After four long years, we have decided to freshen up this recipe with a significantly improved crust, and some minor edits to the filling. We feel like this new recipe is a big improvement over the one below. Thanks for your continued support and encouragement!
-Bill & Hayley, November 2014
***Please visit the NEW and IMPROVED version of this recipe***
(Updated November, 2014)
Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and whether you are new to primal eating, or a veteran to the grain free ways, enjoying Thanksgiving without straying from a healthy diet may still seem challenging. Bill and I wanted to present to our readers a delicious recipe for Thanksgiving pumpkin pie that is grain/dairy free, and delicious enough to fool any family member into thinking it is a classic pumpkin pie, full of sugar and grains.
Bill has been telling me for weeks that his dad (also Bill) makes THE best pumpkin pie in the history of pumpkin pies. I asked Bill (Sr.) where he got this recipe from, and he told me it came from a cook book of his mothers called “Ladies Who Lunch”. He said that one Thanksgiving while home from college, his job was to bake that pie for Thanksgiving dinner. Bill’s dad, being the generous man he is, allowed us to attempt transforming his infamous pie recipe into something more primal. I will admit, the pressure was on for this one. I had a lot to live up to when baking this pie. Thankfully we only had to change three things in the recipe and it came out absolutely delicious. Four stars on this one from Bill’s family, and his dad (thank goodness!).
The crust for this pie came from a gluten free pie crust recipe I found on Elana’s Pantry. That recipe can be found here. I did however make a few adjustments. I used maple syrup instead of agave, and coconut oil instead of grapeseed oil. This pie crust is absolutely to die for! It would work beautifully for any type of pie filling your primal hearts desire. Definitely worth trying!
Grain Free Holiday Pie Crust
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine dry ingredients.
- In a small bowl, combine wet ingredients (make sure to melt the coconut oil before mixing it into the batter, about 40 seconds in the microwave does the trick).
- Stir wet ingredients into dry.
- Pat the dough into a 9.5 inch glass pie dish (this takes a little finesse. I probably took about 10 minutes to smooth out the perfect pie crust. It works very well, you just have to be patient. You want to create an even thin layer, the dough will rise a bit when you bake it.)
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden.
- Remove from oven to cool.
Bill’s Chiffon Pumpkin Pie
- 1 tablespoon unflavored Knox Gelatin
- 16 oz pure pumpkin puree
- 3 eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (we used Almond Breeze)
- 2/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Liquid stevia extract
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (optional for whipped topping)
- In a saucepan combine gelatin, maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, pumpkin, egg yolks, and almond milk. Mix thoroughly.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it boils.
- Remove from heat, and chill until set (once the pan is cool enough, you will want to put the filling in the fridge to cool, but be sure to monitor it).
- Beat egg whites until stiff and add in a few drops of liquid stevia to sweeten a bit.
- Once pumpkin has cooled and set in the fridge, remove from fridge and fold pumpkin into the whipped egg whites. (“folding” is a stirring technique that adds air into the batter, check out this quick video)
- Pour filling into pie crust.
- Cover pie with saran wrap and cool in the fridge until set.
- An optional topping is to whip heavy cream and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Although I have never tried the original version of this pie, our modified recipe was mouth watering! According to Bill and his family, it tasted just like the real deal. Pumpkin Pie success! We highly recommend adding this recipe to your Thanksgiving menu.
As always, enjoy!
I love Pumpkin Pie and made my own paleo version for Canadian thanksgiving…my crust sucked, but the pie filling rocked.
I used coconut milk in my filling instead of almond milk
Coconut milk would also be great in the filling. If you try our crust recipe, let us know how it turns out for you. We think you will have success with it.
We will also be posting another crust option with a more classic pumpkin pie recipe next week.
Oh, this dish looks fabulous! I love the picture too! If you're interested, you should submit it to Recipe4Living's Tasty Thanksgiving Recipe Contest 🙂
Hi Sophia –
We took a moment and submitted it to the contest on Recipe4Living! What a nice website – it'll be one we visit often. Thanks for the compliment on our pie (and the photo)!
-Hayley & Bill
My mom asked me today to bring pumpkin pie to Thanksgiving and I knew that you guys would have something fun to try! My pumpkin mix is hot off the stove right now and cooling. Kitchen smells sublime. Can't wait to try the finished pie tomorrow. 🙂
P.S. – great recipe! Will be using again. Especially love the versatility potential of the crust. 🙂 Thanks!
AO – glad the pie worked out for you! We just got _great_ news today that this recipe was chosen as the winner of the 2010 Recipe4Living Tasty Thanksgiving Recipe Contest! We are absolutely thrilled and honored that we were selected!
Just got done having a slice of this (and going back for another)! So good!! Definitely reminds me of the ones I've had when I was a kid, but without all the crap! Thank you SOOO much for this! I love that I get to take this pie to my Mom's for Christmas – share the love without the toxic backlash. 😀
Is it okay to substitute fresh pie puree instead of the canned? Thanks!
You can absolutely use fresh pumpkin puree instead of canned pumpkin! We would actually recommend using the fresh 🙂
Made this for a pie party last night, and what a hit. The consensus of the party that it was the best pumpkin pie any of us had ever had. Only my husband and I eat paleo/primal out of the group there. Really, this recipe is such a winner! Thank you! It will be a staple in Thanksgiving dessert lineup.
Do you think I could sub coconut flour instead of almond flour?
Oh my goodness! Hands down…THE BEST pumpkin pie I have ever eaten!!! (I posted my pics on your fb wall) I made two of these and shared them with friends at a dinner party. SOOO good! Still talking about them. I'll be making 2 more for Thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing!
Okay, so the answer is "NO, you can't substitute coconut flour" – well, sorta. I bumped up the coconut oil by 2 TB, and the crust still came out really dry. On the other hand, it had a pronounced coconut flavor that was surprisingly delicious with the pumpkin filling. It did, however, have a very strange consistency. I assume this is because the coconut flour absorbed the oil, which the almond flour will not do. I am willing to do more experimentation, but you definitely cannot swap coconut flour without some other major changes.
Oh, the pie filling was AMAZING. Not just "good for a restricted diet," but really, really, sneak an extra slice in the middle of the night good.
Thanks for this yummy recipe! I was very excited to have a workable dessert option for my parents at Thanksgiving this year.
Ah, yes, sorry about that! Coconut flour cannot be substituted in equal amounts with almond flour. You typically need a lot of eggs with coconut flour since it is very dense. Glad you enjoyed the filling!
I made this for Thanksgiving and we loved it! I did make a slight alteration in the crust by using 1/2cup hazelnut flour in place of same of almond which I ran out of, and it added a nice depth to the crust. Since I need to stay very low carb, next time I will make with perhaps 1/2c maple syrup, since I found this very sweet. (For the carb counters, as the recipe is, it comes to about 11g per 1/8 wedge.) My grandkids raved about it, which I consider a real badge of approval since they don't like most of Nana's desserts. Will be making this any time I need a great dessert for a gathering. Many thanks for your great recipes!
To Seth Drabinsky: Agar Agar would work to thicken and set, or you can buy vegetarian gelatin at natural foods stores.
Correction on my earlier post on carb content; should say about 18g per slice. Still very reasonable for such a rich tasting dessert.
I have this pie in the fridge and it looks like it will be delish. My question though is, is it safe to eat bc the egg whites haven’t been cooked at? My Mom is terrified I am going to poison the family tomorrow for thanksgiving. Thanks!
Melanie: Sorry for the delay in responding. As long as you’re using high quality eggs that have been stored properly you’ll be fine. In my 30 years of life I’ve eaten far too much cookie dough (including raw eggs) and have never gotten sick. Using raw eggs in chiffon isn’t a new concept, in fact it’s deriench. Happy cooking!
It was easier for me to get the pie crust in by covering it with saran wrap and evening it out a bit with a water glass, then fine-tuning it around the edges with my fingers! 😉
How far ahead can I make this crust and store it without it getting soggy? I need to make my pies ahead of time.
The crust can be made ahead. Simply prepare and freeze to use at a later date. You can also make 2-3 days ahead of time and store in the refrigerator. -Kara
Hi. I’ve made this pies in previous years and it’s wonderful! What kind of almond flour do you use? Yours looks coarse and with skin on. I use Honeyville blanched and it’s very fine. Also, your pie crust recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups vs 1 1/2 cups of almond flour in the pie recipe. I’ve thought this pie recipe could use a thicker crust so would it be fine to use your other crust recipe with this pie recipe? Thx!
This was one of our very first dessert recipes, so a lot has changed with our baking since then (4 years ago). We now use blanched almond flour as well, and have for a few years. We have a great recipe for pie crust in our cookbook Gather, and also have two fantastic pie crust recipes in our new book (Make it Paleo 2) which will be released in February. You can also use the crust recipe for the Cranberry Hand Pies that was posted last week as the crust for this pumpkin pie as well. Hope that helps!
Does it have to be Knox gelatin? Can I use Great Lakes gelatin?
Yes! We covered that in the new post today. We only use Great Lakes now.
So I made this again and I just wanted to clarify something — you mentioned that the pie filling needs to “set” before folding it with the egg whites. I wasn’t quite sure what that meant? So in my first batch I just let it sit in the fridge until it was cool, so like maybe an hour tops. Since the gelatin hadn’t *fully* set, when I poured it into the crust, it settled into the crust very nicely, and was sliceable and delicious after an overnight FULL set in the fridge.
The batch I just did, I let the pie filling set in the fridge overnight before folding it with the egg whites. Much harder to fold, and I also had to smooth it into the pie crusts like frosting on a cake. Will be eating it tomorrow — I’m sure it’ll slice ok, but maybe not quite as beautifully as the first one.
Long story short, if anyone else is unsure how long to let the pumpkin “set” before folding the egg whites in… just long enough that it’s cool (vs. piping hot off the stove) — not so long that the gelatin actually fully SETS! Right??? 🙂
Anyway, thanks for a great recipe. First pumpkin pie I’ve made, but I really like it. Super easy, and practically no-bake, AND super delicious! It’s definitely going to be a regular recipe for me from now on too!
Thanks! We actually covered this in the revised recipe that we posted today, along with changed those instructions. You fold in the egg whites once the filling is completely cooled. If the filling becomes too “set”, it’s best to let it come up to temperature a bit, and blend it with a hand mixer before folding the egg whites in. Just so you know for the future, gelatin will soften as it warms up at room temperature, so you want to be sure you allow it to do that, and stir or blend it to soften it even more before folding the egg whites in. Glad you enjoy this pie recipe!