This Crustless Pumpkin Pie is refined sugar free and gluten free, and deliciously creamy with just the right amount of sweetness. And you wouldn’t believe how EASY it is to make! Read the post for tips that will guarantee PERFECT results every time.
This crustless pumpkin pie pudding is so satisfying and silky smooth that you won’t miss the crust at all. Plus, you can make it all in ONE bowl!
Ladies and gentlemen, this here is THE BEST Crustless Pumpkin Pie in the world! 🙂 No exaggerations really, as far as no crust pumpkin pies go, this one takes the um… pie.
Let me first say that I’ve got nothing against pie crusts. In fact, I love pie crust so much that I could eat it on its own. But let’s face it, pie crusts can be a pain in the ass to make. And if I’m making this for family on Thanksgiving day or for friends and guests, I’d rather make my life easier by not having to worry about a finicky pie crust.
So why is this the BEST crustless pumpkin pie?
- Simple ingredients.
- Super simple to make, can make it all in one bowl.
- Gluten free and refined sugar free.
- Foolproof recipe that guarantees delicious, creamy, silky smooth, absolutely perfect results, every time (no weeping or curdling).
- Flexibility to make this either as one large pie to feed a crowd. Or in smaller/individual portions as personal pumpkin pie custards (which is even faster to make).
- Don’t need to worry about pie crusts.
I’ve made this recipe a bunch of times. Made all the mistakes while trying to perfect this gluten free pumpkin pie, so that you don’t have to! 🙂 It’s sweetened with maple syrup which makes this no crust pumpkin pie even more flavorful in my opinion (and also refined sugar free). But you’re welcome to use honey or white sugar or brown sugar if you prefer.
My favorite way to serve this crustless pumpkin pie is to slice it like a pie (duh), and serve with whipped cream. You can do the same. Or let your guests scoop it like a pudding into cups. After all, this tastes and feels like a really creamy pumpkin pie pudding too.
For even better results, you can flavor your whipped cream for even more flavor. Use maple syrup, brown sugar, bourbon, vanilla, cinnamon or any other flavor you like. My husband likes it with slightly sweetened whipped cream, I prefer it with a drizzle of extra maple syrup on top.
But the best part is that this no crust pumpkin pie is healthy enough for breakfast too! Just add some granola and Greek yogurt and you have yourself a pumpkin pie parfait.
My first attempt at making this gluten free pumpkin pie was to follow the famous Libby’s no crust pumpkin pie recipe with the refined sugar as well. So I followed the pumpkin pie recipe on the Libby pumpkin can, without the crust. Unfortunately, I was so disappointed with the results, even after following the recipe precisely as stated.
Here’s the one thing you need to keep in mind when making no crust pumpkin pie. Without the crust, the pumpkin pie filling is essentially a pumpkin flavored custard. Therefore it relies on eggs to set it into a creamy, smooth filling.
The two biggest problems I had with some crustless pumpkin pie recipes including Libby’s recipe were,
- Weeping (technical term for that is syneresis)
When a custard is baked at a high temperature, the eggs in the custard bake too rapidly. This leads the eggs to coagulate and separate into curd and whey. That’s because the egg proteins form a very tight network (curds). This tight network causes the water to be “squeezed out” (whey), causing the baked custard to weep. This also makes the custard taste and feel like it’s curdled.
The original Libby’s famous crustless pumpkin pie recipe tests the doneness with a knife inserted into the custard. Then checking whether it comes out clean. I followed this recipe against my better judgement, hoping that the custard would somehow come out OK. But my gut feeling was correct. The problem is, your custard is already overbaked by the time you reach this level of doneness (or will be overbaked by the residual heat).
So here are my solutions to prevent weeping, curdling and overbaking of this no crust pumpkin pie
Solution #1 – Reduce the oven temperature. Baking this crustless pumpkin pie at 350°F as suggested in the original recipe will most definitely cause the eggs in the custard to cook too quickly. This will lead to a curdled texture and weeping pumpkin pie custard. I cook this crustless pumpkin pie at 300°F, so that it cooks low and slow. Allowing for more even baking, and reducing the chances of the eggs overbaking. You can lower the chances of weeping and curdling even more by baking this custard in a water bath. But it’s not necessary. Also remember to preheat oven before placing the crustless pumpkin pie inside.
Solution #2 – Adding cornstarch to the custard. The starch molecules expand as they cook with the water in the custard. Then they can act as a buffer to prevent the eggs from curdling. The result is a creamy, pudding like pumpkin pie.
Solution #3 – Don’t wait until the “inserted knife comes out clean” stage. I always remove this pumpkin pie pudding while the middle is still a bit runny or jiggly. The residual heat will continue to cook the custard to perfection.
Solution #4 – Allow the crustless pumpkin pie to cool completely after baking. It’s important to let the pumpkin pie cool completely, before covering it with plastic wrap and refrigerating it. Let the excess water evaporate while it cools down, uncovered, to prevent the water re-entering the pumpkin pie pudding.
Solution #5 – Use of a thermometer. Since every oven and baking dish can transfer heat differently, it’s hard to say exactly when the custard is done. The foolproof way to know when the custard is perfect and is ready to come out, is to use a thermometer.
Cooking this crustless pumpkin pie to an internal temperature of 165°F – 170°F ensures that you get perfect, creamy, smooth results. I prefer a good medium of 167-168°F, and NEVER over 175°F.
More tips to make a perfect gluten free crustless pumpkin pie
- Do not add the pumpkin pie spice mix into the egg mix. The eggs are gloopy and can cause the spices to clump up and not distribute evenly. So I prefer to always mix the spices with the cornstarch and maple syrup first. Make sure it’s well mixed through. Then add this to the egg mix and whisk. This way, the spices will disperse more evenly through the custard.
- By following the order of ingredients added that’s indicated in this recipe, you can make this no crust pumpkin pie pudding using only 1 bowl!
- Butter the baking dish or pie plate with a very thin coating of butter.
- Pour the custard into the dish and knock it on your kitchen counter-top a few times to knock out any excess air. Air bubbles on the surface of the custard can be removed easily. Use a blow torch to gently flame the surface of the custard.
- I prefer making this in a 9 inch glass porcelain pie plate / dish. It guarantees consistent results every time. I’ve made this in 1/2 cup ramekins and in individual pie dishes (1 cup capacity) as well (see pictures in the post).
- I usually place the pie dish/dishes on a baking tray and bake them in a preheated oven. This way it’s easier to remove the dishes from the oven and even to rotate them half way through the cooking process.
- When the baking is done, I remove the baking tray (with the pumpkin pie dish) from the oven first. Then immediately transfer the pumpkin pie dish/dishes on to a cold surface. Otherwise, the residual heat from the baking sheet/tray will cook the custard further.
- When the crustless pumpkin pie custard has been transferred to a cooler surface, let it cool completely to room temperature. This can take 15 minutes on a very cold day, or up to 1 hour on warmer days. Only then, transfer it to the fridge, wrapped in plastic wrap. Otherwise the condensation will cause the pumpkin pie to “weep”.
Can I make this with canned pumpkin pie filling?
I wouldn’t recommend it. This is made with 100% pumpkin puree, and this is different from the canned pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling is already spiced, and yet somehow less flavorful!
So stick with 100% pumpkin puree and add your own spices to get the best results.
Can I make this dairy free?
YES! I have had some readers who have made this pie dairy free. They used coconut milk instead, with great results.
I do prefer evaporated milk because it’s so creamy. But if you use a good quality coconut milk with a higher fat percentage you should be OK. Do NOT use light coconut milk though.
This refined sugar free, gluten free crustless pumpkin pie is guaranteed to be a hit at your Thanksgiving spread. And you can make it any time you want to whip up some simple, delicious pumpkin pie! It’s incredibly creamy, smooth and perfectly sweet, and just so satisfying that you won’t miss the crust at all.
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Crustless Pumpkin Pie Pudding
- Butter or coconut oil to butter the pie dish/dishes
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp cloves
- ⅛ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ tsp salt kosher salt or sea salt
- 1 ½ tbsp cornstarch (cornflour)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 15 oz canned pumpkin puree 1 can
- 12 fl oz evaporated milk 1 can
- Sweetened whipped cream optional
- Maple syrup optional
- Preheat oven to 300°F and butter a glass porcelain 9 inch pie dish, OR 5 mini pie dishes (1 cup capacity), OR 9 ramekins (½ cup ramekins).
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, salt and cornstarch. Whisk this mix until there are no lumps in the cornstarch.
- Add half of the maple syrup and whisk it in until the cornstarch is completely dissolved and there are no lumps. Then add the rest of the maple syrup and the vanilla and mix well.
- Add the 2 eggs and yolk, and whisk to combine.
- Add the pumpkin puree and whisk until it's mixed in well.
- Stir in the evaporated milk. Make sure that the evaporated milk is also mixed in well.
- Pour the prepared pumpkin custard into the 9 inch pie dish. Knock the pie dish on a hard surface like your kitchen counter firmly (don't break the dish though!), a couple of times, to remove any air bubbles. See recipe notes on how to bake this crustless pumpkin pie in smaller dishes.
- Place the pie dish in the preheated oven and bake for 60 - 70 minutes, rotating the pie dish halfway through the cooking time (30 minutes).
- If you have a thermometer, check for an internal temperature of 165 - 170°F in the middle of the pie. If you don’t have a thermometer, remove the pie from the oven while the middle still seems a bit runny or jiggly, but the edges are set - this should take between 60 - 70 minutes.
- Remove the pie dish from the oven and keep it in a cool, dry place to cool down, UNCOVERED. When the pie has completely cooled to room temperature, cover the pie dish and refrigerate overnight. Keep the pumpkin pie pudding in the fridge until you're ready to serve.
- Slice the crustless pumpkin pie pudding into 8 - 10 servings, and serve with sweetened whipped cream and a drizzle of maple syrup (optional).
Tips & Tricks
- Measure the pumpkin pie custard into the smaller ramekins using a measuring cup. Add ½ cup of the custard into the ½ cup ramekins, and 1 cup of the custard into the mini pie dishes.
- It’s easier to move the dishes in and out of the oven if you place them all on a larger baking sheet/tray. I use a half baking sheet.
- Bake the ½ cup ramekins for about 22 - 25 minutes. The ramekins I used are the flat ramekins, where the pumpkin pie custard only fills up about 1 1/2 inches deep. If it's a taller baking dish, the custard will take longer to bake.
- Bake the 1 cup mini pie dish for about 30 minutes (the pumpkin pie custard only fills up for about 1 1/2 inches.)
- Remove the baking tray from the oven, and then transfer the smaller dishes onto a cold surface to let the individual pumpkin pie puddings cool completely.
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