Go Messy or Go Hungry

Pumpkin Pie {gluten free}

Nov 11, 2016 | Dessert, Gluten free, Holidays, Recipes

Gluten free pumpkin pie | Go Messy or Go Hungry

Oh yeah, you read that right. Flaky, delicious, gluten free pumpkin pie. Maybe you’re thinking, ok big deal? All pies are flaky and delicious. Well, let me tell you a little story about a gluten free pumpkin pie.

mini gf apple pies


There you go. That’s the first ever gluten free pumpkin pie I ever made. Doesn’t that crust look so delicious… and dense and chewy? I made them for Marc and he ate it, God bless him. That kid does like his pumpkin pie. But we were a far cry away from anything I’d really call pie.


Sad crumbly gf pie attempt
Here’s my next pie attempt. It was definitely better, but I had to basically re-form the crust in the pan, it was falling apart so badly.

Do you want more sad looking pies?

Sad gf pie attempt with crumble topping
a gf pie attempt with a texas-shaped cutout slowly sinking into the filling
Sad yeasted pie attempt

Falling apart crust, exploding filling (poor Texas!), and finally: an experiment with yeasted crust. Held together, looked nice, tasted terrible. And so chewy. Just, no.



In my opinion, the crust is the most important part of the pie. We definitely still ate all of those pies (hello, sugar and butter), but I wasn’t proud of them. So the quest to find a decent gf pie crust continued.

Lucky for me (and you!), Alana of The Bojon Gourment exists, and she has the best gluten free pie recipe. It doesn’t fall apart. It’s flaky. It doesn’t taste like gravel. And I’m so excited about it.


Gluten free pumpkin pie | Go Messy or Go Hungry

Alana just released her cookbook, The Alternative Baker, and you bet I pre-ordered a copy. It’s full of 100% gluten free desserts and beautiful photos.

Including a pie crust recipe. I could hardly wait to try it out. So a few Saturdays ago, I found myself with a whole day and nothing better to do, so I decided it was time.

Gluten free pumpkin pie | Go Messy or Go Hungry

Before I blather on about pie any more, we need to stop here and I need to tell you something. I mean, you’ve probably already figured it out but: pie making is serious business. This isn’t a “la la, I’m gonna make a pie tonight!” at 5pm kind of thing. I know because that’s how I approach all other things I make. But pies require a lot of time and concentration. They’re not for everyone (well I mean eating them is, but making them not so much). If I’m freaking you out right now with my seriousness, that’s ok. Go make a couple of chocolate chip cookies, or pumpkin cupcakes. BUT. If you’re in for a challenge that will be even more rewarding and delicious because you spent all day making it, let’s go for it!

Gluten free pumpkin pie | Go Messy or Go Hungry

Ok, so the pie crust. Alana calls for a mix of sticky rice, oat, and millet flours, which is great because those are the flours I have on hand and like to use! She also doesn’t use any gums, just some ground chia seed. A lot of the issues I’ve had in the past with pie is because I always change out the flours and try to omit things like xanthan gum. (In case you’re wondering, xanthan gum isn’t technically a FODMAP, but it does cause GI trouble in some people.) So it was nice that I could actually follow her recipe as-is.

Gluten free pumpkin pie | Go Messy or Go Hungry

Alana also introduced me to a few pastry techniques: fraisage, which is where you drag the dough across your counter to flatten the butter pieces, and also rolling it out once and folding it before you roll it out again. Both of these take a little more time, but made my crust actually flaky! So, worth it.

Gluten free pumpkin pie | Go Messy or Go Hungry

Crust is the most important part, but a pie still needs a filling. This pumpkin filling is an old standard I’ve been using for years, and it never disappoints. It’s actually from Angela of Oh She Glows, which is one of the very first food blogs I ever started reading. It’s technically vegan, but I definitely put some melted butter in mine… ha. But I love it because it’s super easy and doesn’t involve cooking any eggs or anything – just some coconut cream to thicken it up (but it doesn’t taste like coconut I promise).

Gluten free pumpkin pie | Go Messy or Go Hungry

I did decide to roast a pumpkin for this – I was going all out after all – but I think next time I would just use canned pumpkin. If you have fresh pumpkin puree on hand, definitely use it because it is better, but roasting and pureeing a pumpkin was just a little too much extra work for me.

[Edit: I’ve started using part (canned) pumpkin puree and part butternut squash puree. Butternut squash is not low FODMAP, but it tastes freaking delicious, so using half and half is the compromise my body and I have come to ?]

Gluten free pumpkin pie | Go Messy or Go Hungry

Some notes on timing: it takes me about 3.5 hours from starting to mix the crust till I’m ready to bake the pie. Budget a little longer if this is your first time making a pie crust. And then definitely don’t miss the fact that this filling requires you to cool it for FOUR HOURS (yes, you read that right. sorry.) before you can eat it. I definitely recommend making this the day before you plan to eat it and just refrigerating it overnight. 

    Gluten free pumpkin pie | Go Messy or Go Hungry

    Pumpkin Pie {gluten free}

    Yield | 8 slices
    Crust recipe adapted from The Bojon Gourmet.
    You can make buttermilk by pouring 1 teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice in a ¼ cup measuring cup and filling the rest of it with milk. Let it sit on the counter while you cube the butter and mix the flours.



    • ¼ cup ice water from 1 cup ice cubes filled with cool water
    • ¼ cup cold buttermilk (or lemon juice / vinegar + milk, see notes)
    • ½ cup sticky rice flour
    • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons oat flour
    • ¼ cup millet flour
    • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
    • ¼ cup cornstarch (or more tapioca starch, but cornstarch will keep the crust from getting soggy)
    • 2 ½ tablespoons ground flax seed or chia seeds
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter sliced ¼" thick


    • 2 ¼ cups pumpkin puree about 1.5 cans
    • ½ cup brown sugar
    • ¼ cup full-fat coconut cream or milk use the top creamy part only if using milk – don’t shake the can! it also helps to warm this up slightly.
    • 1 tablespoon butter, melted or vegetable oil for vegan version
    • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
    • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
    • pinch ground cloves
    • pinch salt
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • ¼ cup maple syrup
    • 3 tablespoons tapioca starch


    Mix (15 mins)

    • Fill a 1 cup measuring cup with ice and pour water into it — this is your ice water. If you’re making buttermilk with vinegar + milk, go ahead and mix that too (pour 1 teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice in a ¼ cup measuring cup and filling the rest of it with milk).
    • In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients: sticky rice, oat, millet flours, tapioca starch, cornstarch, ground flax or chia seed, sugar, and salt.
    • Cut the butter into ¼" squares and scatter on top of the dry ingredients. Cut into dough with a pastry cutter or your hands. You want the butter to be a little larger than typical pie dough – Alana recommends a gravely texture with lots of almond-size chunks and some smaller pieces.
    • Measure out ¼ cup of water from the cup of ice and water, and pour into a small bowl. Add the buttermilk and mix. Pour this into the flour mixture 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with a spatula to mix everything evenly. Only add enough liquid for the dough to hold together when you squeeze it — this will mean that there are still some dry bits around the edges but this is ok. It’s better to add too little liquid than too much. (You'll probably end up adding in somewhere from 6-8 tbl.) Gather the dough up as much as you can in the bowl, kneading a little, to get it to come together.
    • Time to fraisage. This creates a flakier dough as we’re going to flatten the butter chunks. Pour the dough onto your counter and, using the heel of your hand, drag sections of the dough across the counter several inches. (See photos in this post if you'd like a visual.) This will be messy, and dough will stick to your counter — it’s ok. Do this a few times to get all the butter, but keep in mind the more you work with the dough, the sticker it’s going to get. If you have a dough scraper, use it to get the dough off the counter (or just use a spatula), and form the dough into a ball.

    Chill (30 mins)

    • Flatten the dough slightly and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate the dough until firm, about 30 mins.

    Fold + Chill (45 mins)

    • Optional (but recommended): Fold the dough. This is a technique pastry chefs use to give croissants and the like their flaky laters. Read: the secret to flaky pie crust. It’s technically an option, but you should do it. Take the dough out of the refrigerator (let it sit on the counter for a sec if it’s gotten too hard to roll). Dust your counter with sticky rice flour, and roll the dough into a circle/rectangle that’s ~¼ inch thick (it helps to start by gently pressing down with the rolling pin until it’s softened enough to actually roll). If the edges crack, press them back together. You’ll get a shape that’s just a tad smaller than what you’d make a pie crust. Now, fold the dough into thirds — like a letter — and then thirds again. (Like this and this.)
    • Re-wrap and refrigerate for another 30 minutes. At this point you can refrigerate the dough for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

    Shape + chill (60 mins)

    • Grease a 9-inch pie plate with butter. Take the dough out of the refrigerator (let it sit on the counter for a sec if it’s too hard to work with, but don't let it warm up too much or it'll be very hard to work with). Dust the counter with flour and roll out the dough into about a 14-inch circle (remember, press gently with the rolling pin first until it’s soft enough to roll, and press the edges together when they crack). Flip the dough over occasionally so it doesn’t stick, and when it gets too big to flip, lift one side at a time to re-distribute flour under the crust. Try to do this quickly so the dough doesn't warm up too much.
    • Fold the crust in half and then half again and ease it into the pie plate. Trim the edges to slightly larger than the plate, reserving the scraps for any needed repairs. Fold the edges under and give the crust a wavy edge by shaping it with your index finger and thumb.
    • Prick the bottom all over with a fork. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, and then freeze for at least 20 minutes or until solid. (Start preheating the oven when you put the crust in the refrigerator — see below)

    Pre-bake (45 mins)

    • While the pie chills, preheat the oven. Move an oven rack to the lower third of the oven and remove all other racks. Preheat the oven to 400°F. If you have a baking stone, place it on the rack.
    • Remove the crust from the freezer. Line with parchment paper and fill it to the top with pie weights (clean pennies, dry beans, rice, or quinoa work too). Make sure the pie is filled enough that the weights press into the sides, otherwise your crust will collapse which is sad.
    • Bake for 20 minutes or until the dough can hold its form without the parchment. Remove the parchment and weights and cook for another 8-12 minutes, until the bottom is dry and slightly toasty. Reduce the oven temp to 350°F (if you’re using a pizza stone, leave it in the oven).

    Make filling (15 mins)

    • While the pie bakes, make the filling. In a medium bowl, microwave the butter until fully melted. Add the coconut cream and microwave for another few seconds to soften. Add the pumpkin, sugar, spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt), and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk the maple syrup and tapioca starch together. Add the maple syrup mixture to the pumpkin mixture and whisk / beat until smooth. Taste and adjust spices as necessary.

    Bake (45 mins)

    • Pour the filling into the pre-baked crust and smooth with a spatula. Bake for about 45 minutes, checking after 25. If the crust starts to brown but the filling isn’t done, cover the pie with foil.

    Cool + set (4 hrs)

    • Let the pie cool on the counter for 1 hour. Transfer to fridge to set for minimum of 3 hours or overnight. (This is very important, so don't skip it even though I know you want to!) Enjoy!

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