Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pumpkin Pie and Kinnikinnick Graham Crackers

*Update: Kinnikinnick now makes already crushed grahams for pie crusts.  So much easier!*

Oops, I burned the crust.
Last weekend I baked a pie.  A pumpkin pie.  With a gluten free graham cracker crust.  I should probably tell you that I’ve only made a handful of pies in my life, mostly apple pies with my mom doing the majority of the work and using a Pillsbury pre-made crust.  I also made a raspberry pie once trying to woo my high school boyfriend.  I don’t remember if it was any good or not.

I spent the long weekend at home in Vermont visiting my parents and aunt.  It was a perfect fall weekend with foliage near peak and temperatures in the mid 70s.  I had already baked two loaves of (gluten filled) banana bread for my folks when my dad started talking about pumpkin pie.  I’ve been waiting for an excuse to try Kinnikinnick's gluten free graham crackers for months now.  I promptly volunteered to make a pumpkin pie.

Let’s talk about these grahams first.  I hadn’t had a graham cracker in at least a year, but I thought these were pretty darn good.  So good that several of them didn’t make it into the pie.  Oops?  I’ll be using these grahams in future baking and also anxiously awaiting your invitation to a campfire next summer so we can make s'mores.
And now about the pie.  I looked up graham cracker pie crust recipes and came up with the one below.  It was really good, but for some reason the edges burned a little while the pie was baking.  This is what it looked like pre-pie filling:

I used this basic recipe for the pie part.  But let me admit something: I forgot to add the eggs.  I didn’t even know there were eggs in pumpkin pie.  There are.  So while the pie was good without them, I would add them next time.  Also, the idea of condensed milk has always creeped me out, but I decided to go for it anyway.  I have no idea what condensed milk is, but it worked.

Ingredients for the Crust:
1.5 cups gluten free grahams
6 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Ingredients for the Pie:
1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs
1.5 teaspoons cinnamon

1)    Pre-heat oven to 375.  Using a rolling pin, crush 1.5 cups worth of graham crackers (approximately 2/3 the package of Kinnikinnick grahams).  In a small bowl combine the crushed grahams, melted butter, and brown sugar.  Press into a 9 inch pie pan.  Bake at 375 for 7 minutes.  Take crust out and turn the oven up to 425.

2)    In a medium bowl combine the pumpkin, condensed milk, eggs, and cinnamon*.  Pour into the pie crust.

3)    Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then turn the heat down to 350 and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the middle is set.  When the pie is done, turn the oven off and let it cool in the oven to prevent cracking.

*If you like ginger, cloves, or nutmeg, use them.  You can also use a pre-spiced pumpkin mixture, but if you do, omit or decrease the amount of cinnamon.  I used pure pumpkin instead of a mixture because I was afraid it would be too sweet for my liking in combination with the sweetened condensed milk.

Even with my snafu of forgetting the eggs, I was pretty happy with my first pumpkin pie and gluten free graham cracker crust.  I will definitely make this pie again.

Anyone else ever forget a key ingredient?  Theories on why the edges of my crust burned a little?  Should I not have baked it first?  Invitations for a s'more date using these gluten free grahams?


  1. I don't think you need to prebake a crust if you are going to bake the filling too. I only prebake a crust if I'll be filling it with lemon or something that doesn't need to be baked again.

    Anyone have any ideas on a dairy free replacement for condensed milk? We've recently gone dairy free as well and I'm kind of stuck on this one.

  2. Maybe you could use coconut or soy-based creamers you can get in health food stores, and add sugar? The creamers are a little richer than plain soy milk or coconut milk.

  3. I didn't prebake the crust. I also added the eggs. It turned out perfect....thanks!!!!