Best Pumpkin Pie Ever
This has to be the best pumpkin pie, ever! Full of healthy ingredients, you could even eat this pie for breakfast. You can make this recipe with or without a crust. The almond meal crust is so delicious, easy to make and does not taste at all like almond. It marries well with the pumpkin pie filling.
The grain-free crust recipe came from Elena’s Pantry, a wonderful website with many Paleo recipes and other healthy recipes. You can see her original post with this crust recipe here — thanks Elena! I did tweak the recipe to add some important steps to aid your digestion.
The pumpkin pie filling is a recipe I created the night before Thanksgiving after doing recipe research on traditional, old fashioned pie recipes our grandparents and their grandparents used to make. The surprise spice that I was moved to add is turmeric, a healing hero of a spice that you can learn more about below. Don’t be scared off by the addition of turmeric – all of my taste testers agreed that it made the recipe sing and enhanced the overall flavor of the pie.
This whole recipe is from scratch in all ways, from crust to pie filling. I will give you some shortcuts in case you are on a time budget. I will say that making the pie entirely from scratch was pretty easy and made a big difference in the taste of the pie, so if you do have the time, go for it!
There is a Powerhouse of Spices in this Recipe, Making it Delicious and Healthy Too!
- Cinnamon – the blood sugar balancer, anti-inflammatory and digestive aid. Cinnamon has been found to aid in cancer prevention and treatment, metabolic syndrome, stroke, ulcers, vaginal yeast infections, food poisoning and high blood pressure.
- Cloves – research shows cloves can help with bad breath, gum disease, cold sores, mosquito bites, genital herpes, cancer and toothaches.
- Cardamom – helps with asthma, constipation, bad breath, indigestion and has been shown to lower blood pressure.
- Ginger – studies show ginger helps prevent or treat arthritis (osteoarthritis and rheumatoid), asthma, cancer, cholesterol problems, heart attack, heartburn, GERD, Migraine, morning sickness, motion sickness, nausea, heart attack and high triglycerides.
- Nutmeg – helps prevent or treat anxiety, depression, diarrhea, cholesterol issues, low sex drive, memory loss and epilepsy.
- Turmeric – helps prevent or treat arthritis (rheumatoid and osteoarthritis), gallbladder disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, skin issues of all kinds (wrinkles, eczema, acne, blemishes, psoriasis, etc.), Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, pollution side effects, gout, gum disease, overweight and pain.
Time to Prepare
This recipe takes about 15 minutes to prepare and 20 – 30 minutes to bake.
You can take shortcuts with the almond flour in the crust and pumpkin in the filling. Here is the breakdown of time:
- If you soak your almonds or almond flour, you will need to start 24 hours in advance. It takes 8 – 12 hours to soak the almonds.
- If you make your own make your own almond flour, it will take approximately 1 hour extra to blanch the almonds and remove the skins and then 2 – 3 hours to dehydrate the almonds.
- If you make your own pumpkin, it will take approximately an hour to 1.5 hours to bake.
I started two days before I wanted to serve the pie and made everything from scratch. Two days before serving: I put the almonds in for soaking (easy!). On the day before serving: I made the coconut milk and put it in the refrigerator to make a thick layer of cream at the top from chilling. Then I blanched and skinned the almonds, pulsed them into almond meal and dehydrated them. The skinning of the almonds took the longest time (it was easy though, just takes time – do it with a friend or your kids!), and everything else was fast. Also on the day before serving, I baked the pumpkin and made the pumpkin pie filling, which was very fast and simple. Then I baked the pie the night before and let it chill in the refrigerator overnight.
Serves: approximately 6 – 8 people with generous slices, makes 1 pie crust and 1 pie
Pumpkin Pie Crust Ingredients
- 2 cups blanched almond flour
- ¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 egg
Pumpkin Pie Crust Instructions
- You can either purchase almond flour or make your own. I have had a challenge finding organic almond flour and when I do, it is very pricey. On top of that, almond flour has not been soaked, which means the phytic acid is still on the almonds, making the flour harder to digest. This can spell abdominal pain or digestive symptoms for those who may have digestive challenges. You can easily make your own almond flour if you have extra time and the result is worth this labor of love!
- If you do not want to make your own almond flour, you have the option of soaking the purchased almond flour first by putting it in a glass bowl, covering with water, adding 1 TBL of sea salt and putting a lid on the bowl. Leave this on your counter top for 8 – 12 hours, then drain with a very fine mesh strainer. You will want to dehydrate the wet almond flour in your food dehydrator for a few hours at 115 degrees F or until the flour is dry. If you don’t have a food dehydrator, place the flour in a lightly greased baking dish in a single layer. Set your oven to the lowest temperature it goes to and bake until the flour is dry. Do not brown the flour.
- It is your choice if you want to soak the flour or not. You might try an experiment, making one pie crust with soaked flour and one without. See how you feel afterwards (notice any and all symptoms – mood and digestion) and you’ll know if it’s worth it for you!
- Place the almond flour and sea salt in your food processor with the S blade and pulse briefly
- Add coconut oil and egg and pulse until mixture forms a ball
- Press dough into a 9-inch pie dish. You can make this crust very thin – it’s actually better when it’s thin. Make sure that the edges around the bottom of the pie are thin as well (as the crust is pressed into the crease of the pie plate at the bottom). This crust does hold its shape well and holds the pie filling beautifully. It should be about ¼ inch thick or so when you press it into the pie plate.
- Bake at 350° F for 8-12 minutes if you are making pre-made pie crusts to use later or adding raw pie filling. If you want to bake your filling in the pie, this recipe works well for that. For the pumpkin pie recipe, you can fill the pumpkin pie filling right up to just before the rim of the pie plate and cook the whole thing at once (see assembling the pie instructions).
Pumpkin Pie Filling Ingredients (Vegan Option Too!)
- 2 cups baked pumpkin (see instructions below about baking your own organic sugar pumpkin) – you can substitute with canned organic pumpkin (look for BPA free cans) or butternut squash
- 1 cup medjool dates
- 1 cup coconut milk
- ½ cup of thickened coconut milk (see instructions below)
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ cup flax meal
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 1 TBL blackstrap molasses
- 2 TBL apple cider vinegar
- 2 eggs and 1 extra egg yolk (I recommend organic, pasture fed eggs if you can get them). Vegan Option: Make a flax egg with 8 TBL flax meal and 3 TBL hot water (mix and let sit for 30 min. until a thick gel forms)
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp lemon juice (from fresh lemon)
Pumpkin Pie Filling Instructions
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. If you are using a glass pie baking dish, lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
- If you are baking your pumpkin, the easiest way to do this is to poke about 10 holes in your sugar pumpkin (or butternut squash), put it in a glass baking dish with about 2 inches of water and bake until you can easily insert a knife into the pumpkin (or squash). Remove from oven, allow to cool, then cut down the middle and scoop out the seeds (you can set the seeds aside if you want to clean the seeds and save them to make pumpkin or squash seeds that are delicious!). You will get approximately 2 cups give or take of pumpkin from a small sugar pumpkin.
- You can use coconut milk from a can or you can make your own with coconut shreds (it’s easy!). Either way, give yourself 24 hours so that you can put the coconut milk in a glass container with a cover in your refrigerator. This will allow the thick coconut cream to rise to the top. You will use this thicker coconut milk/cream for part of this recipe and the coconut milk underneath the cream layer for the rest of the recipe. If you choose to use canned coconut, get the full fat kind, not the lite coconut milk. Also, Thai Kitchen organic coconut milk is supposed to be BPA free. Make sure you read the ingredients on canned coconut milk to make sure there are no additives or sugar. To make your own coconut milk, get a bag of shredded, organic unsweetened coconut shreds with no sulfites added. Boil 3 cups of water and allow to cool for 1 minute, then pour over 2 cups of shredded coconut. Let this sit until the water is lukewarm. Put it into a blender and blend up for a few minutes. Strain with a very fine mesh strainer or through a nut milk bag. You now have coconut milk! Save the pulp and dehydrate until dry to use as coconut flour.
- Scoop out 1 cup of pumpkin (or squash) and save the rest to make these pumpkin cookies, another pie or a side dish for another meal.
- Put the pumpkin in your food processor with the S blade. Add dates and puree.
- Now add the rest of the ingredients and puree until fully blended. Taste and see if you like it. At this point, the adventurous cook can add more dates or honey for sweetness or more of any spice you want to emphasize according to your taste.
Assembling and Baking the Pumpkin Pie
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F (reduce the heat to 375 degrees F if you are using a glass pie plate, which I prefer).
- Add the pumpkin pie filling into the crust and fill right to a tad beneath the rim of the pie plate.
- Put the pie in the oven and bake at 425 degrees (375 degrees for glass pie plate) for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F (300 degrees for a glass pie plate). Bake for 40 – 50 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool for 2 hours. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap (if I use plastic wrap, I make sure it’s tight and doesn’t touch the pie, only the plate) and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving.
Serve on its own or for a real treat, add a scoop of vanilla spice ice cream or caramel ice cream (recipe coming) on the side.
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