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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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November 19 2011

Ultimate Walnut Pie Crust with Pumpkin Filling

By Worker Bee
166 Comments

Traditions are a big part of the holiday season for many people, but if you find yourself doing something strictly out of tradition and not because you particularly enjoy it, then it’s time for a new tradition. Or maybe, just time for a new recipe. Take pumpkin pie – it’s hard to imagine Thanksgiving without one, but too often it’s a soggy, bland dessert that disappoints. Made with a cup of sugar and white flour crust, it’s an indulgence that’s not always worth it.

But what if you broke from the traditional recipe by taking the granulated sugar and flour out and it actually made the pie taste better? What if this new and slightly untraditional version of pumpkin pie had a buttery, crunchy crust and silky-smooth filling? Sure, you could call this new and improved version Primal Pumpkin Pie, or, you could just call it by another name: Damn Good Pie.

The best place to start the re-invention of pumpkin, or really any pie you’re serving, is with the crust. Nut-based crusts don’t have the exact same flavor or texture as a crust that you roll out from a flour-based dough. However, the buttery-crumbly texture and naturally sweet flavor of a nut crust will pair really well with any of your favorite pie fillings: pumpkin, apple, berry, other fruits and chocolate. The natural sweetness of nuts also means that you can add less sweetener to your pie filling. Also, nut-based crusts are filling, so a small slice of pie is likely to fill you up and satisfy.

Almonds and walnuts tend to make crusts that hold together better than other nuts and using a tart pan instead of a pie plate gives the crust better shape. To avoid a soggy bottom, pre-bake the crust, then add your filling and continue baking until the filling is done. Nut crusts are a little fragile, so let the pie cool completely before cutting into it and use care when removing the pie from the pan.

The filling of Primal Pumpkin Pie is made with coconut milk instead of heavy cream, which gives the pumpkin a silky texture but doesn’t impart any detectable coconut flavor. A little bit of arrowroot powder ensures that the coconut milk filling firms up, or, you can opt to use heavy cream instead of coconut milk and skip the arrowroot. However, the coconut milk also gives the pie just a hint of sweetness, so a scant 3 tablespoons of maple syrup for the entire pie is the only additional sweetener needed. Throw in a generous blend of baking spices and their aroma alone will have you salivating as the pie bakes.

When you, and even your non-Primal friends and family, take a bite of Primal Pumpkin Pie it will confirm that change is a good thing. There is, however, one pie tradition that’s worth keeping – a dollop of whipped cream on top (of course, you can always make it with coconut milk instead of whole cream).

This recipe for pumpkin pie is a way to indulge without straying too far from healthy eating goals, but just because a dessert is Primal doesn’t mean you have a free pass to eat the whole thing by yourself. Primal or not, dessert is still dessert, a treat to be savored in moderation and shared with those you love. Besides, pie isn’t the only thing on the table. Fill up on succulent turkey, holiday veggies and savory stuffing first. Then treat yourself to a bite of something sweet.

The Ultimate Walnut Crust:

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Instructions:

Blend walnuts, baking soda and salt in a food processor until finely ground. Add butter and pulse until butter is mixed in.

Scrape the batter into a 9-inch tart pan. You can use a rubber spatula to smooth the batter over the bottom and up the sides, but ultimately your fingers will be the best tool. Take your time smoothing and patting the batter out evenly. It’s better to spread the batter thinner across the bottom of the pan and thicker around the edges of the crust.

Place the pie on a cookie sheet (helps to keep the bottom from burning) and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove the crust from the oven and pour your filling of choice inside. Bake again until filling is done.

Pumpkin Filling:

Ingredients:

  • One 15-ounce can of pumpkin
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (found the spice section of grocery stores)
  • 3 eggs, whisked

Instructions:

Mix together all ingredients. Pour into the pre-baked crust. Don’t overfill the crust – you might have a little batter leftover.

Bake for 50 minutes. The center of the pie should be fairly firm and only jiggle a tiny bit if you shake the pan. Let the pie cool completely before cutting into it. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.


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166 thoughts on “Ultimate Walnut Pie Crust with Pumpkin Filling”

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    1. I have been 100% paleo since August and am in charge of Christmas dinner this year. I am thankful for this website I am definitely making this pie! I love walnuts and pumpkin! Yum! Thanks Mark:)

    2. The “pie” is bland. No depth if flavour, the crust could definitly use a little sugar and less butter. As a cook/ budding chef I would refrain from advertising this recipe ever again. This recipe needs some fine tuning.

      1. I made it last Thanksgiving and my family happily gobbled it up. It was absolutely delicious and I’ll be making it again tonight.

        If you’re concerned about depth of flavour, try roasting a real pumpkin instead of using canned purée. The crust really doesn’t need sugar if your tastebuds are acclimatized to eating less sweet foods. The walnuts caramelize nicely in the oven and become sweeter. But if it’s not sweet enough for you, try subbing in some pecans.

      2. As a budding chef/ cook you should know how to tune recipes to suit your tastes, and not leave snarky unconstructive criticism on the work of others.

      3. Raymond,

        if it’s too bland to you, use more sugar.

        but i really think you need to retrain your taste bud.

        (most commercial baked goods taste “bland” to me now, only single note of taste —- too sweet)

        regards,

        1. I went to culinary arts too. two different schools actually. I find it a little hard to believe he’s just trolling. I graduated, but I never bothered getting the job. the amount of drama and arrogance among the all the artists was appalling. I didn’t think the money was worth it if that was how it would be in the commercial kitchen. pompous is contagious in the field.

      4. Hi Raymond,

        As a “cook/budding chef” you should know to TASTE what you are cooking and adjust accordingly. You are ALLOWED to ADD spices, etc.

        Thanks Marks for the great recipes and all of the effort and POSITIVITY you put into everything.

  1. OMG, I woke up with no breakfast in the house, hungry as hell, log onto MDA and stare at a piece of pumkin pie!

    Just cruel

    Looks very delicious, I’m gonna try that one for thanksgiving.

    1. hahaha I had the exactly same response to this entry!! CRUEL! and tasty

  2. I think I’ll give it a shot with the hazelnut meal that is in the cupboard as i don’t care for walnuts much. Should be delicious!

    1. I agree, also cashews could work. Sometimes I make only the filling (lemon pudding, etc) and top it with whipping cream, sometimes covering it with crushed nuts. I’m about 90% paleo with 10% occasional pc of cake, some brown rice, Quinoa cereal or egg noodles and veg. dish.

      1. Raw foodists make a lot of faux-pastry crusts using cashews. Almonds and pine nuts are popular, too.

  3. I’m with you all the way till you get to the canned pumpkin. Try roasting your own delicata or kabocha or butternut squash and you’ll never go back to canned again. You’ll probably need less maple syrup as well — squashes are botanically fruits and hold their own in sweetness.

    1. Pumpkins are squashes. They’re just squashes that are lower in sugar. To those reading this who are watching their carbs, pumpkin’s lower than butternut. Don’t know about delicata or kabocha.

      By all means experiment with several winter squashes but there’s nothing *wrong* with pumpkin per se.

      1. Note that she said pumpkins are “botanically fruits”, which is true. In culinary terms, pumpkins are squash, but in botanical terms, they are fruits, as all squash are fruits.

        1. I’m pretty sure she was just referring to the fact that it was canned actually, not that it was pumpkin. And she’s right, roasting your own squash while it takes longer, is mighty tasty. I’m a big fan of roasting a fresh pumpkin to make a pie.

        2. However, much of canned “pumpkin” is in fact Hubbard Squash. Fruit – Pumpkin – Squash — All of the above. 🙂

    2. That’s funny. I used to use freshly roasted pumpkins for my pie, and then one year I didn’t feel like going to the effort and used canned instead. I noticed no difference. I’ve never gone back to roasting. It’s a lot of work and in my opinion, not worth it. Where I work on depth of flavor is in tweaking the spices and the pumpkin-egg ratio.

    1. Cavemen didn’t have thermometers. Be a real friggin’caveman and stick it on a fire! LOL!

  4. Use a real pumpkin. It tastes sooooo much better, and dare I say, sweeter.

    1. Yes, real pumpkin is the only way to go. It takes only an hour in the oven (400F) and you can easily freeze it for later.

    2. I would absolutely agree! I found baking my pumpkins whole (just remember to prick them so the steam can escape) meant the pumpkin was not watery. I also make mine with honey instead of maple syrup. We also make our crustless–just pure filling. No need even for whip cream on top as we use the heavy cream in the filling.

      1. Most markets have sugar pumpkins (they are much smaller and sweeter than the ones you carve for Halloween)and if you put the whole pumpkin in the oven at 350 degrees for about an hour it should be done. A knife should slide easily into the flesh. Doing it this way makes it so much easier to peal. Once you get all the seeds out, puree it until it is smooth.

  5. I was wondering what to make this year for dessert, now that I’m eating primal. This pie will be it! Oven temp? 350F is usually good for pies, so I guess that I’ll go with that. 🙂

  6. you know … that crust could be good with any old chocolate filling

  7. I’m so wary of using nut meal for, well, anything. Especially heated applications. So much oxidized omega 6. I just make pie crusts out of white rice flour and tapioca starch. I’d rather eat a couple hundred calories worth of carbs than 1,000 calories of oxidized omega 6. The coconut pumpkin pie filling sounds awesome, though. Definitely must try.

      1. Just use 1 cup of white rice flour and 1/4 cup of tapioca starch. From there, you can use any standard pie crust recipe that would typically call for all purpose white wheat flour. I like to put a little Greek yogurt in it, too.

    1. I’m kind of with you… how often does one use nut flour? Back in April of last year when I first went primal it seemed like people were enjoying baked goods as meals. I was really questioning this.

      But, as an alternative for regular pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving? I’ll be all over it. I’d rather have this pumpkin pie then any other pumpkin pie! Hands down.

    2. Grind the nuts yourself. That’s all nut meal is, anyway. 200 calories’ worth of carbs is 50g carbs and that’s far too much for some people, especially diabetics.

      1. From our years of living in the Alaskan bush, we learned to improvise, and pumpkins were not available. We used well cooked carrots, pureed, added the same spices, etc. and it was a very acceptable substitute for pumpkin. Anyone ever tried coconut oil as a substitute for butter in the crust?

        1. I made one with coconut oil just the other day. It worked well, but I mixed it with just ground almonds and some sea salt. It would probably work better with Mark’s recipe.

    3. I think that if you are primal eater in general that roasting (as long as they aren’t burnt) the nuts for this crust will not disturb the fat ratios in your body or do any lasting oxidation damage in your body. Pop a fish oil before you eat it if it’s a concern. I just didn’t want people to think that this recipe was unhealthy for the reason you mentioned. One of the great things about eating well in general is that the body is able to deal with things like baked nuts which have a lot more good things than rice flour. Nitpicking about every little thing one eats probably causes more stress on a body than having roasted nuts in a pie crust once a year for Thanksgiving.

    4. Walnuts are actually loaded with Omega 3s, which doesn’t mean you should use them for everything, but they would make a better choice than almonds which are heavy on Omega 6s.

  8. “…Just because a dessert is Primal doesn’t mean you have a free pass to eat the whole thing by yourself.” – Mark

    I should keep this in mind. I made a Grok friendly pumpkin pie last week and ate most of it myself…within 3 days.

  9. I agree with the others….sounds great but a simple guy like me needs the oven temp. I’ve promised my wife that I’ll only do Paleo cooking EXACTLY per the instructions since I’ve screwed up so many times (and she is a hard sell on PB living so far).

  10. Watch out for the amounts! I use a very similar recipe for pumpkin pie and it FILLS a 10 Inch pie plate. You may end up with twice as much filling as you need.

    Not a bad thing — You can also make a crustless pie on the side in and 8 or 9 inch pie plate with plenty of coconut oil to keep it from sticking.

    Temperature — I start my pie at 400 F for 15 min., then turn it down to 325 for about another 40-45 min.

    Note — without the crust, it’s not as filling, but is really more like a serving of primal, starch veg. Plus I usually substitute stevia for the sugar, tho I may try some maple syrup this year for the holiday.

    1. That’s exactly what I found when I made it, and I did the same thing! 🙂 Just tried this for the first time today as a way to celebrate my success on the Primal diet (and also to celebrate Thanksgiving of course!), and also for my brother’s success. I didn’t want to sabotage his (or my) efforts with the typical pies, so I made this recipe and we’re about to enjoy it. I ended up with extra filling and I just greased up a small 8 inch dish greased w/ coconut oil and we’ll have the crustless one to enjoy as well. I did use maple syrup- it’s so good. I used a generous 3 tablespoons, but no more.

  11. You can also mix walnuts and pecan nuts for the crust. Very tasty!

    1. I may do this… we have both walnuts and pecans in the house!

      I may make this… I always say this for recipes and I’ll be honest… I think I may have made 1 or 2 since April 5, 2010!

      BUT… I’ve been thinking about what to make for Thanksgiving. I really want to make something this time… I was tihnking of doing little smoothies but after seeing this… I may have to make some pumpkin pie! My almost primal brother would be all over it.

      Thanks Mark! You most definitely inspired me.

  12. Hey Mark, your butter is looking a little WHITE… what kind do you get? Butter should be YELLOW yellow yellow! Bring on the vitamin A 🙂 AND K2!

    1. It’s not going to be the same color all year round. I purchase grass-fed cream, and it’s yellower in spring and summer than it is in fall and winter.

  13. Wow that looks so awesome Happy thanksgiving
    I guess it is time to give myself a food proc!

    Mark you are turning me into a cook. How did i live all those years on trader joes frozen food and oatmeal.

  14. “dessert is still dessert”… riiight… like that’s not breakfast waiting to happen!

  15. I am so in the mood for this. Guess who will be cooking tomorrow. 😀

  16. Wow, this looks amazing! Wish I had thought to use walnuts or pecans last week when I was making pumpkin pie. I had two sugar pumpkins that needed to be eaten, so I used a traditional pumpkin pie recipe except halved the sugar and used heavy cream for the filling. For the crust, I used rice flour, egg, and butter. It was outrageously delish, and yes, some was eaten for breakfast, but this recipe looks like a worthwhile venture.

  17. This looks incredible, and thanks so much for posting it – we’ve been looking for a great way of including pumpkin pie in Thanksgiving dinner without slipping out of the primal realm.

  18. Is any adjustment necessary to the cooking time or other ingredients when using fresh roasted pumpkin instead of canned.

  19. WOW. I am dropping everything today to make this amazing recipe! I always wondered what the secret to a great nut crust and it must be the pre-bake in the tart pan. Bed, Bath and Beyond here I come.

  20. what size is that tart pan? don’t own one. and ,now the word “tart” conjures up the word “small”. so,eating the whole thing seems very feasible,especially if ti taste’s as good as it looks!!

    1. It says 9-inch tart pan. Seems to me a standard 9-inch cake pan would be okay to use, too.

      1. thank you,don’t know how I missed that. bigger than i thought but still, doable!LOL!

  21. YUM! I love pumpkin pie, and making the full move to Primal in 2012. I’ve been thinking about all the “one-off” foods I like, especially during the holidays, and researching how to adapt them. So glad I found this recipe. Definitely bookmarking it.

  22. Replace the maple syrup with stevia and you’ve got BREAKFAST!!

  23. That looks like dam good pie. I think it’s wonderful so many different recipes are popping up that are actually healthy. Where have they been all these years??

    Another thing you could try is using coconut palm sugar, it metabolizes at the same rate as carrots. The same glycemic index

  24. I tried making the filling with honey instead of maple syrup, coconut powder instead of coconut milk, added some stevia, raisins, macadamias and almonds and DAMN its good!! Forget the pie, pumpkin pudding is where its at! 😀

  25. Thanks so much for sharing. I made this recipe yesterday and it turned out really nice – excited to do it again for Thanksgiving guests. My only addition will be a bit more maple syrup or some honey to give it just a tough more sweetness. Also I did have extra filling left over so I just put it into ramekins and baked along with the pie.

  26. I’ve been making my pumpkin pie this way since last year. In fact I made one last week w/o crust! (pumpkin custard) I just didn’t think of using arrowroot, hmmm. I got a ton of squash frm CSA, so I have a freezer full of roasted squashes! Plus my dog loves it added to his food.
    also good to make primal pumpkin brownies 🙂
    (baking temp – everything bakes good at 350. I would say 30-45 min?? check with a tooth pick )
    (I cook professionaly, so I have an unfare advantage?)

  27. Oooh, I’ve been DYING to find a Primal-friendly pumpkin pie recipe! YAY!!! My bf makes awesome pumpkin pie, but he uses a traditional flour-and-sugar laden recipe. I felt awful turning it down while he was out to visit me this past week, but now I’ve found a way for him to keep making it AND stay true to my Grok-ness! Thank you so much Mark; you may have just saved my relationship!!! lol =)

  28. I use almond flour from Trader Joes’s and coconut oil for pie crusts…works great and doesn’t need baking soda, only salt!

    1. How much almond flour and coconut oil do you use for a single pie crust. I just bought both yesterday at TJ’s figuring there must be a recipe for this. I was thinking of getting coconut flour too to mix in. Anyways – would appreciate your recipe

      1. I’m not much for measuring…mostly I just eyeball the amount of flour it would take and put it in the pie pan, add some salt and a few tablespoons coconut oil till it sticks together enough. I use my fingers to press it around the pan.

  29. I’m enjoying a piece ultimate walnut pie right now!:) Delicious! I add 1/2 cup of black walnuts to the 2 cups walnuts great flavor.

  30. wow. this looks good.
    can i substitute almond meal tho. (have finished bag, don’t feel like getting walnuts)
    i’ll use creme Fraiche on top instead.

    thanks.

  31. NOM ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Will be making this one tonite!!!1

  32. Wondering what you guys think of honey as a substitute for maple syrup… we have honey but no good quality maple syrup….

  33. My American friend and I attempted to make this in London – sadly, despite converting amounts and temperatures it didn’t work out so well. Batch number two (probably less primal) will have be made tomorrow!

  34. I’m going to give this a try tomorrow. They didn’t carry arrowroot at the whole foods I went to. To avoid a wild goose chase tomorrow, any subs to use? I have tapioca starch…

  35. Having just rendered about 40 lbs of fat from our pigs into lard, I’m dying to try it and I’ve heard that it makes way better pastry than butter. Even though this recipe’s crust is not, perhaps, technically “pastry” I was wondering if anybody has tried making the crust using lard instead of butter?

    1. I have made crust with lard and it’s wonderful texture wise. If you’ve got some leaf lard it won’t impart an unusual flavor. Some lard is kinda “porky” though so I have made a slightly pork flavored crust before. No one in my family seemed to noticed though. They just scarfed it all down. So yeah, go for it.

  36. This looks so delicious. Even though i’m on a strict diet i’ll be having some pumpkin pie with vanilla ice cream for Thanksgiving tomorrow.

  37. So, I tried making this last night, and wasn’t terribly impressed. It wasn’t bad, and given the small amount of sugar, it’s probably a healthier option, but it was barely sweet (and the walnut crust was very slightly bitter, not really sweet at all), and wouldn’t satisfy much of a sweet tooth, IMO.

    I made this pie last week, and it was *excellent*: http://angiessuburbanoasis.blogspot.com/2011/10/paleoprimal-pumpkin-pie.html

    Though, I used Kerrygold butter and heavy cream instead of coconut oil and coconut milk, and added about a tablespoon of maple syrup to the crust. The crust was *delicious*. Like, could have been baked as its own dessert (I mean, it’s practically a macaroon).

    1. Thanks for the link. Angie’s pie looks really good though I will probably try to figure out some way to reduce the honey. I love many of Mark’s recipes but I did kind of have my doubts about a walnut crust. Btw, that’s a good idea about baking the crust as it’s own dessert! Something for when the cookie craving strikes.

  38. I followed the directions and made it exactly the way it was written. For some reason my crust was still gooey and mushy and definitely not hard. I baked the crust first at 350 degrees for 15 mins. I did it in a glass pie dish does that make a difference !?!?! I was so proud of myself and now i’m sad that my crust wasn’t anything but mush 🙁

    1. Yes a glass dish will make a difference, it transfers the heat differently.

  39. I agree with Keith. I made this for Thanksgiving and thought the actual pie part was a letdown. It was kind of tasteless and not sweet at all. I did use sugar-free maple syrup though (I’m following Atkins). Next time I might add some splenda or more sugar-free flavor. The consistency was good I felt (both the pie and crust – bake the pie at 350 BTW). Also, next time I’ll probably try Xantham Gum instead of Arrowroot (less carbs). I did like the crust though. However, I do appreciate the free recipes this site offers and will continue trying them. FWIW, we had the butternut squash mash under the comfort foods section and it was really good!

    1. Sugar-free maple syrup? Splenda?! You know the Primal way is all about natural ingredients, right? I think sugar replacements are probably worse (or as bad) as sugar itself.

      1. Ha, well, Atkins focuses on not raising blood glucose levels, which maple syrup and “natural” sugars do, so that’s why I chose those options. Atkins focuses a lot on natural foods too, but does allow those as options as long as you can tolerate them or want to use them. Anyway, I doubt you want to argue the merits of Atkins – I like to focus more on the similarities of the two ways of eating – which there are more of then differences. Anyway, I was giving my feedback on this recipe and needed to be clear on how I changed it for anyone that wanted to take my comments to heart.

        Take care.

      2. Hi,

        I agree with CaptSaltyJack.

        the sweetness was fine with me. we should just retrain our taste bud to appreciate. if it’s not sweet enough, i’d rather add sugar then sweetener.

        i made it with almond flour (+ lard & butter). the crust is flaky but still tastes good.

        next time, i’ll use heavy cream; coconut products just disagree with my stomach (ache) also more nutmeg.

        regards,

  40. Baked the filling in ramekins. Followed the recipe using the cream option, used a sugar pumpkin that I had roasted, cooled, scraped the meat out of and purred in food processor. Did not have cardamom. I took some raw walnuts and caramelized them with a tiny bit maple syrup, whipped the remaining cream and put some of that on top of each ramekins. Added nuts for those who eat nuts. First time using non canned pumpkin. It was paler than the canned stuff. Guests all loved iy.

    1. Dang, that sounds good. You sound like one of those “jazz artist” cooks, improvising your way to some awesome grub. 🙂

  41. I made this for the holiday, and it was good.

    Crust – Never got firm, was soft and crumbly. It needs a bit of sweetness, because on its own, it just didn’t taste great. And I’m a crust fanatic, so that was a bummer. Also, it got very dark and burned-looking, even though I put the tart pan on a baking sheet, though it didn’t necessarily taste burnt. Just not the most aesthetically pleasing.

    Filling – Awesome. Not very sweet, which is fine by me. I baked the leftovers in a Pyrex dish as a custard which was a lovely pre-holiday treat.

    Topped with Vanilla-Bourbon Whipped Cream.

    Verdict – Keep the filling, try another crust recipe. I recommend anything from Elana’s Pantry (elanaspantry.com).

    1. P.S.- For anyone concerned about the nuts, I would follow Snauzoo’s method above and bake as a custard and top with a few toasted nuts.

  42. That’s funny – I liked the crust but wanted to change the filling for something else like apples. Could that even be done or would the crust get soggy during baking? Don’t know – I will try it out for Christmas. 🙂

  43. I followed this recipe to the letter. The filling tasted fantastic. Unfortunately, the crust was extremely salty and am not really sure why. I’m pretty sure it was the baking soda.

    I’m gonna try again but with almond flour.

  44. Since I just got out of the hospital, my husband and I decided to keep things super simple this year. My mom was taking the kids for the family thing so it was just the two of us. The one thing that we both really, really wanted was pumpkin pie. Thank you for sharing this recipe! It was the one thing that I was allowed to make on turkey day and it was great! I ended up using cream since I could not find arrowroot powder (I drug the hubs through two towns worth of grocery stores)and I had a reaction to the walnuts, but all in all the recipe was great! The pie tasted good and we plan to make it again at Christmas (with hazelnuts since I know that they won’t hurt my tummy). Thanks again!

  45. We made this pie for Thanksgiving 2011 and it was divine! As there was enough pumpkin filling for TWO 9″ pies, we made a second pie this eveing. It is even more beautiful.
    Here are my hints: (1) if you love spices – be generous with the measurements, (2) if you have a cuisinart there is no need to melt the butter for the crust – the crumbly mixture of nuts, butter, soda, and salt is much easier too press into the tart pan than the melted butter version (and the clean-up is easier), (3) we used 2C walnuts and 1/2 C almonds on the second pie and like the texture and flavor more than the 100% walnut version.
    We will make this easy, healthful, deliious pie again. Many thanks”

  46. I made the pie (actually it made 2) and thought the filling was great (I’m always more generous with cinnamon though). I was disappointed in the flavor of the crust. It tasted like baking soda (though two sons and husband didn’t know what I was talking about- third son was with me). Next time, I’d cut back on the baking soda and sub some pecans or use almonds.

    I’m sure the edges of the crust could be covered w/ foil (just like a regular pie) to keep the edges from browning too much – one pie was cooked to perfect looking and the crust was a bit soft. The second was cooked a bit longer (and I added a bit of cinnamon and Tbs maple syrup to the nuts) and it was a way more preferred version (though I still tasted the baking soda).

  47. This is AMAZING! Will totally make this for my next family gathering. Thank you!

  48. I’ve got the second pie, exactly to recipe, baking now. The first, baked on Thanksgiving Day, was so good, and seemed to get better as the days went by. I gave my 13-year-old son the last piece on Sunday night. On Monday, he asked if we could bake another one. We liked the crumbly, slightly salty crust, and we liked the filling. Delicious. One just has to adjust one’s expectations. It won’t be a flakey flour-based crust, because that isn’t what it is.

  49. What about a BPA and Guar gum free coconut milk option. If I make my own coconut milk do you think it will work in this recipe?

  50. I made this pie yesterday with a few modifications, I don’t have maple in my pantry so used stevia instead, also did not have arrowroot, but the pie was delicious and a huge success for my guests.

    Thanks!!

  51. Pumpkin comes in a can?! No pumpkin seed homemade snacks, no carved scary faces, no pumpkin slices that look like melon?

    Thats no fun.

  52. There’s nothing wrong with canned pumpkin. It ain’t the pumpkin, but what you do to it that really counts. Case in point, we had a taste test at Thanksgiving–two pies, one with canned pumpkin and one from fresh sugar pumpkins. The one made from the canned stuff one was the winner, hands down. Don’t become pumpkin snobs, folks.

  53. If you think this recipe tastes as good as standard pumpkin pie you are delusional. The crust is excellent but the filling is completely bland and nowhere near sweet enough. I recommend doubling down on the spices as well as the maple syrup to get more sweetness and flavor into the filling.

  54. Made the pie tonight for Boxing Day desert. I don’t have a food processor so smashed the nuts as well as I could. Followed the recipe but forgot to put the cookie sheet under the pie pan. I used a glass pie dish and when the pie set, I realized that the nut crust had burned…boo hoo hoo. The filling was good, but I would add more spices. My son thought it was not sweet enough..he’s only eaten store bought pumpkin pie. I will definitely try it again and tweak it a bit. It was a very expensive crust to burn.

  55. i used this walnut crust with sweet potato filling. it was delicious but i think i overcooked the crust a bit. will try again

  56. When I made this it was so salty we couldn’t eat it. Shame to waste so many walnuts. Is this supposed to be made with UNSALTED butter? If so,the recipe should say so.

  57. Wonderful! I used coconut oil instead of butter in the crust, and coconut cream whipped cream for a topping. Also for extra sweetness reduced grade b maple syrup and a cinnamon stick with orang and lemon zest and drizzled over whipped coconut cream. Yum!

  58. I’ve been reading over the recipe and was wondering- are you suppose to separate the coconut cream from the milk in this recipe or use it all together?

  59. Sounds delicious. Would substituting the ground walnut for ground pecan be acceptable, or would my pie crust be too crumbly?

  60. I just made this the other day, and it was delicious! I like the level of sweetness, but for those not used to a Primal diet and/or low-sugar desserts, I might add a bit more sweetener. Otherwise, it was delicious and I’ll definitely be making it again!

  61. I want to try this as we have started eating Paleo. We tried another before that called for coconut milk and instead I used cocnut cream. Is this ok? Still primal?

  62. Wondering if butter can be substituted for something else: olive oil, perhaps?

    I guess paleo doesn’t take into account the dairy-intolerant among the cavemen (nor those allergic to eggs). Well, no diet’s perfect I guess, and all diets should be tailored to the individual rather than a rule book of religious doctrine that one should follow. Just as aside.

    1. An easier pie crust that is dairy free is to use 1 part nuts to 1 part dates. You could also use the recipe here, but sub coconut oil and an egg for the butter.

  63. The filling was delicious with wonderful texture, but I didn’t care for the crust. I followed the recipe exactly but mine was almost burnt. When I put in the filling I covered the edges with tinfoil to try to prevent it from browning even more but it didn’t help. I also found it tasted a bit salty and no sweetness at all. I would make it again, but next time I think I would use almonds (something lighter in colour and flavour) and mix in some shredded coconut.

  64. Made today, without butter, used 1/2-1 cup pecans also.
    Too much salt in crust as walnuts abit bitter aswell, the crust was not crisp enough also maybe I added 2 much coco oil, the filling was okay, baked ony for 40mins and was set!

  65. I just made this using fresh pumpkin puree, about 1 3/4 cups, which is about equivalent to what is in 1 can. It was absolutely delicious!

  66. WOW i made this but with a coconut flour crust. I used nuttykitchen’s crust with this filling. I added 1 extra tablespoon of syrup and baked at 400F for 1h10min. Thanks so much!

  67. This looks really yummy but I’m alergic to both walnuts and pecans. Can I use almonds or another kind of nut?

  68. I’m a huge pumpkin pie fan from way before going paleo so .. this looks really good. Then I tried it and .. couple lessons learned.

    First, WATCH THE TEMPERATURE! I scorched the crust on the first one – its’ edible, but not as good as it should have been.

    Second, READ THE INGREDIENTS! Some canned coconut milks have sugar added, some don’t .. my first batch came out unpleasantly un-sweet; although the flavor is good, it isn’t dessert without being a little on the sweet side.

    If your coconut milk is sweetened, it should be fine. If using unsweetened, add an extra tablespoon of maple syrup, and an extra pinch of salt to balance things out.

    JP

  69. I made this recipe and was excited about it because it was Gluten free. I am a little concerned, it is cooling on the counter now. I think the crust looks a little too done. I baked at 350 for 50 min. Also reading the comments on here I am worried it will be too salty. I am also concerned it will not be sweet enough. I used unsweetened coconut milk, but added 1/2 tsp more syrup? I am all of of nuts, and this is for Thanksgiving…and dont have time to re-do. I have not “officially” tried it yet…put tasted a little of the crust and filling on finger….

  70. does anyone know how long to bake this without burning it if using it for a non baked filling?….I’ve baked it for about 20 + minutes and it’s browning a bit much but still kinda soft. does it crisp up?

  71. Just made this for TG dinner. Was fabulous and I had 2 small pieces. Yummy, yummy. Loved the buttery crust. Gently sweet. Can;t feel guilty about eating this and it will be great for breakfast!

  72. By the way, my coconut milk was unsweetened and it was still delicious. But I did think I might add more maple syrup next time because it is more of a treat at holiday to have it be sweet. I had no trouble with burning either the crust or the filling and my filling cooked through in 55 min.

  73. I made this today and it turned out great! Skipped the cardamom though. Who has that?! Lol

  74. I was so excited when I saw this crust recipe. I can’t have almonds or grains or coconut or sugar and was having a lot of trouble finding a crust recipe for my pumpkin pie. I made this the other night and am very disappointed in it. I tasted the crust before it went in the oven was really worried about the taste- it was salty and I could definitely taste the baking soda. I thought it would change once baked, but it tasted horrible. I don’t think it needed sweetness, but it was extremely salty, I could still taste the baking soda, and it looked burnt around the edges. I had to throw my pie out. I am not sure why there is so much baking soda and salt in the recipe, but I won’t be trying it again.

  75. Can you freeze the pie??? If so would you bake t then freeze it? I want to make it for Christmas. Also, do you simply store it on the counter… If it lasts longer than one meal.

  76. I baked the walnut crust as directed and then filled it with a traditional pumpkin filling. The pie filling directions were 15 mins at 450 and then 325 for 40 to 50 mins. I pulled it at 40 mins and the crust was burnt. Do you have any idea what I did wrong? I want to baked it again for New Years.

    Thanks
    Paula Blum

  77. The crust definitely needs works. Way too salty and the bottom was mushy which is admittedly my fault since I used glass. I would completely omit the baking soda. I added 10 drops of nunaturals stevia drops to the pie and the filling was very good.

  78. We forgot the eggs and it was still edible with lots of whipped cream. Take away – Don’t forget the eggs.

  79. Just made this today. Awesome recipe. I used steps instead of maple syrup but it was still good. Thanks for this!!!

  80. The walnut crust was pretty good. I forgot the coconut milk, but putting the filling mixture (including fresh roasted sugar pumpkin) in a blender still made it nice and creamy. I think the coconut milk would have made it way too liquid. Also, as Gina pointed out, it needs just a bit (1T maybe?) more maple syrup or honey.

  81. Made this today, it is DEVINE. I added a tad more of the nutmeg/cinnamon, but its SO great. Perfect for Christmas coming up. I have been struggling to find paleo recipes that everyone enjoys (People that are used to eaitng refined sugar and tons of processed foods) and I must say, I think this pie will do the tricK 🙂 thanks

  82. I tried 4 other paleo/primal recipes before this one. This one is by far the best!

    I loved the saltiness of the crust. It was a little mushy in the middle. Next time, I shall let it cool before adding the pumpin pie filling and I hope that helps.

    I used heavy cream instead of coconut milk and arrow root as Mark suggested. It was so creamy! And, cooked in only 40 minutes.

    I will add more spices next time as I like it little spicier.

    Thank you Mark!

  83. I made this pie last year for Thanksgiving, and it was so delicious – it’s on the menu again this year!

  84. I made it last year and loved it. I did pour a bit of extra maple syrup on it to make it sweeter, but that was last year when I was just going primal. This is still my go-to pumpkin pie recipe…I think it’s perfect just as it is!

  85. Made this for the first time for Thanksgiving yesterday.

    Doubled the spices in the filling. It was good, but still a little on the bland side for me. However, I like strong flavors. I think next time I’ll add double plus 1/2 of the amount of spices called for. Since II was cooking for both Paleo-ish and non-Paleo folk, I added 1 extra Tbsp of maple syrup to the filling for a tiny bit more sweetness. I made the nut crust with half walnut, half pecans and added 2 packets of the brand “Pure Via” (powdered stevia) to the crust.

    Using a 9″ nonstick tart pan, I pressed the nut pastry with my fingers, and as directed made the edges of crust thicker than the bottom. Baked in 350 convection oven for 13 minutes so it didn’t burn. Let the crust cool for 20 minutes before adding the filling. I had leftover filling, so I put it in a ramekin I greased with coconut oil for a crustless pumpkin ‘custard’.

    Baked the pie itself for 45 minutes in a convection oven, and put the ramekin in for last 25 minutes of baking time.

    Pie and ramekin of ‘custard’ turned out perfectly. I used a 2 piece non-stick 9″ tart pan so that lifting the bottom of the pan away from the sides of the tart after cooling was easy, then cutting slices of pie was a breeze.

    Again – very tasty. Though I doubled the spices in the filling, I’d easily add another half again of the spices to the filling next time.

    Great starter recipe to use for tweaks – thanks, my guests enjoyed it!

  86. Thanks for this- I live in the UK and have never made pumpkin pie and never really see it, but got a can from Wholefoods and IT’S ON having finally found one with a san-out ingredient list (walnuts and coconut milk!)

    Would it be possible to use egg replacer, do you think?

    Many thanks!

  87. i made this a few days ago and loved it! next time i will make sure to cover the tops with foil since it browned a little bit too much after i filled it with the pumpkin pie filling, but otherwise i loved it! thanks so much for sharing!

  88. I made this pumpkin pie and although it tasted great, it came out GREEN instead of orange! Kind of embarrassing! What happened? Why the green color? The only real difference in the recipe is using coconut milk instead of cow’s milk? Yikes!

    1. hi, alice,

      i use heavy cream not coconut milk. it does not come out green to me for me.
      (i used canned pumpkin puree 100%).

      i dont’ know may be it’s the pumpkin filling you use that makes it green?

      regards,

  89. When I blended the walnuts, butter, baking soda and salt, it turned into a peanut butter like consistency, which obviously didn’t bake and solidify….what happened? Mostly I’m mad about wasting those precious and expensive walnuts!

  90. This pie has become part of our Thanksgiving tradition. My daughter starts asking for it as soon as she sees pumpkins on the vine. Thank you.

  91. Hi. If you use salted butter I would cut way back on the salt. I just made this and had to add in another cup of walnuts as it was WAY to salty.

  92. I’m sorry. This was THE worst nut crust I have ever made. Ruined all the walnuts! And they were raw organic walnuts and not cheap!

  93. I made the pie today and adding the baking soda to the pie crust made it taste terrible. Next time I wont add the baking soda.

  94. I just pulled the crust out of the oven. I wondered as I was making the crust if 1 tsp of baking soda was a mistake and now I’m sure it must be. If you make this, I very strongly recommend reducing the baking soda.