Gluten Free Pecan Pie + My Thanksgiving Round-Up 2011

Pecan Pie with Gluten Free Pie Crust | @Susan Salzman |

I have been an avid reader of Cooks Illustrated Magazine since 1980. In the November/December 1995 issue they had Perfect Pecan Pie – 3 ways. A traditional, a triple chocolate chunk, and a maple-pecan.

Of course, I had to try each version. The chocolate, although good, it was too sweet. The traditional was my favorite and remains my favorite to this day.  The original recipe calls for corn syrup. Over the last few years I have become hyper aware of what is going in not only my body, but my kids bodies as well. Soda is off limits, as are “air heads” or any other type of candy of that nature, no pre-packaged cookies, and making my own condiments, sauces, and marinades is a weekly activity.

#Gluten Free Pie Crust | @Susan Salzman |

Thanksgiving is upon us and Thanksgiving isn’t Thanksgiving without my pecan pie. Yet, how was I going to avoid using corn syurp in this dessert? Then I remembered a conversation I had had with my friend Carrie and she discovered that if one cooks maple syrup to 225*, it becomes a good alternative to corn syrup. I gave it a try.

It came pretty darn close to the original, yet a bit sweeter.  Once smothered in vanilla ice cream, you couldn’t tell the difference. I also opted to switch up the crust. As I start to play with omitting white sugar and white flour from our diet, experimenting with alternative ingredients can be a hit and miss endeavor. I am not there yet and I have a long way to go, but I am giving myself E for effort. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I turned once again to Carrie and made one of her crusts.  Happily, result was positive.

As I share a piece of this pie with you, I am also sharing many more wonderful recipes from friends, those that I admire from afar, as well as blogs that I enjoy reading. What are you making this Thanksgiving and how are you showing those that you love and adore you are grateful to have them in your life?

Thanksgiving Appetizers | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comAppetizers:
Pumpkin Seed Pesto – The Flourishing Foodie
Pickled Carrot Sticks – Mele Cotte
Rosemary-Parmesan Crackers – Lemons + Anchovies
Spicy Roasted Chickpeas – Anja’s Food 4 Thought
Marinated Olives w/Sun-Dried Tomatoes + Fennel – Cookin Canuck
Marinated Goat Cheese – Umami Girl
Homemade Potato Chips – Cupcakes + Cashmere

Thanksgiving Cocktails | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comCocktails/Drinks
Apple Cider Rumtini – Healthy and Sane
Persimmon Mojito – The Urban Baker
Pear Cider – Pham Fatale
Spiced Mulled Cider – Organic Spark
Kentucky Hot Toddy – Food 52
Amaretto Cranberry Cocktail – Inside the Kaganoff Kitchen
Spiced Cranberry Prosecco Punch – Heather Christo Cooks

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls – Foodess
Whole Grain Corn Bread – 100 Days of Real Food
Basic Dinner Rolls – Kitchen Corners
Almond Flour Drop Biscuits – Roost Blog

Spicy Sweet Potato Soup – Dine and Dish
Roasted Pumpkin Bisque – Eat Well, Live Free
Puree of Pumpkin Soup – The Urban Baker
Spicy Carrot + Cilantro Soup – Eating Rules
Celeriac Soup – For the Love of Food

Rustic Fall Salads | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comSalad
Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad – The Urban Baker
Sesame Kale Salad – Running with Tweezers
Shaved Fennel Salad – 101 Cookbooks
Fall Garden Greens with Apples + Walnuts – Healthy Green Kitchen
Fuyu Persimmon Salad with Arugula + Pomegranate – Sippity Sup
Arugula Salad with Lemon, Balsamic, Parmesan, + Pine Nuts – Kalyn’s Kitchen

Thanksgiving Sides (always a favorite) | @Susan Salzman | www.theurbanbaker.comSides
Gluten Free Mushroom Rye Stuffing – Silvana’s Kitchen
Cranberry Raspberry Relish – The Urban Baker
Easy Cheese + Bread Pudding – A Communal Table
Roasted Parsnips – Simply Recipes
Skillet Carrots with Onion + Thyme – Orangette
Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin – Smitten Kitchen
Bacon Brussel Sprouts – Three Many Cooks
Rustic Herb Stuffing – The Urban Baker
Apple Orchard and a Savory Squash, Apple, + Quinoa Crumble – Cannelle et Vanilla
Crusted Butternut Squash – Sprouted Kitchen
Roasted Sweet Potato Discs with Herbed Goat Cheese – Dine and Dish
Roasted Delicate Squash Rings – Urban Chick Pea

Thanksgiving Desserts | @Susan Salzman |

Quince Pear + Dried Wild Blueberry Pie – Eat The Love
Creamy Spiced Pumpkin Dessert – A Food Centric Life
Real Salted Caramel Apples – Of Baking
Maple Walnut Custard Pie – Seven Spoons
Caramel Apple Tartlets – Savory Simple
French Apple Tart – My Photo Journal
Chocolate Fig Tart – Gourmande in the Kitchen
Pumpkin Turnovers – Kitchen Confidante
No Bake Pumpkin Cream Pie – Joy the Baker
Pumpkin Upside Down Cake – La Tartine Gourmande
Sweet Potato Pie Recipe – Browneyed Baker
Pumpkin Bread Pudding w/Bourbon Vanilla Sauce – Dishing Up Delights
Mini Pecan Tassies – The Urban Baker
Pie Crust Primer – Bake at 350*
Pumpkin Caramels + Pumpkin Chocolate Cupcakes – I am Baker
Kabocha Cookies – Tokyo Terrace

Traditional Pecan Pie with a Gluten Free Pie Crust


Carrie’s Gluten Free Pie Crust
1 1/2 cups gluten free flour mix
1 cup rice flour
1/2 cup oat flour
3/4 tsp. unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 cup(8 oz.) unsalted, cold butter, cut into cubes

for the filling:
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup packed, dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp. sea salt
3 large, organic eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp. pure, vanilla extract
2 cups(8 oz.) pecans, toasted and chopped


for the pie crust:
• cut the butter into cubes and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
• in the work bowl of a food processor, fitted with the metal blade, pulse the gluten free flour mix, rice flour, oat flour, unflavored gelatin, and the sea salt. place in the freezer for 15 minutes to get good and cold.
• remove the work bowl from the freezer and give it a pulse or two. add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal or grainy sand.
• add about 10 tablespoons of water, one tablespoon at a time. pulse after each addition. you want the dough to just come together to form a ball. if you add too much water you will have a wet, sticky dough – and you don’t want that.
• refridgerate for at least 30 minutes.
• preheat oven to 375*.
• on a lightly floured work surface(I use a marble slab),roll pastry into a 14″ disc and 1/8-1/4″ thick. carefully wrap disc around your rolling pin and place in your into your pie dish. decorate the edges of the dough either by crimping with your fingers or with the back of a fork.
• using a fork, prick the dough about 20 times to prevent air bubbles.
• line pie crust with heavy duty foil and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
• remove pie crust from the freezer and fill the dish with pie weights, pennies, or dried beans.
• place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 14 minutes. carefully remove foil and bake for an additional 7-10 minutes. set aside. this can be done a day in advance. cover tightly and keep at room temperature.

for the filling:
• reduce oven temperature to 275*.
• while the pie crust is baking, place 1 cup of maple syrup in a heavy duty sauce pan with a candy thermometer attached. simmer until thermometer reaches 225*.
• in a medium, glass bowl, combine the butter, dark brown sugar, sea salt, and vanilla. when maple syrup is ready, pour into the bowl and whisk until all is combined.
• beat eggs in another bowl. temper the eggs by adding a 6 tablespoon(1 tablespoon at a time)  to the beaten eggs. once combined, add the egg mixture to the maple syrup/sugar mixture. add the vanilla.
• mix in the pecans and pour entire contents into the parbaked pie shell.
• bake 50-60 minutes or until the center feels soft when gently pressed.
• place on a wire rack and cool to room temperature.
• we like it topped with vanilla ice cream!

The Urban Baker /

Showing 21 comments
  • Amanda

    I love that tip about the maple syrup! This is a phenomenal round up, thank you so much for including me!

  • sally cameron

    Wow Susan, what a fantastic round up of recipes! No one will be without inspiration after reading this. Everything sounds wonderful, and great photos.

    I’ve been thinking about making a crustless pecan tart. You and I are always on the same path it seems! We’ll see if I get my experiment done this weekend.

  • Esi

    Amazing roundup! Thanks for the shout out 🙂

  • aida mollenkamp

    This looks like one delicious, roundup!

  • Jean (Lemons and Anchovies)

    What a beautiful Thanksgiving roundup. I’m flattered that you have included my crackers in your menu, thank you! Your pumpkin soup looks especially appealing on this cold, rainy day. Will have to try soon. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Georgia Pellegrini

    What an amazing array of recipes. I love the idea of reducing maple syrup as an alternative to corn syrup, I’ll definitely try that!

  • marla {family fresh cooking}

    Wow, what a GREAT feast 🙂 Lovely pie too! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  • Reply

    I do not like corn syrup either so I cannot wait to try the alternative using maple syrup. Thanks to you and Carrie for this post!

  • Nancy@acommunaltable

    Hi Susan!

    I always love reading about your experiments in the kitchen – sounds like you definitely accomplished your goal with the Pecan Pie. Lovely collection of Thanksgiving recipes and as Sally said, no one could lack for inspiration – thank you so much for including my bread pudding in the round up!!

  • Nancy@acommunaltable

    PS…. another substitute to corn syrup is Lyle’s Golden Syrup – been around for ages (like when my Grandmother was a child!) – it is cane sugar syrup.

  • Kristina Vanni

    What a great round up of recipes! I get excited about Thanksgiving dinner just reading the list! The maple syrup tip is very interesting. Can’t wait to try it someday!

  • Rachel Kaganoff Stern

    Thanks so much for including my cranberry cocktail. We just finished a gluten-free pumpkin muffin recipe – apparently it was gluten-free cooking day at your house and at mine!

    • Susan

      …not so good? gluten free is tough. i wish i had time to devote to it and really learn/master it

      • Susan

        sorry, didn’t see the rest of your comment. yes, trying to work with alternative grains and sweetners. such a hard task!

      • Rachel Kaganoff Stern

        We love our gluten-free pumpkin muffins. They turned out GREAT. Will post the recipe soon!

        • Susan

          can’t wait!

  • Chris

    This is some list for a fantastic feast! Thanks for including my carrots. 🙂 Love the top about the syrup.
    I can’t wait to share this recipe with a friend. I love that the crust is doable, without xanthum gum, etc. We can do the gelatin…thanks! Happy Turkey Day

    • Susan

      Chris – love our carrots and your blog. Happy to include you and happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! x

  • Lucy Lean

    Great pie and great round up – feel v full just reading the list of recipes you love for Thanksgiving!
    Happy hols to you x

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  • […] to check out GlutenFreeGirl. She’s the queen of gluten-free cooking. My friend Susan over at TheUrbanBaker has a gluten-free pecan pie that I need to try soon. If you haven’t looked at her blog […]

  • […] Gluten Free Pecan Pie by Urban Baker (middle row, right) […]

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