Egg Free/Dairy Free/Gluten Free Allergy Friendly Pumpkin Pie
Holiday time can be very frustrating for those managing food allergies because there are so many “traditional” dishes that can be so difficult to modify. Pumpkin pie is one of those recipes, and an egg allergy can make it a doozy. Casey JUST passed a pumpkin challenge this year, so he’s been asking now that Thanksgiving is here! I’ve gotten A LOT of requests for an egg free pumpkin pie, and I hit the kitchen hard for this one. I wanted to also make it without evaporated milk that’s in most recipes to keep it dairy free so…here it is!
Pumpkin and sweet potato pies are forms of a baked custard (like crème brûlee or cheesecake), meaning it has an egg and dairy base. Eggs are necessary to help give the custard structure, but I decided to go another custard route-the stovetop cooked custard aka pudding! It’s firm enough to stand on its own but has that smooth texture we love from pumpkin pie. I also added notes in the recipe to even make it Paleo with a few quick swaps.
The choice of pie crust is yours! I opted for our favorite Mi-Del brand gluten free graham cracker crust, but here are two links for pie doughs. One is totally customizable to your safe needs, whatever they might be. The second is a gluten free Paleo option made with Otto’s cassava flour. Also feel free to use any cookie crust you like!
The only truly critical step for this recipe is to blind bake your crust. What’s a blind bake? Simply put, it is par-baking or fully pre-cooking your pie crust to ensure the bottom crust in a custard pie doesn’t get soggy from the wet filling or leak. I’ll explain it all in the recipe 👇.
Happy Thanksgiving and what a year to give thanks for what we have…we’re mostly back to normal! Be well and safe and enjoy! 💙👩🏻🍳
**As always, please check which brands are safe for your needs**
Ingredients and Substitutions
Pumpkin purée – Casey just passed a pumpkin challenge this year, so I’ve been doing my due diligence finding a safe brand. I safely use Libby’s and Trader Joe’s brands.
Sugar – I used a mix of granulated and light brown sugars to get the right flavor profile and texture. For a Paleo I option, I use Wholesome brand coconut palm sugar and love it. It basically tastes like brown sugar but with the properties of granulated sugar so it’s very interchangeable. NOTE! It will make the filling darker and a bit softer!
Dairy – If you are not dairy allergic, full fat milk is the way to go. Being dairy allergic, I use a few different brands for Casey. Our go-to’s are So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk or Silk soy/oat milks. For a Paleo option, canned coconut milk or almond/cashew milks are fine. NOTE! Any non-dairy milk will set softer.
Cornstarch/Tapioca starch – This is essential for the custard to set up when cooked on the stovetop. I use Argo brand cornstarch for Casey. For a corn allergy or a Paleo option, tapioca starch/flour is what you can substitute. NOTE! Tapioca is very tricky and can get gummy and rubbery if overheated and overmixed. I use Authentic Foods brand.
Pie Shell – This is your option! I added two recipes above or any graham cracker/cookie crust will do. Casey loves Mi-Del gluten free graham cracker crust shells, and it’s one less thing for me to do. If you’re going traditional, then the crust needs to be blind baked. See recipe for the steps.
**As always, please check which brands are safe for your needs.**
Egg Free/Dairy Free/Gluten Free Allergy Friendly Pumpkin Pie
Author: Katie Martino Lopez
Prep Time: Crust (preparation with chilling) -1 hour; Filling- 10 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours (this includes chilling after baking to set the filling)
1- 9” prepared pie crust, blind baked or any graham cracker or cookie crust you like
**See above in notes for pie crust recipes**
Pumpkin Filling (Paleo option under)
- 1 ½ c. pumpkin purée
- 12 oz. safe milk (may need a splash more depending on the milk used)
- ¼ c. granulated sugar
- ¼ c. light brown sugar
- ¼ c. + 2 Tbls. cornstarch
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 ¾ tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg (can add a pinch more for taste)
- 1 tsp. ginger
- ¼ tsp. cloves (optional)
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
-substitute canned coconut milk, almond, or cashew milk
-use all coconut sugar to replace the granulated and light brown sugars. Note that it will make the filling dark!
-use 6 Tbls. tapioca flour/starch
- Blind Bake Pie Dough: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Have a 9” pie pan lined with pie dough chilled and ready to bake. See above in notes for pie dough recipes.
- Cut a circle of parchment large enough to fill the pie shell and come over the edges. Push into the corners against the dough. Fill the shell on top of the parchment with the unbaked rice, unbaked beans, or pie weights. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, then remove the parchment with weights. Have a container ready to dump them out into. THEY WILL BE HOT!! I grab opposite side of the parchment to make sling to pull of the dough. The base of the shell will be underbaked but should not be raw. Return to the oven about 10-15 minutes to finish baking. It should be a nice golden but not too dark. If the edges get darker before the base, cover the edges with strips of foil. When baked remove from the oven and cool completely while preparing filling.
- To Make Filling: Place the cornstarch (or tapioca flour) in a medium bowl and set aside.
- In a medium heavy bottomed saucepan, whisk together pumpkin purée, safe milk, granulated and light brown sugars, salt, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon. Heat over medium high heat until it starts to low boil.
- Ladle some of the hot mixture into the starch and immediately mix well. Add back to the bowl and whisking constantly until it comes a boil again and thickens. Do not let it burn on the bottom! NOTE – If using tapioca do not overmix or overheat or it will get very rubbery. Add to the hot filling, whisk quickly, and go to step 6.
- Pour the hot filling into your prepared pie shell and immediately put plastic wrap directly on the custard surface so it does not make a skin.
- Cool on a rack until no long hot to the touch and refrigerate NO LESS than 6 hours to set properly.
- Serve with coconut or regular lightly sweetened whipped cream and toasted pumpkin seeds.
- Pie will keep up to three days covered in the refrigerator.
- The pie dough freezes great for up to 3 months, just wrap very well. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- Keeping the fat cold is key for pie dough! If it gets warm it will melt right away in the oven and you won’t achieve the flakiness that’s key.
- The pumpkin filling will continue to set as it cools in the refrigerator. If it is loose when cutting to serve that means it was not cooled long enough or cooked long enough on the stovetop.
As we all know, reading labels and preparing food when managing allergies is a job within itself with much responsibility. All the brands I use are ones that I have contacted, and Casey has eaten safely. That being said, I must remind…
Please do your own research when deciding which products and foods are safe for the allergies you manage. These are the ones that are safe for our needs but may not be for you. Everyone has different comfort levels with manufacturing and production procedures.
And, as a friendly reminder, always have 2 epinephrine auto injectors on hand!