Friday, October 17, 2008

A Tale of Two Pumpkin Pies, Gluten Free Style

Annmarie called me two weeks ago and said, "I NEED PUMPKIN PIE. NOW."

I tried to entice her with spicy pumpkin bread with cream cheese frosting, but her resolution was strong. It had to be pumpkin pie, and she wasn't waiting until Thanksgiving.

Then she said something awesome: "I found GF pre-made pie crusts that come two to a pack. Now you don't have to struggle with pie dough!"

Well all right then! Let's make pie!!

Rose's Pumpkin Pie (GF)

October 11, 2008
Name of pies: Martha and Rose
Occasion: Annmarie Has Need
Constituents: Martha's Spicy Chocolate Pumpkin Pie in a GF Gingersnap Cookie Crust, and Rose's Classic Creamy Pumpkin Pie in a GF Pastry Crust

I got even more excited about this pumpkin pie thing on Saturday morning when I perused my November issue of Martha Stewart (don't hate me, BBC!) and there in full color was a triple chocolate pumpkin pie. Woo-hoo! Let's make pie!!

Martha's Chocolate Pumpkin Pie (GF)

Annmarie came over that evening and we made our shopping list. She was going to make RLB's pumpkin pie, which we have made the last two years running. The first year we made it, we decided it wasn't spicy enough. Rose purposefully scaled back the spices in order for the delicious pumpkiny flavor to shine through, but we missed the spices. So we added them back in.

Annmarie was in charge of RLB's pie, which when you aren't making a freaking pie crust comes together fairly quickly and easily. In terms of spices, she doubled the cinnamon, added cloves, ginger and cardamom. I didn't really document this pie, as it have been documented on this blog before:
So that left me to make Martha's Triple Chocolate Pie.

The triple chocolate comes from the semi-sweet chocolate that gets melted and incorporated into the pumpkin pie filling, the bittersweet chocolate that is melted and brushed over the cookie crust, and the milk chocolate that is drizzled over the top of the pie.

I skipped the milk chocolate drizzle--too lazy.

The recipe calls for a graham cracker crust, but since we were going gluten-free, we chose to do a GF gingersnap cookie crust. Yum!

I constantly forget that GF stuff doesn't absorb liquid like gluten-full things do. So when I mixed the cookie crumbs with the melted butter it shouldn't have been a surprise that it was kind of...greasy. And when I pulled it out of the oven after its prebake, it wasn't too shocking that it had fallen down into a sad little buttery lump in the middle of the pie plate. I crumbled up more cookies and added the crumbs to the plate and re-pressed out the pie shell; the crust held up but it was still really buttery. Note to self: decrease butter for a GF cookie crust.

Martha's Chocolate Pumpkin Pie (GF)

The pie filling came together pretty easily and quickly. The recipe says to bake the pie for about an hour, until the middle is set but still wobbly. After an hour in my oven, the middle was certainly still wobbly, but was it set? The sides looked much more set than the middle, but I decided that an hour bake was going to be good enough, so I pulled it out, let it cool, and refrigerated the pie overnight.

Sunday morning Annmarie came over so that we could sample our pies.

Rose's pie was creamy and delicious. The GF pie crust was flaky and buttery, but a little salty. Annmarie has decided she wants the pie to be even spicier.

Rose's Pumpkin Pie (GF)

Martha's triple chocolate pie was outrageously good. We had it two ways: cold from the refrigerator and later at room temperature. It tasted better at room temperature, had a very creamy texture, and was really spicy and chocolaty. The pumpkin flavor was muted--but it wasn't completely lost. I think the chocolate and the pumpkin were nicely balanced, but what I really loved about this pie was how spicy it was. It reminded me of a chocolate chai, which is spicy chai steamed with milk and cocoa powder--chocolaty, spicy, yet not too sweet.

Martha's and Rose's Pumpin Pies

I think I liked Martha's pie better, only because chocolate and chai spices are one of my most favorite flavor combinations. I like pumpkin pie, and Rose's is deliciously smooth and creamy, but chocolate-chai-pumpkin pie will win me over every time.


  1. Two pies! Loverly. The chocolate pumpkin pie sounds delicious and different.
    I wish I had friends I could call up and say, 'I need pie!' and they would respond positively.
    I have to make my own pies. So terribly sad, isn't it?

  2. oooh, you had me at "chocolate chai"! I'm going to have to try this one too. Yum!

  3. Melinda, it was really cute when she called me up demanding pie. She did make her own pie, just to clarify, but I had to get in on he baking action!

    Amanda, I thought you might be intrigued by chocolate chai!