There's a debate every year in which the people in my family argue the importance of double P. Some people love it, some people hate it. Maybe it's the texture? I'm not really sure. All I know is there better be a silky Pumpkin Pie with hand-whipped cream on the table on the last Thursday of every November, or someone's in trouble. And if I have to be the one to make it, then so be it. At least I'll sleep well knowing that I already have my dessert plate mapped out for maximum consumption. But lately I've been thinking about my gluten-intolerant friends: what do they do when a flaky all-butter crust (my go-to for every pie), or a sweet and buttery graham cracker crust is not an option?
Last weekend we attended a Ladies' Day event in Milwaukee which my mother helped plan, and I volunteered to bake. Everything was going great, meal-plan wise until I was informed that there were gluten allergies and thus, the desserts must be completely gluten-free. I quickly assured her that it wouldn't be a problem, but I'll be honest: I was nervous. Despite the fact that I have a best friend who is gluten-intolerant, whenever food is involved, it's usually someone else making it and I don't have to worry about it. I made her flour-less chocolate cake once (it was DIVINE), but that was it.
Would I really have to buy new flours and ingredients that I probably would never use again? Or worse, use BOXED CAKE MIX?
I shudder to think. (Hi, I'm dramatic.)
Luckily, I was flipping through the pages of the November 2015 issue of Martha Stewart Living and came across the answer to all of my problems: Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie! I was ecstatic of course. One, because you know how much I love pie and use any excuse to make it. And two, because I could use ingredients I have on hand absolutely all the time! I ran it by the committee, was told that I would have to make three, and was sent on my way.
I may have spent seven hours in the kitchen, but there's nothing I love more than making pie.
Now, what makes this pie GF you may ask? The CRUST! Three cups of Rice Chex (naturally and wonderfully GF), butter, brown sugar, and a little salt. Pulse those together in a food processor (I have a baby one that holds 4 cups), then spread into a pie plate, and bake it for 12 minutes to set. It's SUPER EASY, and CRAZY DELICIOUS. That brown sugar caramelizes in the oven, making the crust buttery and sweet with a hint of a crunch still. And pair that with the sweet pumpkin-y custard that is the filling, plus the homemade whipped cream that was carefully piped onto the top, and it's just perfect.
I tell ya, it was a total hit amongst the gluten-lovers and gluten-intolerant alike, for we could all stuff our faces with pie in harmony.
Make it for Thanksgiving, make it forever.
GLUTEN-FREE SPICED PUMPKIN PIE
What You'll Need:
- 3 cups Rice Chex
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 5 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt (I used coarse kosher salt)
Spiced Pumpkin Pie:
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened pumpkin puree
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt (I used coarse kosher salt)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 cup whole milk
First, let's make the pie crust:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
Pulse together the cereal in a food processor until finely ground. Then add the melted butter, brown sugar, and salt. Pulse until well combined.
Press the crust mixture evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Bake until golden brown about 12 minutes. Set on a wire rack to cool completely.
OKAY, PIE TIME!
Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree and eggs.
In a smaller bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Transfer the dry ingredients into the bowl with the pumpkin-egg mixture, and mix until well combined. Then, whisk in the milk.
Place your cooled pie pan on a rimmed baking sheet to reduce the chance of your filling spilling out on the way to the oven. CAREFULLY pour filling into the center of the crust for more even spreading. DO NOT OVERFILL. You may have some filling leftover, and that's okay! You do not want an overflow in the oven, trust me.
Transfer your pie on the baking sheet to the oven and bake until filling is just set, ABOUT 50-55 minutes, but KEEP AN EYE ON IT. If a custard-based pie (like this one) is over-baked, it will crack, and no one wants that. (But if it does crack, you can always cover it with whipped cream, so don't fret.)
Set on a wire rack to cool completely.
Once cooled, pipe or spread on some homemade whipped cream if you're into it, and transfer pie to the fridge to chill before serving.
(MAKE AHEAD: This pie can be made up to 2 days ahead of time. KEEP REFRIGERATED.)
SOURCE: Slightly adapted from Martha Stewart Living