- Pie dough resting time: 20 minutes
- Pumpkin cooking time: 15 minutes
- Pie Baking time: 50 – 55 minutes
1. Start by cooking the pumpkin pieces in boiling salted water for approximately 15 minutes until tender. Drain and allow to cool while preparing the pie crust.
2. Next process/pulse the flour, sugar, xanthan gum and salt with the chilled butter in a food processor for a few seconds
3. Add the egg yolks, apple cider vinegar and 4 tablespoons of cold water and process briefly.
4. Add one tablespoon of water at a time until the dough comes together. You may not need to use all the water. The dough is ready if it feels soft but does not stick to your fingers.
5. Remove the dough from the food processor and form a round disc shape. Cover with plastic film and rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
6. While the dough is resting, prepare the pie filling by processing the cooled pumpkin pieces until smooth.
7. Separate the eggs. Add the egg whites to a large glass bowl and whisk until stiff, but not completely dry. Cover and set aside.
9. Process well until completely blended.
11. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
14. Cover the dough with another sheet of baking paper or plastic film.
18. Transfer the dough to the pie tin and gently place it centrally.
19. Gently press the dough into the pie tin and remove the excess dough from the sides by using a knife.
20. Using a fork, press the dough resting along the rim of the pie tin.
22. Pour the pumpkin filling into the pie tin.
23. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes on the middle shelf.
24. At the same time, on a small baking tray, add the leaf-shaped pieces. Brush with some milk and sprinkle with caster sugar. Bake for 10 minutes on the bottom shelf. (optional)
25. Cover the pie crust edges with foil or silicon pie crust shields (to prevent the crusts from over-baking) and bake for a further 10 to 15 minutes, or until the centre of the pie filling is cooked. Test by inserting a toothpick in the centre. If it comes out clean, the pie is ready.
26. Allow to cool and refrigerate until serving time.
For that perfect pumpkin pie slice, allow the pie to cool in the fridge for at least 4 hours.