An Alternative Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie is one of my favorite Fall desserts so I was excited to receive two small pumpkins in my recent CSA shipment. My brother invited us over for dinner last weekend and I wanted to experiment with making a grain-free dessert. I scoured the web and found many interesting recipes but opted to use this one from Straight Into Bed Cakefree and Dried. A delicious spiced filling on top of a ground nut crust — simple to make and a perfect start to the Fall season.

I followed the recipe as written and baked in a springform pan. I wasn’t sure if the pie would leak through the pan so I placed a cookie sheet on the rack below the baking pie to catch any drippings. There was one or two drips but overall it baked beautifully.

Pumpkin pie is the quintessential Thanksgiving dessert but sometimes I am rebellious and make it during the Summer. The kitchen smelled like holidays and it got me all excited and anxious for Thanksgiving. I miss my childhood Thanksgivings where aunts, uncles, and cousins filled my parents house. Since I live so far away from my family, Thanksgiving dinner is only with my brother and nieces. Don’t get me wrong, they are delightful but it’s just not the same.

I let the pie cool on the counter before removing from the springform. The filling is smooth and creamy, not as rich as some pumpkin pies but delicious nonetheless. I used my stick blender to puree the cooked pumpkin and not a single lump survived.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with the nut crust as I haven’t made one exclusively with nuts. Next time, I would make sure that all of the nuts are more finely ground. I let a few larger bits slip through and I didn’t care for the uneven texture. Taste-wise it was good.

Lately, I’m trying to be more conscious of fully using each ingredient and not wasting anything. When I cleaned my pumpkins, I made sure to retain the pumpkin seeds in a separate bowl. I rinsed in water and removed any remaining bits of flesh, then drained and patted dry. I placed onto a greased cookie sheet and baked at 325 for about 20-25 minutes (stirring once after 15 minutes). While hot, I placed into a mixing bowl and tossed with sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne. It made for a perfect spicy-sweet snack.

If you decide to serve your pumpkin pie with a dollop of whipped cream, then a sprinkle of roasted pumpkin seeds on top would make a lovely garnish!

Now, I’m eager for a succulent roast turkey. Mmmm, and cranberries. Thanksgiving cannot come quickly enough.

For another canned pumpkin recipe, consider this recipe for Pumpkin Nut Bars Using a Cake Mix.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • kat October 27, 2008, 2:03 pm

    Oh I bet the nuts & the pumpkin are just amazing together. It looks a little like a cheese cake to me but I bet has a much better pumpkin flavor

  • Lisa October 27, 2008, 2:11 pm

    I could easily eat this anytime of year. Just love the combination of nuts and pumpkin.

  • Peter October 27, 2008, 2:21 pm

    Allen, I like it…especially the nut crust…good find!

  • Peter G October 27, 2008, 5:36 pm

    The nut crust has me won over Allen. It’s almost a cheesecake in its appearance. I’m glad to see you’re enjoying the festivities.

  • Manggy October 27, 2008, 7:32 pm

    Ah, how nice of your brother to invite you to dinner– I’m not sure if my brother would ever do that, even if we have a good relationship, ha ha. What did you use to grind the nuts? I find that one go-through with a coarse sieve and re-grinding the remaining lumps is the easiest way to get it totally fine (without turning it into a nut butter). I love how you’ve kept it simple and healthy. It may not be as rich but it does look delicious. I will be tuning in next time to see what you did to the skin and the stem ;)

    My springform is a British brand (Prestige) and I haven’t had a leak so far. It’s a bitch to clean all those little crevices, though!

  • Gera October 27, 2008, 8:51 pm

    Hi Allen,

    This is an enchanting recipe and no matter the season of the year. You’re in Fall, here in Spring (and very cold indeed) so for me, looks great to try it now!…the roasted pumpkin seeds on top will be a pleasure for the eyes!

  • Q October 28, 2008, 6:43 am

    mmmmmmmm – I may try this as we went with Joelle to her first Pumpkin Patch this past weekend, and of course, we bought a pumpkin! I checked out the recipe and I found I already have most ingredients, except for the nuts! I was eagerly awaiting your next post, and so glad I checked again today! Thanks!

  • Susan from Food Blogga October 29, 2008, 6:41 am

    Oh, I’d take a slice of your alternative pumpkin pie any day. Course I’d be content with the roasted seeds too. :)

  • Aylin October 29, 2008, 7:35 am

    Can I have a slice, too?

  • RecipeGirl October 29, 2008, 1:38 pm

    Mmmm. Nice idea. It certainly looks yummy. I’m beginning to think about what sort of pumpkin pie dessert I’ll do this year for the big day!

  • Naomi Devlin November 8, 2008, 4:30 pm


    Glad you liked the pie. You’re right about the nuts, there’s a fine fine between pleasantly textural and big old lumps of nut, which you have to tread with care.

    x x x

  • Jason November 11, 2008, 8:54 pm

    Sounds fabulous and a good change of pace.

  • Amy December 8, 2008, 3:05 am

    The best way to eliminate drips it to wrap the bottom of your pan in heavy duty foil.

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