Nothing says Thanksgiving like pumpkin pie.
In Canada we celebrate Thanksgiving in October. For us it is truly fall with warm sunny afternoons, the spectacular colours of autumn and daylight into the early evening. To me it also feels like the official beginning of pumpkin season. Suddenly pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin cookies and pumpkin muffins appear everywhere.
Then, at the perfect moment everyone wants pie, there it is. Boxes of pies piled high at the entrance of every store you enter. Does anyone make homemade pie anymore?
Baking is a skill you can learn and a homemade pumpkin pie is not unrealistic. All you need to learn is how to make a gluten free pie crust and, as pumpkin lovers will tell you, the season goes all the way to the end of the year.
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Our friends to the south celebrate Thanksgiving in late November. I think this presents a wonderful opportunity for all of us. If you want practice before the big event American’s can host a Canadian Thanksgiving feast in October. For us northerners we can plan a menu with all the things that weren’t served at our family event by hosting an American Thanksgiving dinner. It seems to me that these events would be hosted with friends rather than family, but hey, it’s your party so do what you want. Break all the rules and make it entirely gluten free. You could break tradition and serve my Southwestern Turkey Feast, or just make dessert. Who wouldn’t come to an all pumpkin dessert buffet?
My mom was the maker of pies in my family. She made perfect, flaky pie crust using lard, and in later years changing that to shortening. She says it is the key ingredient but she has only ever baked with wheat flour.
I turned to America’s Test Kitchen for tips and tricks on pie making. I own, and highly recommend, both volumes;
These are excellent resources for cooking in general and baking in particular. They would also be a perfect gift idea.
The recipe instructions tell you how to successfully roll out and bake gluten free pastry. For more tips you can also refer to the recipe description in my post titled Homemade Flaky Pie Crust.
I tweaked the America’s Test Kitchen recipe and used my own gluten free flour mix. People often say they have trouble with overly brown edges on their pumpkin pie. I didn’t have that problem but if you do you can make a homemade piecrust shield using tin foil. For serious pie makers with this problem you can purchase silicone pie crust shields…who knew!
You can buy fresh pumpkin, and there are varieties of pumpkin, but let’s assume you are a normal busy person and you’re looking for the canned pumpkin.
The shelves are piled high with canned pumpkin but when you look at the label you learn a little more. Some cans are pure pumpkin and others are pumpkin pie filling. I like to eat real food as much as possible so I buy pumpkin. The ingredient list should say pumpkin. That’s it.
Store bought canned pumpkin pie filling will have an ingredient list. It may include spices, additives and preservatives including wheat. I just avoid it.
Whether you look forward to your family’s traditional Turkey Feast or dread these events, offering to bring the pumpkin pie is a great way to ensure you will be able to eat it. If it is your first pie I recommend a practice session well in advance of the dinner. Making the same recipe twice within a few days or a few weeks is the best way to learn. Most importantly, it takes the pressure off when you know the recipe works.
Eat your practice pie, share it with friends, freeze some and decide what you think of thawed pumpkin pie. The more practice you get the more confident you will be, and then you can get a little adventurous with the pastry and maybe make another kind of pie.
Let me know in the comments below how your pie turned out. This is the longest recipe I have ever posted. I’d love to hear in the comments below if some of them were helpful.
|DOUBLE PIE CRUST|
|6 Tbsp cold water|
|3 Tbsp sour cream|
|1 Tbsp rice vinegar|
|2¾ cups plus 2 Tbsp gluten free flour mix (I used my mix)|
|1 Tbsp sugar|
|½ tsp salt|
|½ tsp xanthan gum|
|1 cup butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces and frozen for 15 minutes|
|PUMPKIN PIE FILLING|
|1 can (15 oz/425 g) canned pumpkin puree|
|1 cup brown sugar|
|2 tsp ground ginger|
|2 tsp cinnamon|
|1 tsp nutmeg|
|¼ tsp ground cloves|
|¼ tsp salt|
|1 cup light cream (10%)|
|⅓ cup whipping cream (35%)|
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