Thanksgiving isn’t the same without pumpkin pie, and just because you can’t eat gluten doesn’t mean you have to miss out on this holiday favorite. This pumpkin pie is perfect with a creamy filling and flaky pie crust. It doesn’t get more Thanksgiving than this recipe. This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill and contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosures
It’s hard to imagine a Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie. However, when you eat gluten free, finding good gluten-free pumpkin pie isn’t so easy. A lot of store-bought gluten-free pie crusts and pre-made gluten-free pumpkin pies just don’t cut it.
I, for one, love pumpkin pie. It’s my hand-down favorite holiday dessert. A Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie is like a birthday without cake.
And just because I have celiac disease and can’t eat gluten, it doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a decent piece of pie like everyone else.
Over the years, I’ve tried different store-bought gluten-free pie crusts (blah) and a lot of pie crust recipes that fell flat. Let me tell you, getting the right mix of gluten-free flours and starches to make the perfect pie crust isn’t easy and ain’t nobody got time for that!
I’ll let you in on a little secret I learned the hard way and after years of trial and error: The best gluten-free pie crust is Bob’s Red Mill’s gluten-free pie crust mix. I’m not just saying it because they sponsored this post, I’m saying it because it’s absolutely true and I think you should be let in on the secret too.
And while there is some fussing involved with making the crust, I feel like I’m making a totally homemade pie… and let me tell you, a whole lot of Vitamin L (love) goes into making it.
You can use this same gluten-free pie crust mix to make any pie you like – apple pie, pecan pie, blueberry pie, etc. And it can be used to make a savory pie too.
The possibilities are endless.
How to Make Gluten-Free Pie Crust
Take the following steps to make the gluten-free pie crust using the Bob’s Red Mill’s gluten-free pie crust mix:
- Combine the flour mix with cold cubed butter and shortening. Process it in your food processor for 10 one-second pulses.
- Transfer the dough to a bowl, add ice cold water and mix well by hand. The dough will still be a little crumbly, but will come together nicely when you ball it up.
- Divide the dough into two equal dough balls, wrap each ball in its own plastic wrap, and chill them in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Roll out the dough between two layers of plastic wrap until it is the shape of your pie pan. (If the dough is too solid to roll, allow it to sit out at room temperature 5-10 minutes before rolling).
- Once rolled out to the desired size, shimmy it onto the backside of a baking sheet, remove the top of the plastic wrap, place the upside pie pan over the dough, and then quickly flip the dough into the pie pan. It takes practice. The first few times I did it the pie crust fell apart – ack!
- If your crust is showing cracks, no problem at all. Simply use your fingers to patch it all together. It’s as if it never happened!
Bob’s Red Mill created an awesome video to show you how to make its gluten-free pie crust perfectly – this is a MUST WATCH before attempting to make the gluten-free pie crust on your own:
Remember, the mix will net you two pie crusts (one for the top of a pie and one for the bottom of a pie). Since you’re making pumpkin pie and only need a single bottom crust, you can freeze the second crust for a future recipe (or make two pies, no judgment here because that’s what I did!).
Rules to Gluten-Free Pie Making
There are a few hard and fast rules in gluten-free pie making:
First, be sure to use chilled and cut up pieces of butter and shortening will result in a flakier crust. The cold butter “aka fat” ensures the dough holds together.
Also, after handling the dough, chill it for at least one hour or longer (especially if it’s prepared during warmer weather). You want that crust cold, baby, cold!
I also chill the crust again once it’s been shaped and placed into the pie dish. I pull it out of the fridge once my pie filling is ready and then I plop it into the oven quickly.
Don’t Worry about Overmixing
You can’t overmix gluten-free pie crust dough. You may have heard that regular pie crust should not be overmixed because it causes the gluten to develop (and you want little gluten development in regular pie dough); however, there is no gluten to worry about in this crust, so over mixing is not an issue.
Handling Cracks in the Crust
You can easily patch cracks in the pie crust. If you see a crack in the crust, just patch it with extra pie dough and seal up the imperfections. It’ll look as if nothing happened.
Note, you can’t do this patchwork with regular pie crust so maybe, just maybe, us gluten-free folk have it a little easier when it comes to making pie dough. Debatable, but at least we have a “win” in our column.
Employ Crust Management Tactics
You’ll want to employ some top crust management before baking. Unfortunately, I left too much crust exposed and it burned a bit more than I would have liked… oh well, the crust otherwise is perfect.
Just beware that the pumpkin pie filling doesn’t go to the top of the pie, so you don’t need the crust to touch the top of the pie pan (depending on the pie pan size, of course).
You can see below that I baked this same pie twice. The first pie had too much exposed crust, so part of the crust burned (the rest of the pie was totally fine though), and the second one had little exposed crust so it baked well.
Perfect Pumpkin Pie Filling
I used to make my pumpkin pie filling following the recipe on the back of the pumpkin pie can; it was okay, but not great. I always felt like the pie came out dull (more brown than orange) and the flavor was just okay.
Recently I tried a new recipe after watching a video by Food Wishes. This blogger promised a more custardy-pumpkin pie filling and one that didn’t crack down the center when it cooled. I was intrigued.
I tried the blogger’s tricks and let me tell you, they worked as advertised.
The gluten-free pumpkin pie filling came out perfect. There were no cracks down the center and minimal cracking around the pie altogether. Plus, the recipe offered up a brighter hue of orange and it tasted much more custardy. Bravo!
Of course, the Food Wishes pumpkin pie recipe contains gluten. No problem, I tweaked his recipe and posted a revised gluten-free recipe you can reference and print below.
It’s Pie Day
If you eat gluten free and want to enjoy this festive Thanksgiving treat, you no know exactly what to do.
More Thanksgiving Recipes
Give this beautiful gluten-free apple pie recipe a go!
Try these gorgeous pull-apart gluten-free dinner rolls:
These gluten-free pumpkin squares with cream cheese frosting are super festive and tasty too!
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie
- 1 Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free pie crust mix, prepared as instructed on the packaging (the package makes two crusts, and you’ll only need to use one crust for this recipe)
- 1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz)
- 1 can sweet condensed milk (14 oz)
- 1 large egg
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 1/8 tsp Chinese five spice just a pinch
- Prepare gluten-free pie crust as instructed on the Bob's Red Mill pie crust packaging. Watch the video embedded in this post if this is your first time making gluten-free pie crust. Be sure to chill the dough fully before adding the filling
- Once dough has fully chilled, preheat oven to 425º F.
- Combine filling ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together until well combined. Add filling to a well-chilled pie crust already neatly pressed into a pie pan.
- Place pie on the center rack in a preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- Lower temperature to 350º F and continue baking for 30-35 additional minutes until a knife inserted into the pie comes out clean.
- Allow pie to cool at room temperature before serving. Refrigerate once cooled.