Hi, I'm Kim

Hi, I’m Kim Christensen, M.Om., Dipl.OM, L.Ac. I’m a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and owner of Constellation Acupuncture & Healing Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Back before going to school and becoming a healthcare practitioner, Affairs of Living was my creative outlet while healing from chronic health issues. There's big changes coming to the site - it will soon be the home of my new health coaching practice! Stay tuned. 

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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

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Gluten-Free Maple Syrup Pumpkin Pie with Flaky Gluten-Free Pie Crust (GF, cane sugar free)


Gluten-free pie crust.

These words struck fear in my heart for years. I tried, and tried, and tried. And each time, I was like "F***!" when I had another crust that just wouldn't roll correctly, was dry and sandy, was tough and chewy, or was just plain weird.

Then back in May, something happened. I made a crust I was happy with. Then I made another. And another. It was reliable. Easy. Delicious. FLAKY. And now I will share it with you, filled with a delicious maple syrup-sweetened pumpkin pie filling. I've made this pie time after time this fall, and it is always a winner with everyone who tries it. I like it best as leftovers, pulled from the fridge and eaten for breakfast.  Continue for the recipe!

the tools to make the pie


Maple Syrup Pumpkin Pie

yield 1 9-inch pie | adapted from Real Simple

  • 1 9-inch Master Pie Crust (see recipe below)
  • 2 cups cooked pumpkin or 1 15-oz can of pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Make pie crust (see instructions below) and have pre-baked pie shell ready. Your oven should already be at 350 F after pre-baking the pie shell, so your oven will be heated and ready to go!

Prepare filling by combining all ingredients in a bowl and whisking until totally smooth. If you can't get it smooth by whisking by hand, use a mixer or an immersion blender to really get it smooth.

If desired, lightly brush the edge of the pie crust with egg white or coconut milk. Then pour the filling into prepared pre-baked pie crust and transfer to oven.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, until pie filling is set on the top and only lightly jiggles when you move the pie pan back and forth gently. This doesn't get quite as firm as a traditional pumpkin pie, so the whole clean knife trick doesn't really apply. If the crust is getting dark around the edges, cover with tin foil. Remove from the oven and let cool. 

Cool completely before serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Flaky Pie Crust recipe, Leaf Lard & Butter

yield: 2 9-inch crusts | Adapted from Bon Appetit 

This is my favorite version of this crust. The lard makes it unbelievably flaky and delicious. I buy my lard at the Seward Co-op in Minneapolis, in the freezer section of the meat department. It is beautiful leaf lard from a local pork producer. You'll love it. 

Notes before you get started:

  • Sweet rice flour: flour made from sweet rice, also known as glutinous rice. It's not glutinous, but it is very sticky rice when cooked. the flour is also quite sticky when baked, and is awesome for retaining moisture and keeping things held together. there is no substitute for sweet rice flour, so you'll want to find it. Look for it by Bob's Red Mill in the GF baking section of your local store, or look for it in the Asian food section or at Asian groceries. Mochiko is a common brand. I find little clear bags of it at my local Asian markets for only $2/bag.
  • Make sure your fat is COLD: I don't just mean a little cool. I mean cold. Put the cubes/blobs of fat in the freezer until it is very very cold. Now it is ready for you to use in your crust. Room temperature fat does not make crumbly dough, it makes paste. In order for you to get the kind of crust you want, you need crumbles. 
  • Adding liquid: this recipes calls for 3/4 cup of ice cold water. Don't add it all right away. Add about a 1/2 cup, then work your way up only until the texture described below is reached. You want a nice mixture of sticky pieces and crumbly pieces. Wet dough equals tough dough. 


  • 270 grams / 1 3/4 cups superfine brown rice flour
  • 90 grams / 3/4 cup arrowroot starch/flour or tapioca starch/flour
  • 62 grams / 1/2 cup sweet rice flour
  • 76 grams / 1/2 cup millet flour or sorghum flour
  • 226 grams / 1 cup ice cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 56 grams / 1/4 cup ice cold leaf lard, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup ice water
Process flour, butter, lard, and salt in a food processor until butter resembles tiny pebbles. If you don't have a food processor, that's fine - just use a dough cutter, fork, or your fingers to work in the fat. Transfer to a large bowl. Gradually add about 1/2 cup of the ice water, using a fork to stir until dough is a mixture of clumpy wet pieces and sandier pieces, adding more water by tablespoonfuls.. Press plastic wrap over surface of dough. Chill in the bowl at least 1 hour or over night.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Place two pieces of plastic wrap over a large area of counter space, overlapping them slightly so you have a large, continuous piece of plastic wrap. Place ball of chilled dough on the surface, and flatten dough into a disk. Place two more pieces of plastic wrap over the disk, overlapping again to create one large surface of plastic wrap. Using a rolling pin, roll chilled crust into a disk about 13-14 inches in diameter.

the first step.
rolled out and ready to check the size

If your crust has become soft, I suggest rolling it with the saran wrap around the rolling pin and chilling it for about 5 minutes. If you worked quickly (go you!) it's time to transfer it right to the pie pan. Remove the top layer of plastic wrap, then slide your hands under the bottom layer of plastic wrap and gently flip the rolled out dough over and lay it on your pie pan, making sure to center it as best you can. Allow it to slump into the pie pan, then gently remove the plastic wrap. Gently adjust the crust and press it into the pan, adjusting as necessary.

taking off the top layer of plastic wrap
after flipping the crust over on to the pan and removing the last of the plastic wrap

If using a pie pan without a wide border, leave about 1" overhang and trim. If using a pie pan with a border (like the one in my photos), trim right up to the edge of the pan. Use your pie trimmings to fix any thin spots in the in the dough and fix any cracks.

trimming and mending

Now it's time for you to get creative, there's all kinds of things you can do to the edge of your crust! My favorites for pumpkin pie are generally a crimped or twisted "rope" style edging. For instructions and inspiration, check out this great link.  

ready to pre-bake

Put crust in freezer for about 10 minutes, then remove. Puncture holes in bottom of crust with a fork in a few places, then transfer to oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Now you're ready to fill it!


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Reader Comments (5)

Wow, your pie crust looks absolutely perfect!! I had always cheated with my pie crusts by adding in a bit of cream cheese to help it roll out well and stay together, as every traditional pie crust attempt I've done has ended in utter failure. Question about the type of lard - would any grade of lard work ok, or is it important to obtain leaf lard? Congrats on a superb pie crust success!

December 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJenn

I had never heard of Leaf Lard until your post. I just looked it up. This sounds interesting. The pie looks delicious.

December 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKathryn

Oh what an awesome treat! Your pie looks so perfect! I am so excited to get the filling and crust recipes and to enjoy your great photo's Thank you, thank you, thank you for the gift of this lovely post. Stay well and be blessed today and always.

December 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKathy

That pie looks just heavenly. The crust is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing!

January 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRochelle

This is very goof pie, aside from being gluten-free pie it looks gorgeous outside. How long did it took you in creating this masterpiece? I wan to create good pie like this which is good for a person with zinc deficiency because according to what I've read from http://products.mercola.com/zinc-supplements/ it is better for those who have this deficiency to eat foods rich in zinc rather than taking a supplement.

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah G
Sorry, no comments/questions allowed right now.
Hi reader! My schedule as full-time grad student with two part-time jobs doesn't allow me the time to manage comments. I hope you enjoy what you find and can figure out answers to any questions you may have. xo