Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie Recipe/ Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Recipe

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Gluten Free Pumpkin PieSometimes it is hard to recreate a favorite childhood recipe when you grow up. Lucky for me, Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie recipe is still in print on the back of their canned pumpkin puree—so I can see exactly what was in the pumpkin pie of my childhood memories. One thing is for sure though, what I ate growing up was not gluten free pumpkin pie. It certainly wasn’t dairy-free either…

Growing up my grandma made pumpkin pie pretty much year round, mostly just for me. Grandma made Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie recipe (using the recipe on the back of Libby’s canned pumpkin) and a store-bought crust. And to this day, that is what I feel like a “real” pumpkin pie should taste like.

Pumpkin pie squirted with mounds of whip cream right out of the can (half of which always landed in my mouth before it ever made it onto the pie!) was one of my all-time favorite desserts. In fact, I’m almost certain pumpkin pie was the first pie I ever made, and of course it would have been with my grandma in her tiny galley kitchen. Needless to say, I am very nostalgic about this particular dessert, especially around Thanksgiving.

Revisiting Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie Recipe

My grandma was born in 1906 and she wasn’t exactly into “health” food, nor did she like to deviate too much from the rules. Thus, the thought of not using the evaporated milk that the recipe on the back of Libby’s canned pumpkin puree called for surely never crossed grandma’s mind.

I guess if grandma were serious about her pie-making matters she’d have made her own crust, but store-bought crust was less hassle and nobody seemed to care if the pie was totally homemade or not, certainly not me.

I am pretty sure grandma didn’t even know what gluten was either, so the last thing she did was try to make a gluten free pumpkin pie. Who had ever even heard of such a thing?!

Boy have times changed…

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Crust Recipe

If I could find a store-bought crust that was ultra-healthy and tasted good I would absolute buy it. Trust me, I’m definitely not above taking short cuts in the kitchen! But, to date I haven’t found one that totally meets my standards for clean eating and good taste, so I have to make my own (for now, anyway).

The recipe for the crust below is probably about as healthy a crust as you can get (it contains no flour and no added sugar…sweetness comes from dates) and yet it is seriously delicious. And it is easy as pie to make!

While the gluten free pumpkin pie crust does not taste like the store-bought crust of my childhood pies (the homemade pie tastes so much better!), the most important part of the pumpkin pie—the filling—tastes just like Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie filling.

Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie recipe has been on the back of Libby’s canned Pumpkin labels since 1950 and it is undoubtedly a classic. Considering how nutrient-dense pumpkin is (pumpkin is ridiculously low in calories while also being very high in potassium, antioxidants vitamin A and beta-carotene and has lots of disease-fighting phytonutrients) and how Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie recipe only has about 30 calories of sugar per serving the pumpkin pie of my youth really wasn’t such a bad choice after all (except for the terrible trans-fat laden store-bought crust!!)

The main gripe I have with the Libby’s classic recipe for the pie filling is the whole can of evaporated milk it calls for. I just can’t bring myself to use that stuff. I decided to substitute organic coconut milk instead (read more about why I like coconut milk over dairy milk.) I’ll admit, I thought for sure my pumpkin pie would end up with a definitively undesirable tropical taste…but I am happy to say the traditional classic flavor is not compromised in the least.

I made just a few additional tweaks to Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie classic recipe by adding all-spice, nutmeg and freshly grated ginger. Definitely do not skip the freshly grated ginger! I also eliminated the refined sugar in the filling and sweetened only with “whole” food pureed dates (or, for those of you who do not have a high-speed blender, unrefined coconut palm sugar will also work)….

Make It Sweet as Pie with ZERO Added Sugar in a High-Speed Blender

If you have a high speed blender (such as a Vitamix) you can make the filling with zero added sugar. To do this, simply follow the ingredients for the filling in the recipe below using the pitted dates.

If you do not have a high speed blender, then you can substitute 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar for the dates and put all of the ingredients in a regular blender. What is coconut palm sugar? It is an unrefined sweetener made from dried coconut palm nectar, so unlike regular table sugar, it is not an empty calorie food. I wouldn’t necessarily classify it as a “superfood”, but coconut palm sugar is definitely not a bad option when it comes to natural sweeteners. If you can’t find it at your local natural foods store, you can purchase coconut palm sugar on Amazon HERE or online at Vitacost.com one of my favorite online grocery shopping destinations for health foods (click on the ad below to save and for FREE shipping on purchases over $25).

Vitacost.com

Note: If you do not own a Vitamix, now might be a good time to put it on your Christmas wish list! Did you know you can get a certified reconditioned Vitamix (which is what I have!) for as little as $379? Click HERE to read more.

No Time to Make a Homemade Crust?

gluten free pumpkin pie custards

If you don’t have time to make the gluten free pumpkin pie crust, simply make the filling and turn your dessert into a pumpkin pie custard. To make the custards, follow the directions for the pumpkin pie filling in the recipe below, but instead of pouring the filling into the unbaked pie crust, you simply pour it into 4 ounce ramekins. You will still bake the custards at the same temperature (350 degrees), but you will want to check them after about 45-minutes to see if they are firm and set. If not, continue baking them another 5 minutes or so. Serve the custards cold, just as you would the pie.

Want a Fun Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Alternative for the Kids?

Try making frozen pumpkin pie Popsicles! Click HERE for the recipe.

But of course you can never go wrong sticking to good old pie…

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Crust
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup ground flaxseeds
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds
  • ½ cup raw macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil (such as Barlean’s Extra Virgin Coconut Oil) plus more for oiling the pie dish.
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Pinch of unrefined sea salt
Instructions
  1. Place the flaxseeds, dates and hemp seeds in a food processor. Pulse to mix until ingredients are well blended. Add the remaining ingredients and continue pulsing and processing until everything is well blended and mixture becomes moist and “crumb-like.”
  2. Lightly oil the bottom of a 9-inch pie dish with extra virgin coconut oil. Using your hands, spread the ingredients out evenly on the bottom of the pie dish. Pack down.
  3. Pour the pumpkin pie filling (below) into the pie dish and bake.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Filling
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 15 ounces canned pumpkin (note: look for BPA-free boxed pumpkin such as Pacific Natural Foods brand, if possible)
  • 3 organic, pastured eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup organic coconut milk
  • 12 to 15 pitted dates OR ½ cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon all-spice
  • ⅛ teaspoon cloves
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch of unrefined sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender (such as a Vitamix) and process until smooth and creamy.
  3. Pour pumpkin mixture into the unbaked pie crust. Bake in the middle rack in the center of the oven for about 1 hour (or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean.) Set pumpkin on wire rack to cool for at least 1 hour before serving.
Notes
I think pumpkin pie tastes best super cold. I like to refrigerate mine and serve it cold.

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Kristen Kapur says

    Do you think we can substitute the eggs in this? I am vegan and gluten free and have been looking for a vegan (mayeb raw) pumpkin pie!!

    • says

      Hi Kristen,

      I’m not sure what you would use to substitute the eggs? The eggs help firm the pie filling when it is baked (they don’t contribute to the flavor though, so if you know of a good substitute you could certainly try!) If you do give it a try please let me know what you used and how it turns out. Good luck!!

  2. Lauren says

    Great idea on the date sugar, Ivy! I will certainly give your recipe a try with the date sugar. Thank you for your quick response and suggestion…I love your blog! Happy Thanksgiving, Ivy. :)

    -Lauren

  3. Lauren says

    Hi Ivy, do you think I could replace the 3/4 cup of brown sugar with a combination of agave nectar and honey? I look forward to trying this recipe for Thanksgiving this year.

    thank you,
    Lauren

    • says

      Hi Lauren,
      I’m a little nervous to say that would work because the “liquid-y” nature of the agave & honey are going to bake different than the brown sugar and also could totally change the texture of the filling. However, if you want a healthier sugar option why not try date sugar? You can find date sugar in the natural foods store and unlike brown sugar it is not an “empty calorie” sugar—it’s made from dehydrated dates (it’s actually a much better choice than agave and honey!) The date sugar cooks just like regular sugar, but its not as sweet–so you may want to use a smidgen more. Hope this helps? And hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!!–ivy ;)

  4. Niamh says

    Ivy, thank you so much for this great recipe. The pie had an excellent flavor and I was so pleased to be able to make a clean-eating version of this holiday favorite. It was a big hit with everyone who tried it. I’m going to be making it again for an upcoming Christmas party.

    • says

      Hi Niamh,
      Oh good! I’m just thrilled you (and everyone else!) liked the pie =) Thank you so very much for taking the time let me know. Pumpkin pie is one of my all-time favorites so I too am happy to have found a way to make it healthy. I hope everyone likes it for X-mas too…
      Thanks again for getting in touch. Happy holidays!!!

  5. Betsy says

    Hi Ivy. Just wanted you to know I tried your pumpkin pie recipe for Thanksgiving and it was a big hit for all age groups! I thought maybe some might comment on the crust, but everyone seemed happy. (FYI: also tried your apple crisp with cranberries and your peanut butter blondie bars..both with positive reviews!)

    • says

      Hi Betsy!

      Thank you SO much for taking the time to let me know! I’m THRILLED everyone liked it. I know the ingredients in the pie crust are a big “odd” but I haven’t had anyone complain either ;) So glad you liked the other recipes too. Hope you are having a happy holiday season. Thanks again for getting in touch.

  6. Kathleen Reidy says

    Ivy – I tried the substitution of coconut milk and but used a “lite” Taste of Thai version. I also used 12 ounces and I notice you recommend only one cup. I was a bit disappointed but couldn’t put my finger on why. It was just so so. It didn’t have a strong coconutty flavor but the spices were dulled and the consistency was just lacking.

    So here I am tonight searching for an alternative and I found your website and recipe. Have you ever tried a lite coconut milk instead of a regular version? I’m wondering if that was my problem. I was going to try a do over with silken tofu. Have you tried that?

    Thanks for the help.

  7. says

    Fascinating, thank you so much! I spent my childhood in Yorkshire in the UK, and I’ve been trying to find a recipe for this delicious pie I remember eating all the time, but can’t remember what we called it!!! Do you know a famous pie recipe from Yorkshire?

  8. Jessica says

    Having just recently found out that I’m gluten intolerant, I have to say this is a golden treasure of a find during the holiday season! Thank you for the recipe Ivy :)

    • says

      I’m so happy you like it Jessica! Thank you so much for commenting =) Later today I’ll be posting a recipe for a gluten-free entree featuring butternut squash that is also very seasonal!

  9. Joan Colbert says

    Hi Ivy,

    I’ve contacted you before… and I am right in sync with your thinking. Only the other day at work, I went to the Internet to search for a dairy-free and gluten-free crust and pumpkin pie filling! Yours sounds a lot tastier than the one I found–and probably more nutritious too.

    Thank you for your timely post!!

    Joan

    • says

      Hi Joan! So good to hear back from you =) I’m thrilled you like the sound of the gluten free pumpkin pie crust. Hope to hear from you again soon!

      P.S. Clean Cuisine is on Facebook too so this is a great way to keep in touch with me (and also give suggestions for recipes you’d like to see)! Or, you can also sign up for my free weekly newsletter (up at the right top hand corner of site)

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