I avoided making pies for many years, but last year was a breakthrough for me. I learned to make gluten-free pie crust and fresh pumpkin puree. I shared my gluten-free pumpkin pie last Thanksgiving, and everyone loved it.
This fall when I went dairy free, pumpkin pie was one of the first things I thought about missing. For some reason I thought it would be really difficult to replace the evaporated milk in the pie and the butter in the crust. How silly of me.
The other night we had a very early dinner, so afterwards the kids asked if I could make a dessert for later. I responded with, “I could make a pie.” You should have seen their eyes light up! When I told them I had a pie pumpkin that I needed to use, they weren’t as excited. Pumpkin pie wasn’t their first choice, but it was all I had to work with. Plus the fact that I had been wanting to try a dairy free version.
First, I needed a dairy free pie crust. I could have used my gluten-free pastry dough recipe that I recently used for a breakfast pie. It worked well dairy free, but I really wanted to try my first pie crust recipe. When I started making it, I realized it calls for a little bit of millet flour. I didn’t have any on hand, so I decided to use sorghum flour instead. In place of the butter I used Spectrum organic shortening (non hydrogenated palm oil). The crust was pretty good, but the sorghum flour made it drier and more crumbly. Next time, I’ll definitely go back to using millet flour.
Next, I needed a substitute for evaporated milk in the pie filling. I thought coconut milk would work well, but my pickiest son thought I should use almond milk. He doesn’t dislike coconut milk, but he doesn’t like coconut flavor in just anything, and he would be able to taste it. The original recipe called for 1 cup evaporated milk, but I only used 3/4 cup almond milk. Instead, I used 1/4 more pumpkin puree. Otherwise, everything was the same.
The pie baked beautifully. This time I put foil on the edge of the crust to keep it from browning too much. The result was a very delicious pie that we finished off in one evening. In fact, the kids who were not so thrilled with pumpkin pie both commented on how good the pie actually was. I think they forgot how much better pumpkin pie is when made with fresh pumpkin puree.
How to Be Gluten Free: 10 Steps to a Gluten-Free Life (affiliate link) is a very practical guide to getting started on a gluten-free diet. Learn to successfully buy gluten-free food, supplements, and personal care products as well as eat out safely, cook, connect with others, and more. Learn more about How to Be Gluten Free
- Prepare the pie crust dough according to directions, but let it rest while you put together the rest of the ingredients.
- Combine all the ingredients using a fork to mix them together.
- Roll and press the pie dough into a 9 or 10 inch pie plate.
- Add the filling to the unbaked pie crust. Bake at 400 degrees 45-55 minutes (longer for a 9 inch pie).
- Cover the crust with foil or a pie shield after about 30 minutes. You can use foil by cutting a large round hole in the center of a piece of foil and placing it over the pie, loosely forming it to the sides of the pie dish.
- Let cool before cutting.