Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie: Just as good as the "real" thing

Pie baking and I have never really gotten along. Even before I went gluten-free, I wasn’t much of a pie baker. I could never make the perfect crimped edges or a gorgeous double crust. They’d droop, they’d fall, they’d crack, they’d stick to the pan.

It was generally a disaster, and so I just assumed it wasn’t part of my baking repertoire. I made my peace with it and moved on to conquer other baking projects (hello, cookies!).

But here’s what’s troubling about all of this… I love pie. Like seriously love it. It’s hands down one of my favorite desserts and has been since I was a little girl. So the thought of never eating pie again was… let’s just say, rather miserable.

Which is why I made myself a promise this year: I will master gluten-free pumpkin pie. I refuse to sit through another Thanksgiving watching everyone else gobble up their pumpkin pie while I just sit there with a cup of tea. Nope, this year I’ll be eating a slice of pumpkin pie (still sipping my cup of tea, of course).

So I got to work. I used the tips from our bakers on how to perfect a gluten-free pie crust, and started making pie. I went with apple, I went with pumpkin, I went back to apple and back to pumpkin again. And yes, my family might be a little pied out.

It’s all been worth it in the end, though. Now I’ve mastered gluten-free pumpkin pie and I’m so confident in the recipe that I’m going to make two and bring them to my Thanksgiving this year. I’m hedging my bets that my family won’t even be able to tell the difference!

Now before we dive into the recipe, I want to briefly chat about the fresh vs. canned pumpkin dilemma. Canned is easy, it’s convenient, but will it change the flavor or texture of your pie?

As someone who’s eaten pumpkin pie for my entire life, I’m a firm believer that it’s always better with freshly roasted pumpkin. I find the flavor and texture to be far superior, so if you can (and I know it’s not possible for all of us), find a sugar pumpkin and roast it on your own. I highly recommend it.

If you can’t, don’t stress. It’s not like your pie will be ruined by any stretch of the imagination. It’ll still bake up fabulously and it’ll taste delicious. It’s just a personal preference – I always think fresh is better!

If you do decide to use fresh pumpkin this year, you can follow this post for instructions on how to roast and prepare the purée. Once you have your purée ready to go, it’s time to get to work on the pie itself.

Begin with your crust, since you’ll need to chill it for at least an hour before rolling it out. I used our Gluten-Free Pie Crust recipe – it’s been treating me so well lately!

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie - Recipe Tutorial from King Arthur Flour

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the following:

1 1/4 cups King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons Instant ClearJel (this is optional; it’s not packed in a gluten-free facility, so if you have a severe sensitivity or allergy to gluten, avoid using this)
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt

Add 6 tablespoons cold butter. Work the butter into the flour mixture until it’s crumbly.

How to Make a Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie

In a separate bowl (or an acrylic measuring cup), whisk together 1 large egg and 2 teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar until the mixture is very foamy.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie - Recipe Tutorial from King Arthur Flour

Pour this eggy mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until the mixture holds together. If it’s not coming together, add 1 to 3 tablespoons cold water (1 tablespoon at a time) to help the dough become more cohesive.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie - Recipe Tutorial from King Arthur Flour

Transfer the dough to a gluten-free floured surface and shape it into a disk. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or waxed paper and chill for one hour (or up to overnight).

When you’re ready to roll, allow the dough to rest at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes.

Grease a 9” pie pan and set it aside.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie - Recipe Tutorial from King Arthur Flour

Roll the dough on a gluten-free floured surface – or plastic wrap or a silicone rolling mat – until it’s 1/4″ to 1/8″ thick. Gently invert or slide the crust onto your greased pie pan. Crimp the edges between your thumbs and index fingers.

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie - Recipe Tutorial from King Arthur Flour

In a large bowl (or a food processor) whisk/beat together:

2 tablespoons King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour
1 teaspoon Vietnamese cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups fresh pumpkin purée (canned will also work; you’ll need about one 15-ounce can)
2 large eggs

Add 2 tablespoons maple syrup or corn syrup and 1 ½ cups evaporated milk, and stir to combine.

Pour the filling into the prepared crust.

Bake the pie on the center rack of the oven for 15 minutes. Turn the oven down to 350°F, and cook for another 35 to 40 minutes. If the edges of the pie starts to brown too quickly, add a pie shield until it’s done baking.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Recipe - King Arthur Flour

To test doneness, give the pie a little jiggle – you want the center to be just a little wiggly, but not look runny.

Let the pie cool completely before slicing and serving. I know it’ll be tempting, but you want to give the filling enough time to set up. If you cut into it too soon, you’ll likely have a slight pumpkin mess on your hands.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Recipe - King Arthur Flour

Now, before I let you go, I have to tell you about these treats we always used to make when I was a little kid from the leftover pie dough. They’re bite-sized cinnamon roll-ups, and they’re just to die for.

How to Use Leftover Pie Crust via King Arthur Flour

All you need to do is shape the extra pie dough into a rectangular disc. Roll it out so that it forms a large rectangle. Spread 3 to 4 tablespoons softened butter onto the dough, then sprinkle with about 1/4 to 1/3 cup cinnamon-sugar.

Start rolling the edge nearest your body and roll until you’ve almost reached the end. Lightly dampen the farthest edge from you with a touch of water and roll all the way through. Slice the rolls into 1” pieces.

Place the roll-ups in a pie dish and bake alongside the pie once you bring the oven temperature down to 350°F. They take about the same amount of time as the pie, and are a fabulous little treat to have with an afternoon tea or coffee. Enjoy!

And of course, we hope that you and your family enjoy this tasty gluten-free pumpkin pie this holiday season. If you have questions for us, leave them in the comments below. Happy baking!

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Recipe - King Arthur Flour

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Recipe - King Arthur Flour

And we’d love for you to bake, enjoy, and review our recipe for Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie!

Click here to print the recipe.

Alyssa Rimmer
About

Alyssa grew up in Vermont, attended the University of Vermont and now lives in New York City, where she bakes and writes recipes for her blog Simply Quinoa. She's been living gluten-free for over four years. Alyssa also authors her own food blog and enjoys ...

comments

  1. Beth Richardson

    Alyssa,

    Is it possible to substitute Earth Balance for the butter, and coconut milk for the evaporated milk in the recipe to make it dairy free do you think?

    Reply
    1. Alyssa Rimmer , post author

      Hi Beth,

      I think the best thing for the crust would be to replace with a vegetable shortening (Earth Balance has a nice one that I’ve used successfully before). For the filling, I think you can use coconut milk, just make sure it’ the full-fat, canned variety. I’d also probably go with about 1/4 of a cup less.

      Hope that helps and let us know if you have any more questions!
      Alyssa

  2. Piebird79

    Thanks for posting this recipe! Does the dough freeze well? My Grammy would make the same thing with the leftover pie dough, except she left it whole to bake then sliced it afterward. We call it a “pie tail”. You can brûlée the top of a GF or non-GF pumpkin pie with a few tablespoons of sugar and a pen torch. Delicious!

    Reply
    1. Alyssa Rimmer , post author

      The dough certainly freezes well – just wrap and freeze as you would a traditional gluten dough. And I have to say that I love that you called them a “pie tail” – that’s genius! I’m going to have to tell my family about that, they’ll get a real kick out of it. Great idea for the brûlée on top, I’m sure that would be delicious! Alyssa

  3. Mary

    This sounds wonderful however, how can it be made DAIRY FREE as well as GLUTEN FREE?
    The dilemma. DAIRY AND GLUTEN FREE. i rarely see anything yummy with both these restrictions… Thanks for the pie CRUST recipe tho!!! I will try that.

    Reply
    1. Alyssa Rimmer , post author

      Hi Mary – I know how you feel as I have had periods where dairy isn’t something that I’ve been able to eat. That being said, I *think* the best way to make this pie dairy-free would be to replaced the evaporated milk with FULL-FAT coconut milk (full-fat is super important here) and I’d use about 1/4 cup less. Hope that helps – enjoy it! Alyssa

  4. Nanci Fitschen

    Just do it the easy way like I do for my daughter. Make it crust less. No one really misses the crust or the extra calories from it.

    Reply
  5. Amy Benson

    Thank you for this GF pie recipe! I am definitely going to give this recipe a try. My latest GF pie crust attempts have been very sad in the texture area. I have actually assembled crumbs into a sad crust to make a recent apple pie. It tasted delicious, but looked awful. (My Celiac husband was elated and ate that pie for lunch and dinner for two days straight!) Most of all, I am excited to know that your family also makes the cinnamon roll treats from extra pastry. We do, too, and I never have heard of anyone else who did/does this. Fun…and yummy, too! Happy Thanksgiving

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel

      And happy Thanksgiving to you, too, Amy. I’m sure you’ll find this crust a lot more satisfactory. PJH

  6. Dawn Z

    we have used Silk Very Vanilla Soymilk (in a purple carton) in place of sweetened condensed milk for years. It is thick and has a great flavor in the pumpkin pie! My son is allergic to dairy. I am now discovering I have a gluten sensitivity, so this new recipe is great!

    Reply
  7. Janet Morrissey

    Thanks so much for this recipe! I’ll be using it later today. I never knew anyone else who make “pie crust bites”. They are so yummy!

    Happy Thanksgiving to everyone there at King Arthur!!!

    Reply
  8. Chaya

    Thanks for the great instructions and pictures. I’ll be trying this one tomorrow! A lot of pumpkin pie recipes call for pre-baking the crust but you don’t mention that here. Is pre-baking not recommended for GF crusts?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Not sure if we’ve tried to, Chaya. If you plan on doing so, make sure to line the crust with parchment and fill to the top with dried beans or rice. Jon@KAF

    2. Kelly

      I too was used to blind-baking pie crusts for pumpkin pies, so I went into making this recipe with some skepticism about the bottom crust not getting soggy. Somehow this recipe works! The bottom crust was not at all soggy and the recipe was overall a success, especially for my first time making a gluten free crust. Nobody could tell the difference!

  9. Sharon Morris

    I have been making a dairy free – gluten free pumpkin pie for 2 years now – replace butter with Earth Balance butter and for the pie filling – replace the evaporated milk with almond milk but add 3 teaspoons of tapioca flour. My family does not taste the difference. They love it!! Using FULL FAT coconut milk gives the pie a coconut flavor.

    Reply
  10. Kristin

    I made this pie for Thanksgiving, and I thought it was delicious! I love pumpkin pie and haven’t had it for a few years. I was glad this recipe showed up in my in box just in time to make it this year!

    A few changes: In the crust, I used Earth Balance to make it dairy free, and that seemed to work well. I didn’t have and couldn’t find Instant ClearJel.
    In the filling, I used molasses instead of corn syrup (I just noticed that while the printed recipe calls for corn syrup, the recipe above calls for maple syrup) and TJs light coconut milk instead of evaporated milk. It was delicious! Thanks!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Nancy, if you’d like to get a head start on baking, you can prepare the dough, wrap, and freeze it. We don’t recommend freezing the entire pie, as recipes with a custard base tend to separate and/or get soggy when they thaw. You can make the pie filling a day before baking and store it in a container in the fridge if you like. Otherwise, it’s best to bake and serve this within a day or two at the most. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

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