Welcome to Flawed yet Functional! Emily here, a Type 1 Diabetic who uses the Autoimmune Protocol diet to keep my gut healthy and my blood sugar stable. One of my hobbies is recreating my favorite dishes into ones that are Paleo or AIP compliant and are lower in carbs. The lower carb helps my mostly-dead pancreas keep up, and the Paleo/AIP-compliant part eliminates all foods that I am sensitive to and irritate my gut. Today I’m going to show you how to make a dairy and egg-free Paleo pumpkin pie! All the deliciousness of traditional pumpkin pie with allergy-friendly ingredients! Try this gluten, grain, dairy, and egg-free version today (you don’t have to wait for Thanksgiving)!
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Holidays are for Treats
In my house, we call desserts or anything with additional sugar, treats. My boys know that treats are for special occasions. Our everyday food is heavy in fresh vegetables, fruit, and meat and is the way to good health and an energetic life. This recipe was created as a treat, not an everyday consumption.
Why am I explaining what a “treat” is? Well, I watched a video on Instagram this week reminding people that switching to Paleo is more than just substituting almond flour for wheat flour. The Paleo lifestyle is one steeped in fresh vegetables, fruit in moderation, and the healthiest form of meat you can afford. If you try the Paleo lifestyle and continue to fill your diet with processed food, even though gluten-free, you will still not see the health gains that everyone raves about.
Your body was made for whole, real food. Even though a sweet treat, like this Paleo pumpkin pie, is nice every now and then, it really is made for just that, every now and then. Even “healthy pumpkin pie” is a treat for the holidays or a special occasion, so let’s not overdo it!
This month, I will be sharing several sweet treats that I have modified to fit my “Paleo minus eggs” diet. I want to be clear in each and every recipe though that I’m not promoting dessert consumption on a daily or even weekly basis. However, I want you to know there is freedom and enjoyment in special recipes for special occasions. Enjoy these recipes on your next holiday!
Is Paleo Pumpkin Pie non-Paleo Friendly?
Holidays and family get-togethers don’t have to be a drag for the food sensitive among us. Yes, we might have to bring our dishes, but AIP and Paleo food are delicious to ANYONE! This Paleo pumpkin pie, with adjustments for AIP, is downright delicious no matter your diet preferences.
I’ve found that I prefer a nut crust to a traditional graham cracker or even a pastry crust. The crust on this pie is spiced crushed pecans that don’t get soggy like pastry crust and are loaded with crunch and FLAVOR, unlike a graham cracker crust which is really only sweet.
You can rest at ease knowing that anyone who tries your paleo pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving or Christmas will enjoy it. It is downright delicious, no matter your dietary preferences or allergy needs. Let’s take a look at how to make this tasty pie!
How to Make an Egg-Free Pumpkin Pie
In my opinion, baking without eggs is the trickiest part of cooking with my sensitivities. Eggs do special things to baked goods like binding them together, adding fluffiness, and increasing the richness of baked goods. For this recipe, I relied on gelatin to do the binding work.
Gelatin does not have much flavor or richness though. To add richness to the pie, I used whole fat coconut milk. It isn’t quite the same thing as eggs and cow’s milk, but it does a great job of making that rich creamy pumpkin filling.
Thankfully, pumpkin pie is a dense, creamy dessert. No need for extra fluffiness from eggs here! The filling bakes up smooth and creamy without eggs.
Instead of the pecan pie crust, try this tapioca starch/coconut flour crust or cassava flour crust. These are much higher in carbs though, which is why I opted for the nut route. Pecans are not low-carb, but the crust for the cassava flour pie would have 25 carbs per serving for the crust only! This Paleo Pumpkin Pie with pecan crust has 21 net carbs per serving, including the sweet pumpkin inside!
Cover the Crust
Just like a traditional pastry crust, the pecan crust will burn if left uncovered for the entire bake time. Either use a pie shield or create one out of tin foil (This is what I do!). Fold a piece of aluminum foil into fourths and cut out a 1/4 circle out of the middle corner. Unfold the foil and there should be a circle in the middle of it. Tent the pie with this foil during baking so the crust is covered.
Fully chilling the pie after baking will allow for the cleanest cutting pieces of pie. However, I’ve served it without chilling, and it still holds together. It’s just a bit softer. So it’s your call. If you want your pie to slice perfectly, leave time for it to completely chill in the refrigerator!
Storing the Pie
I store this paleo pumpkin pie in the refrigerator uncovered. I’ve noticed if I cover it with plastic wrap condensation forms on the underside of the plastic and drips onto the pie. Extra moisture on a pie is no good, just leave it uncovered!
To keep other items from falling on top of it, I usually store it on a narrow shelf so there’s no chance of food being placed on top of it or toppling over onto it from a stack next to the pie plate.
The pie stays fresh for many days with this storage technique. Don’t worry about it drying out or going stale unless you won’t be able to finish it in 3-5 days. Our pie never lasts more than 3 days so this is never a problem for us!
Let’s jump into what you could do differently! Ideally, you’ll be shopping specifically for this recipe for your next holiday gathering, so you can have all the exact ingredients that I use. However, you might want a test run of this pie before the big day so here are some adjustments should you want to make this without a special shopping trip.
I tested this recipe only using Knox Gelatine as the “egg.” I did not try chia or flaxseed eggs, so I cannot speak as to how they would do. Read the recipe carefully. I did not heat the gelatin prior to baking it, but I did bloom it in water to activate it before mixing it into the crust and filling.
If you do try this recipe with a different type of faux egg, let us know in the comments how it turned out!
Ideally, use full-fat, canned coconut milk for the pie filling. The higher fat content will add to the richness and creaminess of the filling. Canned coconut has much more fat in it then the more milk-like coconut milk you find in the refrigerated section. You can find canned coconut milk in the ethnic aisle of your local grocery store. Better yet, head to an ethnic grocery store for Asian food (Korean or Indian will definitely have it) it will be much cheaper there.
If you don’t have canned coconut milk on hand, you could substitute the boxed version of coconut or almond milk. I have not tested this out myself, but I think the pie should turn out just fine. It would just not be as rich.
Pecans are expensive! If you don’t want to invest $12 to $15 to make this pie crust (yikes! I realize how much that is for a dessert!), substitute a more economical nut like walnuts or a mix of almonds and walnuts. Almonds by themselves will work fine, but they are much harder which will not be as nice of a texture for the crust. Walnuts will have a similar texture to pecans.
Are you ready to bake?!? I’m typing this wishing there was still some more leftover, ha! Enjoy this clean, allergen-friendly Paleo Pumpkin Pie this holiday season! If you make it, check back in here and let us know how it went.
Paleo Pumpkin Pie with Spiced Pecan Crust
You can still enjoy traditional holiday treats with food allergies or dietary restrictions! Try this egg-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free Paleo Pumpkin Pie for your next holiday party. It is sure to please any palate!
- 2.5 cups whole pecan halves measure before chopping
- 1 Tbsp. coconut oil melted
- 1 Tbsp. coconut flour
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ginger
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 pkt Knox gelatin
- 3 Tbsp. cold water
- 2 cups plain pumpkin puree
- 3/4 cup coconut milk canned, full fat
- 1-1/2 Tbsp. arrowroot powder
- 6 Tbsp, maple syrup
- 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ginger
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 2 pkts. Knox gelatin
- 6 Tbsp. cold water
Make the Crust
Preheat oven to 350° and set out a 9.5" pie plate, ungreased.
Finely chop pecans in blender or food processor. Pour into a medium mixing bowl and stir in coconut oil, coconut flour, sea salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Mix until well combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk gelatin and water until thickened and starting to foam. Pour into pecan mixture and stir to completely incorporate.
Pour pecan mixture into pie plate and press firmly into bottom and sides of the pie plate.
Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until pecans are fragrant.
Prepare the Filling
While the crust is baking, whisk pumpkin puree, coconut milk, arrowroot powder, maple syrup, vanilla, sea salt, cinnamon, ginger, and ground cloves until thoroughly combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk gelatin and water until thickened and starting to foam. Pour into pumpkin mixture and stir to completely incorporate.
When the crust is finished baking, pour pumpkin mixture into the warm crust. No need to let the crust cool! Bake at 350° for 35-45 minutes or until just a bit of jiggle in the middle of the pie. Don’t bake until firm. The pie will firm up as it cools.
For best presentation results, allow the pie to cool in the fridge for several hours or overnight before serving. Serve with dairy-free whipped cream and enjoy!
**Each 1/8th slice of pie has 21 net carbs.**