Have I ever mentioned to you that I have amazing friends? I am reminded of this quite often, but a recent dinner party with our friends Allie and Michael was a definite standout. Like so many of the awesome people who have cooked for me over the years, they went above and beyond to make sure that the meal was delicious yet “Tayler-proof” – free from gluten, dairy, soy, and all of those other pesky things my sensitive self can’t handle.
But what made this meal truly special (in addition to the great wine and conversation, of course!) was the fact that Allie and Michael made me dessert – a pumpkin pie, no less! I’m not sure if I have ever mentioned this on the blog before, but pie was my absolute favorite dessert as a kid, and I hadn’t a bite of pie in nearly seven years before that night. So, yes, I was very excited to try it.
Needless to say, the pie tasted amazing. The crust tasted just like a graham cracker crust, and I think the coconut oil went a long way to give the crust a buttery flavor and pleasantly crunchy texture. As Allie described it, the filling tasted “just like fall”
and was a perfect mix of pumpkin and traditional pumpkin pie spices. All of the gluten eaters who had the pie also seemed to enjoy it quite a bit, despite the absence of a traditional pastry crust, and no one judged me when I had a second piece. I later recalled to Allie and Michael that the two pieces they so generously let me take home didn’t last long, either!
Beyond my excitement over the pie itself, I also enjoyed hearing about Allie and Michael’s experience with preparing dinner and dessert. As they came to find, wading into the allergy-free baking world can be a surprisingly interesting experience. For instance, Allie got her gluten-free pumpkin pie recipe from a coworker and some resources on special diet recipes
, but needed to substitute the recipe’s almond flour for something nut-free. She did a little research on possible substitutions, and was warned to not use white rice flour because it doesn’t absorb as well as other options, like brown rice flour. This was something even I knew nothing about, which goes to show that there is always something new to learn in the allergy-friendly kitchen!
Below is the original recipe Allie received from a coworker, with her modifications and instructions/commentary added in. I really like this unorthodox recipe style because it shows how organic allergy-friendly cooking can be: it’s not uncommon to modify a recipe along the way as you search for substitutions, replace flavors, and try to get textures just right!
I will definitely be attempting this recipe for Thanksgiving, though I may need Allie to show me the ropes first – she’s the expert on this one, and it’s been a while since I made a pie!
Allie’s Tayler-Proof Pumpkin Pie Recipe
For the pie crust
- 1 1/2 cups Almond flour (I used about 2 cups brown rice flour)
- 1/4 cup Coconut oil, softened ( I used probably closer to 1/2 c. because the dough wasn’t binding with the 1/4 cup)
- 2 Tbsp. Agave nectar (I probably used closer to 3 Tbsp because I increased the amount of flour. And I found it helped bind the ingredients together.)
Mix all of the ingredients together. I used a pastry cutter to make sure the oil and flour were completely blended. But you can just as well use two knives or your hands. Once all the ingredients were blended, I formed it together in a ball. Keep in mind that this is more reminiscent of a graham cracker crust not a traditional pie crust. It won’t be smooth or “rollable.” (That’s probably not a word, but hopefully you know what I mean.) It will be rather crumbly. I just pushed it into a 9-inch pie pan. Try and keep the top edges kind of thick because they will brown easily once the pie is in the oven. Chill the pie crust in the fridge for about one hour.
For the filling
- 1 15 ounce can pumpkin
- 1 cup Soy milk or other milk alternative (I used rice milk)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup corn starch
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I just threw in some cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg until it tasted like fall)
Mix ingredients together. I whisked everything together. But you could use an electric blender on low speed until everything has combined. Pour into the pie crust. Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Then turn your oven down to 350 degrees F and bake for about 45 minutes. To keep the edges from burning, I was diligent about turning the pie frequently so the heat distributed evenly. However, my oven is kind of finnicky, so you might have better luck with the browned edges.