Pumpkin pie has always been my all-time favorite dessert (and breakfast, for that matter). And I have to admit that I am a bit of a pumpkin pie snob. In my pre-Paleo days, I was well-known among my friends and family for making The Best pumpkin pie. It was a pie that converted many non-pumpkin pie lovers. Many people would say that the only pumpkin pie they liked was mine. My recipe was a secret, but it was based on my mother’s, which was a family recipe modified to accommodate my brother’s extensive food allergies.
I can give you the secrets to my old pumpkin pie recipe now, since I won’t be making it that way ever again. Because my brother was allergic to cinnamon, the spices were modified to replace it. As chance would have it, leaving the cinnamon out actually enhances the flavor of the pumpkin rather than hide it (you could of course, substitute my spices in this recipe with your favorite combination for pumpkin pie). Because my brother was allergic to dairy, the standard evaporated milk was replaced with soy-based baby formula, which added a wonderful richness and slight nuttiness to the pie. These modifications made the tastiest, creamiest, most awesome pie ever. And it was always our tradition to have pumpkin pie for breakfast the morning after Thanksgiving. Yum!
So, when I embarked on my adventure to Paleofy pumpkin pie, I didn’t want to create just another pumpkin pie recipe. Plenty of people have paloefied pumpkin pie simply by replacing the evaporated milk with full fat coconut milk and throwing it into an almond flour crust. No, I wanted to recreate MY pumpkin pie. The Best Pumpkin Pie. I wanted to make a pie that you can serve your non-Paleo friends and family and they would never know! A pie that can convert non-pumpkin pie lovers!
This pie is a very creamy-style custard pumpkin pie, which has always been my preference (think thick mousse). If you prefer a more solid pumpkin pie, simply reduce the water (you can add more pumpkin to replace the volume if you wish, but it is not necessary).
Because the goal was a pie so good that you can serve it to non-Paleo company, this is a bit sweeter than I would normally make for a Paleo dessert (not that it’s super sweet, it’s actually the same amount of sweeteners as other Paleo pumpkin pie recipes out there– but you will definitely feel like you’re having a treat). You could cut the honey and maple syrup down to 1/3 cup total if you wanted and just add a couple extra tablespoons of water.
I actually got the custard the way I wanted it on the third try with this pie. The biggest trick was the crust. I tried a few different Paleo pie crust recipes (anyone who follows me on Pinterest knows I was collecting different versions of Paleo pie crusts to use as a foundation to build from). I also tried several tweaks of a shortening-based version, which tasted great but remained too soft and crumbly. In the end, I came up with a crust that tasted great (especially in combination with the pumpkin custard), had the right texture, and held together beautifully. I hope you enjoy my version of pumpkin pie as much as my family and I do!
Note: If you want to just make the pumpkin custard, you don’t need the extra yolk leftover from making the crust. It will work just fine with 3 whole eggs.