Paleo Pumpkin Pie with Nut-Free Pie Crust

This Paleo Pumpkin Pie fills a homemade pie crust with a rich, warmly spiced pumpkin custard that the whole family will love.

Plus this pumpkin pie is dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, refined sugar-free and nut-free!

Paleo pumpkin pie on a cooling rack with a white towel and coconut cream-covered hand mixer beaters next to a bowl of coconut cream, all on a green napkin

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Paleo pumpkin pie = healthy pumpkin pie

Well, healthier.

This Paleo pumpkin pie uses maple syrup instead of refined sugar, and we’re using less of it than most recipes call for.

Add the healthy fats of coconut milk and eggs, plus real pumpkin puree, and you’ve got one tasty, healthy-ish, allergen-free pie.

Plus all your favorite pumpkin pie spices are mixed in, giving you the classic pumpkin pie taste.

All of this luscious, creamy goodness is coddled within a crispy, flaky, grain-free pie shell.

Serve it warm, room temperature or cold. No matter which way, this will be a hit at your Thanksgiving.

A paleo pie crust using cassava flour

Not only are we swapping out refined flours, we’re not using the typical paleo ingredients of almond flour or coconut flour. So now we have a grain-free pie crust that’s also nut-free so no one is left out!

Cassava root (also sometimes called yuca) is a starchy tuber that is peeled, dried and ground into a soft powder remarkably like flour.

Since it’s grain-free, it has become more popular in the Paleo/gluten-free baking world so cassava flour recipes are popping up more frequently. I’ve had good results using Otto’s cassava flour and Bob’s Red Mill cassava flour.

It’s often used as a 1:1 substitute for all-purpose flour but here I’m also adding arrowroot flour. Arrowroot is the flavorless starch extracted from the arrowroot plant. It’s similar to cornstarch.

You can learn more about arrowroot flour (sometimes called arrowroot starch) and its place in Paleo baking/cooking here. I like Bob’s Red Mill arrowroot flour.

Together, these two flours/starches provide a flaky, sturdy crust.

 

What you need for this Paleo Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients for the crust:

  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons cassava flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, room temperature
  • 2-4 tablespoons room temperature water, depending on how much is needed
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot flour/starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup palm shortening, chilled

While usually you want all your crust ingredients cold, in this case only the shortening should be cold. If everything is cold the crust will be too stiff and crack more easily. So the other ingredients should be at room temperature.

Ingredients for the filling:

Equipment for the crust:

Equipment for the filling:

 

Paleo Pumpkin Pie next to a bowl of whipped coconut cream with a spoon in it and a white plate with a slice of pie and a fork, all on a green napkin on a wooden table

How to serve this paleo pumpkin pie

I love whipped cream with just about any dessert and I have a comprehensive tutorial to prove it. (Seriously, there are so many options for whipping cream!) But if you want to keep this dairy-free, the next best choice is whipped coconut cream.

Chill 2 cans of full-fat coconut milk in the fridge for at least 24 hours. Turn it upside down, open the can and pour out the coconut water (but keep it handy). Scoop out the coconut cream into a bowl and add maple syrup or honey.

Start whipping with a hand mixer, adding a bit of coconut water at a time to loosen and fluff up the cream. Whipping regular cream for too long will turn it into butter but you don’t have to worry about that here! Just keep whipping until it’s as smooth and fluffy, approximately 2-3 minutes.

 

Paleo Pumpkin Pie next to a bowl of whipped coconut cream with a spoon in it, all on a green napkin on a wooden table

 

Your Thanksgiving dessert is done

Pie is a project. Pie will always be a project. Since it does take a bit of time, I highly recommend baking the crust the day before for convenience.

However, I think the filling is best eaten the day it’s made so I would bake the pie earlier in the day before the turkey goes in the oven. Or, if there’s time, you can bake it once everything for dinner is out of the oven. Keep in mind that the pie bakes for 40-45 minutes and cools in the oven for 30 minutes.

Once you set this Paleo pumpkin pie out for dessert, with its mysteriously deep amber filling and cute fluted crust, no one will care what it contains or doesn’t contain. They’ll just be happy to eat it.

 

Other recipes you might like:

  1. Paleo Pecan Pie
  2. Mini Salted Rosemary Rum Pecan Pies (gluten-free, dairy-free)
  3. Paleo Pumpkin Bread
  4. Paleo Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

 

2 images of Paleo Pumpkin Pie on a green napkin on a wooden table
Paleo pumpkin pie on a cooling rack with a white towel and coconut cream-covered hand mixer beaters next to a bowl of coconut cream, all on a green napkin
Print Recipe
5 from 13 votes

Paleo Pumpkin Pie with Nut-Free Crust

A rich, warmly spiced pumpkin filling set in a flaky crust is exactly what your Thanksgiving table needs. It's Paleo (dairy-, grain-, gluten- and refined sugar-free) and also nut-free as well!
Don't be intimidated by the long instructions! It takes longer to explain than to do (well, almost) and I want to make sure the instructions are clear.
Prep Time1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 5 mins
Chilling/resting time2 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cassava flour, nut-free, paleo, paleo dessert, pie, pie crust, pumpkin, pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice, thanksgiving
Servings: 8 slices
Author: Don Baiocchi

Ingredients

For the crust (all at room temperature except for the palm shortening):

  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons cassava flour, plus more for for rolling out the dough
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2-4 tablespoons water, depending on how much is needed
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup palm shortening, chilled

For the filling:

  • 1 (15 oz. can) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk (with the water and cream well blended)
  • teaspoons maple extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

For the whipped coconut cream

  • 2 (15 oz. cans) full-fat coconut milk, chilled for at least 24 hours
  • 4-6 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Instructions

For the crust:

  • Cover a large cutting board with parchment paper and sprinkle cassava flour over the parchment.
  • Whisk the egg and maple syrup together. Fill a measuring cup with the water.
  • Whisk together the 1 cup and 2 tablespoons cassava flour, the arrowroot flour and the salt in a large bowl.
  • Cut the chilled palm shortening into 1/2" pieces and add to the flours. Use your a pastry cutter (recommended) or your fingers to grind the shortening into the flour, breaking it down into smaller bits that are coated in flour. Since it's cold, you might need to use both hands to smoosh down the bigger pieces. You should have pea-sized pieces and smaller bits.
  • Add the whisked egg and maple syrup and use your hands or a silicone spatula to squeeze and knead the egg mixture into the dough.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of water and squeeze and knead the dough to incorporate the water. If necessary, keep adding the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough starts to come together. You're looking for something like play dough but still with just a few crumbs. If it's really sticky, add more cassava and arrowroot, 1 tablespoon each at a time, until it becomes more like play dough.
  • Plop the dough (technical term) onto the floured parchment and press into a disc roughly 1" thick. Sprinkle on a bit more cassava flour and cover with another layer of parchment. (To wash your hands, use soap and the hottest water you can stand.)
  • Roll out the dough until it's an approximately 12" circle. Start with the rolling pin in the center of the dough. Pressing gently, roll it away from you, then lift it back to the center to roll it toward yourself, the center and to the left, the center and to the right, and then the center and out diagonally into all 4 corners. Repeat the process until it's the right size.
  • Carefully peel off the top layer of parchment. With your pie dish nearby, carefully slide your hand under the bottom parchment layer and quickly flip the dough over the pie dish, keeping it centered as much as possible. Carefully peel off the parchment. The dough might crack and break but that's okay! Gently raise the edges and tuck the dough down along the sides into the bottom. Use your fingers to pinch and press together any cracks. If you find that your fingers are sticking to and ripping the dough, fill a glass with warm water and dip your fingers in and then gently dry them so they're just damp.
  • Pull off any large pieces hanging over the rim of the dish. Use the extra pieces to create a tall, thick layer around the edge of the rim (the dough will shrink a bit as it cools/bakes). You might not need all the dough. If you want, create a fluted edge by using one index finger to press the dough between the index finger and thumb of the other hand.
  • Chill uncovered for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day.
  • Heat the oven to 350°.
  • Line the crust with parchment paper. Fill the paper with pie weights, dried beans or small dry pasta noodles. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the weights and paper and bake for another 8-10 minutes, until slightly browned. Cool completely.

For the filling:

  • Heat the oven to 350°.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the filling ingredients just until blended (make sure the water and cream in the coconut milk are well blended before adding to the filling mixture). Don't whisk any longer than you have to so as to not incorporate too much air. This would cause the filling to rise too much and then sink, creating cracks.
  • Pour the filling into the cooled pie crust and gently tap on the counter (picking up the dish an inch or so and dropping it on the counter) to let any air bubbles escape. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the edges are set but the center is still slightly jiggly. Turn off the oven, crack the door open (I use a wooden spoon to keep it just barely open) and leave the pie in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove and serve warm, room temperature or cold. This is best eaten the day it's made.

For the whipped coconut cream:

  • Be sure to chill the coconut milk for at least 24 hours.
  • Turn the cans over and open the bottom. Pour out and reserve the coconut water.
  • Add the coconut cream to a medium bowl with 4-6 tablespoons maple syrup or honey and vanilla. Whip with a hand mixer, adding the coconut water 1 tablespoon at a time until it's fluffy and smooth, approx. 2-3 minutes. I like to serve this separately so everyone can choose how much they want. Plus I don't want to cover up the beauty of the pie (humor me, but it's true).

Notes

The crust can be formed 2 days in advance and chilled, covered, in the fridge. It can be baked one day in advance, cooled to room temperature, and chilled, covered, in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before adding the filling.
The filling can be made 1 day in advance and chilled. Bring to room temperature before adding to the crust.
The pie is best eaten the day of. By the next day, the bottom crust will start to soften (but the filling and crust edges will still be good). Chill covered leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.
The whipped coconut cream can be made up to 3 days in advance. Remove from the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving and re-whip if necessary.

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