A Thanksgiving classic made gluten free and dairy free. This Paleo Pumpkin Pie Recipe makes just a few simple changes to the original dessert. Includes vegan and keto/low carb options.
Paleo Pie Crust
Let's start with the foundation. To make a paleo pumpkin pie we need a paleo pie crust.
Before I started testing paleo pumpkin pie fillings, I first developed this gluten free pie crust recipe made with coconut flour.
Use the coconut oil option to make a dairy free crust that is paleo. You can make the crust the same day as the pie - it is super quick to make and only takes 15 minutes of pre-baking.
Or you could also pre-bake the crust up to 3 days in advance.
How to Make Paleo Pumpkin Pie Filling
Like any regular pumpkin pie filling this healthy pumpkin pie filling is super easy to whip up - literally. All it takes is adding all ingredients to a bowl and whisking until they are fully combined.
But let's talk a little about the ingredients that go into this dairy free pumpkin pie filling:
- Pumpkin Puree: make sure it is really just cooked pureed pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling that already has sugar and other things added
- Pumpkin Pie Spice: What is pumpkin pie spice? It is a mix of baking spices based mainly on cinnamon, with also ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice added in.
I shared my favorite ratio for homemade pumpkin pie spice here. In a pinch you could use only the spices you happen to have in the pantry, but cinnamon is definitely a must.
All these ingredients aren't different from a regular pumpkin pie. But now let's get to the ingredients I used to make paleo pie filling:
- Maple Syrup: it is my favorite sweetener alternative to refined sugar. I use it all the time in everything. If you prefer a granulated sweetener though, you can use ⅔ cup of coconut sugar instead
- Almond milk and coconut cream: these two ingredients together replace the evaporated milk that is called for in most traditional pumpkin pie filling recipes. Almond milk alone is too thin and watery.
And using all coconut milk or cream could give the pumpkin pie an overpowering coconut flavor that I didn't want. But together they have the right kind of texture and flavor.
A thicker, creamier plant milk like cashew milk could probably be used to replace the almond milk/coconut cream combination.
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Dietary Modification Suggestions:
Keto or Low Carb Pumpkin Pie
With the low carb coconut flour pie crust and a filling based on a rather low carb vegetable there is not much standing in the way to turn this into a sugar free pumpkin pie. Actually it is only the maple syrup sweetener that is problematic.
That's why I suggest using Sugar-free Monk Fruit Syrup (in maple flavor) as low carb sweetener for this recipe. Or if you prefer a sugar-free granulated sweetener use the equivalent of ⅔ cup of regular sugar.
How to make Vegan Pumpkin Pie
I even tested a vegan pumpkin pie version. At first I was stumped about which egg replacement I should use.
My go-to flax egg wouldn't work, because that would definitely change the smooth and custardy texture pumpkin pie filling should have. But then I remembered aquafaba - the magical elixir from a can of chickpeas.
To replace the 2 eggs I used ½ cup of aquafaba that I beat with an electric mixer until it was about doubled in volume. I folded the whipped aquafaba in at the very end after first having mixed together all other pie filling ingredients.
The baked and cooled vegan pumpkin pie filling was a little creamier and didn't set quite as firm as the egg version. But it was just as delicious!
How Long to Bake Pumpkin Pie For
Once you have made the gluten free pumpkin pie filling and poured it into the pre-baked pie shell, bake this gluten free dairy free pumpkin pie for 40-50 minutes at 375°F.
The exact timing will depend on a number of factors like actual oven temperature - most ovens run hotter or cooler than indicated. That's why an oven thermometer can be very useful.
Another factor determining baking time is the size of pie pan used. I used a 9-inch pie shell, but this filling recipe could also be used in an 8-inch pie crust. In that case baking time will be longer.
Indicators for doneness are a filling that has obviously darkened and puffed up a little around the edges. The center will still be a little jiggly (the puffiness with settle and the center will set as the pie cools).
If you want to be very exact (like me), use a food thermometer. Once the center reaches 160°F the pie is ready.
Troubleshoot: Why is my filling cracking?
When I made my first pumpkin pie it looked beautifully smooth when I pulled it from the oven, but as it cooled on the counter the center started splitting and cracking until it looked like a miniature Grand Canyon.
After my initial disappointment I read up on this issue and learnt that a cracking custard pie filling usually means that it was overbaked. So this is when I started to always use a food thermometer to determine exactly when my pumpkin pie is done (see above).
Another factor contributing to a cracked filling could be too rapid cooling that shocks the custard and makes it rip. Read on to learn how I now cool pumpkin pie.
How to cool, serve and store pumpkin pie
To avoid shocking the pumpkin by cooling it down to quickly, I don't actually take it out from the oven right away. I let the pie cool down in the oven at first. I just turn off the heat and crack the oven door wide open.
This way the pie can cool down to room temperature more gently. After a while you could transfer the pie to the counter or just leave it in the oven, if you don't need it for anything else.
Then after about 2 hours of cooling to room temperature I move the pie over to the fridge where it can chill and fully set for at least 2 hours before serving.
Serve this paleo pumpkin pie cool from the fridge. Top each slice with some whipped coconut cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin spice.
If you prefer warm pumpkin pie, pull it from the fridge and place it in a 300°F oven for 15 minutes before serving.
Store any remaining pumpkin pie covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Items I used to make this dairy free pumpkin pie recipe
I now swear by my food thermometer tell me when the coconut pumpkin pie is done.
If you are worried about the edges of the gluten free pumpkin pie crust darkening too much before the filling is done baking, you can use a pie crust shield to protect the edges.
More delicious dessert recipes for the holidays:
- Paleo Pumpkin Bread
- Healthy Gingerbread Men
- Cranberry Orange Muffins
- Shortbread Cookies
- Gluten Free Chocolate Pie Crust
- 20+ Apple Recipes You Have to Try
VIDEO: Paleo Pumpkin Pie
Paleo Pumpkin Pie Filling
- 1 paleo pie shell
- 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 2 eggs or ½ cup aquafaba whipped until about doubled in volume
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- ⅓ cup coconut cream
- ⅓ cup maple syrup or sugar-free maple flavoured monk fruit syrup or ⅔ cup coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt
- Preheat your oven to 375°F.
- Whisk together all pumpkin pie filling ingredients in a large bowl until well combined.
- Pour the filling mixture into a pre-baked 9-inch paleo pie shell. Tap the pie pan into the counter a few times to even out the filling and to bring up any air bubbles.
- Transfer the pie to the preheated oven and bake for 40-50 minutes until the filling has darkened and puffed up on the edges. The centre should still be a little jiggly. You can also insert a food thermometer in the centre. The pie is done when the centre reaches 160°F.
- Cool the pie gently to avoid cracking in the filling. Turn off the oven but leave the pie inside with the door cracked open. After cooling to room temperature for about 2 hours transfer the pie to the fridge to cool fully.
- If you want to enjoy the pie warm, reheat it in a 300°F oven for 15 minutes.
- Top with whipped coconut cream and sprinkle of pumpkin spice or cinnamon.
Hi, is there anything else I can use instead of vanilla extract? I’m having trouble finding one that’s alcohol free.
Regina | Leelalicious
You can omit it. Or use a vanilla bean powder, if avoiding alcohol based vanilla
I am wondering if honey would work instead.We are dealing with so many food issues and need to stay with honey right now. I think I will try it this week and then make it again for Thanksgiving if it works!!
Yes, honey should work well as sweetener in this recipe
I prefer maple sugar to coconut sugar. Have you ever tried it with maple sugar?
Hi Susan, I have only tried the recipe with maple syrup, but I think maple sugar should work just as well