Gluten-free Pumpkin Pie

Who says it has to be fall to enjoy a slice of pumpkin pie? There’s no set rule — especially if it’s gluten-free!

Pumpkin pie is one of my favorite pies — honestly, lemon, pecan, apple … and every other flavor are some of my favorite. The trickiest part of making pies, in my opinion, is the crust. It defines the pie. Although, I wouldn’t mind just eating the filling with a scoop of ice cream on the side.

Through my journey in creating the perfect pumpkin pie that tastes just like any “normal” gluten-filled pie, I was just never satisfied with the texture. It was never the right consistency, it had too little pumpkin pie spice or it was just not sweet enough.

But the secret to a velvety, melt-in-your-mouth pumpkin pie filling is …

Pure maple syrup.

And I’m not talking about the fake stuff you typically find at the breakfast table served along with the “just add milk” Saturday morning pancakes.

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The maple syrup replaces the refined sugar that many people I know can’t eat much of. So this recipe is for them, too.

I noticed that when I used maple syrup instead of white sugar, the consistency of the batter was a bit runny, which concerned me at first. But once it was out of the oven and I let it cool in the fridge for a few hours, the texture was perfect.

Even the graham cracker crust was up to par. But a baker’s opinion is never valid, and that’s when the taste testers come in handy.

I have made the pie before but was never satisfied with the crust. This past weekend, however, I made the pie for a gathering at a friend’s house, and it was a crowd pleaser! Many were impressed with the filling and how smooth it was, while others were a fan of the crust. I even had a friend who doesn’t typically like pumpkin pie come up and tell me she loved it. And that’s with it being gluten-free!

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Ingredients for filling:

  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup almond milk (or any dairy-free milk if going lactose-free)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  • pinch of sea salt

Ingredients for crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups any gluten-free graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

Directions for crust:

  1. Mix the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar until just combined. The mixture will be somewhat gritty and coarse.
  2. Press the mixture into a 9-inch pie pan, making sure it is firmly pressed against the pan. You can also use the bottom of a cup to round out the edges.
  3. Pre-bake the crust for 10 minutes at 300º F. You may find that the crust begins to lose its form. In this case, reshape the crust using the flat part of the cup and let it sit while you make the pie filling.

Directions for filling:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425º F.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, milk, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
  3. Pour the mixture into the the pre-baked pie crust.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Turn down oven to 350º F and bake for 35 minutes or until center is set. Cool in the fridge before serving.

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