This post comes courtesy of Alexa Croft, blogger at Lexie’s Kitchen.
Entertaining friends and family on modified diets can be daunting. What works as an egg substitute? What do I use in place of wheat flour? Milk? Well, not to worry. This holiday season we’ve got you covered with an easy, allergy-friendly pumpkin pie.
Using a short list of ingredients, you can whip up a holiday classic that everyone at the feast can enjoy. Free of the top food allergens — including, but not limited to, gluten, dairy, eggs, wheat, corn and soy — this pumpkin pie filling is suitable for vegetarians and vegans as well. And better yet, it can be enjoyed one of three ways:
- The “Fancy” Crust Pumpkin Pie: You have the time and ambition to make a decorative crust. How about embellishing the edge using fall pie crust cutters prior to prebaking? These handy cutters can transform a humble pie into a holiday centerpiece — and, hint, can be easier than crimping the edge of a gluten-free crust!
- Upside-Down Mini Crusted Pumpkin Pies: Short on time — and patience? No-fuss, upside-down mini pies are equally as festive. Line bottoms of small soufflé dishes or ramekins with rounds of crust. Prick with a fork and prebake. When cool, fill with pumpkin filling and refrigerate until set. Run a knife around the edges, invert and gently coax the pies out of their molds onto serving plates. Top with Coconut Whipped “Cream” Topping (recipe below) and a decorative pie crust cutout.
- Crustless Mini Pumpkin Pies: Technically speaking, is a pie without a crust really a pie? Regardless, this pumpkin filling sets perfectly without eggs or baking and can stand on its own. For crustless mini pies, pour hot pumpkin pie filling into small soufflé dishes or ramekins. Refrigerate until set. Run a knife around the edges and invert onto serving plates. Top with Coconut Whipped “Cream” Topping (recipe below) and a dusting of cinnamon.
Maple Pumpkin Pie Filling
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Vegan, No-Bake
1 can (15 oz.) pure pumpkin
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 can (14 fl. oz.) full fat Thai Kitchen® coconut milk
2 Tbs. tapioca flour
3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (see notes)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup water
2 tsp. agar-agar powder (not bar or flake, see notes)
In a blender, blend the pumpkin, maple syrup, coconut milk, tapioca flour, pumpkin pie spice, salt and vanilla until smooth. Set aside.
Pour the water into a saucepan, sprinkle the surface with the agar-agar powder and whisk. Bring to a boil, then gently simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk the pumpkin mixture into the simmering agar-agar. Return the mixture to a boil and gently simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
Pour the hot pie filling into a prebaked pie shell (recipe follows). Refrigerate until firm and set, 3 to 5 hours. Serve chilled or bring to room temperature. Either way, with the help of the agar-agar, the pie will remain firm.
Notes: Thai Kitchen® coconut milk may be found in the Asian section of most major grocery chains. Agar-agar is a plant-based gelatin derived from seaweed. Agar-agar powder may be found at Asian markets, many natural grocers and on Amazon. Be sure to buy agar-agar powder, not bars or flakes. Alternatively, in place of the pumpkin pie spice, you may use 2 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg and 1/8 tsp. ground cloves.
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegan
The gluten in wheat flour does a beautiful job binding dough. However, when working without it, pay particular attention to some steps in order to ensure success. Following is a gluten-free pie crust recipe using readily available ingredients. For instructions and tips on making this gluten-free dough and crust, visit Simply Gluten-Free. Additionally, watch a helpful Culinary Institute of America gluten-free crust video tutorial. Note that some individuals are sensitive to xanthan gum, a binder commonly found in gluten-free flour mixes. The gluten-free King Arthur® flour mix used here is one of the few that does not include xanthan gum. In this recipe, flax (or chia) meal is used in place of xanthan gum.
1/2 cup Spectrum Organic Shortening
4 to 8 Tbs. cold water
1 1/4 cups King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour, plus more for rolling
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. sugar
3 Tbs. ground flax seed or ground chia seed
For instructions and technique, visit Simply Gluten-Free. Follow the directions for pre-baking. Optionally, if your guests are tolerant of dairy and xanthan gum, you may choose to follow Carol Kicinski’s recipe, as is, at Simply Gluten-Free.
Notes: This recipe makes one 9-inch pie crust. Double if you plan to make decorative cutouts. Flax and chia seed may be ground to a fine meal using a coffee or spice grinder.
Coconut Whipped “Cream” Topping
A whipped topping is the” icing on the cake” for most pies. For someone who has gone dairy-free, this Coconut Whipped “Cream” Topping makes a decadent, safe replacement and is loved by children of all ages! The only tools required are an isi® Gourmet Whip and iSi® N2O Cream Chargers. See the recipe and how-to’s here.
An Allergy-Friendly Reminder: A food allergy can be a serious matter. If you are dealing with severe allergies or intolerances, always read labels or check with the manufacturer prior to consumption of any food product. Ingredients and processes are subject to change at anytime, which means a once “safe” product or ingredient may not be “safe” the next time around. For the sensitive guests, establish an “allergy-safe” zone in the kitchen with dedicated utensils and cutting boards. Keep this area free of gluten, nuts and/or other potential allergen(s).
About the author: Alexa is a wife, mother, and avid recipe modifier. Her blog, Lexie’s Kitchen, caters to the gluten, dairy, soy, corn and egg-free among us. She resides with her family in Cheyenne, Wyoming.