Here is a recipe for all of my gluten-free patients who want a “normal” dessert for their Thanksgiving table. It is entirely my own creation, and I’ve been practicing for a few months to get it right. We’re pretty tired of pumpkin pie in my house, but it’s all worth it! The flavor and texture of the custard are nicer after this has had a chance to sit awhile. It is best made early in the day or even the night before serving.
This recipe makes a nice custardy pie with a chewy crust. If you like creamy softer custard, add ¼ cup more coconut milk.
Pre-heat the oven to 350°.
1 sugar pie pumpkin (if you can’t find a sugar pie pumpkin, butternut or acorn squash makes a good substitute.)
½ cup water
Cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds, then cut it into wedges. Place the wedges into a baking pan, pour in the water, and bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes. The pumpkin will be fork-tender when done.
Allow the pumpkin to cool enough to safely handle it, then scoop the flesh out of the skin and into a food processor work bowl. Process with the metal blade on the highest setting until the puree is smooth.
1.5 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. organic cane sugar
2 egg whites
¾ tsp. vanilla extract
Combine the coconut, sugar, and egg whites in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low until the mixture begins to look dry. At first it will seem as if there is not enough liquid. Soon the egg whites and sugar become slightly syrupy, and then the liquid is absorbed by the coconut. Sometimes the syrupy stage is not really obvious, so don’t worry. When it is warmed through and beginning to look like any liquid has been absorbed (about five to seven minutes total), add the vanilla extract and stir well.
Allow the mixture to cool enough to handle, then press it evenly onto the bottom and sides of a nine-inch pie pan. Bake for approximately 20 minutes until the crust is lightly browned.
1 ¾ cups pumpkin puree (recipe above)
2 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
½ cup coconut milk (before measuring, shake the can so the thick cream gets mixed in)
5 Tbsp. organic brown sugar
½ tsp. powdered ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
⅛ tsp. cardamom
⅜ tsp. salt
Increase temperature to 425°.
Place the eggs and yolks in a small bowl, and then whisk until combined.
Place the pumpkin, whisked eggs/yolks, coconut milk, brown sugar, spices, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk until smooth and completely combined. Pour into the pre-baked crust.
Bake at 425° for approximately 50 minutes. The custard will be completely set on the sides and very slightly jiggly in the center when it is done. Check on the pie after about 30 minutes of baking; if the crust is getting too brown cover the crust lightly with aluminum foil strips.
Allow pie to cool completely before serving.