Despite being a pie fanatic, I have missed celebrating Pi Day every single year since starting this blog. No longer! Well, I’m barely getting in my post on time. Truthfully, I got a little sidetracked with two other things (here and here) in the gluten-free special diet world today. We’ve chatted about them quite a bit on my gfe Facebook page. I’ll probably be sharing more on both topics later. Anyway, I’m sharing a brand new recipe, Paleo Crustless Carrot Pie. And there are also several fabulous gluten-free pie recipes featured over at my other blog, All Gluten-Free Desserts … All the Time. (Just click on the pie category and see all the amazing pie recipes.) People get excited about Pi Day. You know the math term Pi meaning 3.14… that we celebrate on 3/14 with all kinds of pies? Many folks tend to outdo themselves with their Pi Day pie recipes, and I totally get that! I come from a family of pie lovers and so does Mr. GFE. Any reason to have pie a good thing!
But I’d never considered making a Carrot Pie before until my friend Joanna Cassidy-Farrell shared “Trick or Treat” pie in an article in the October issue of one of our local news magazines. As a Certified Natural Health Care Professional and Master Herbalist, JoAnna (Keep It Green Herbal Center) specializes in teaching the community about achieving and maintaining balanced health with herbal plants and nutrition. (She has previously presented to my support group to share her wealth of knowledge.) In the article, JoAnna stated that Carrot Pie had a higher nutritional value than pumpkin pie. I was intrigued both by the nutritional aspect and the possibility of adapting another great recipe to be gluten free and crustless because if you didn’t already know, I adore crustless pies!
Although I never fully researched the nutritional comparison of carrots versus pumpkin, I was more than happy to accept JoAnna’s knowledgeable advice that carrots offer more in the way of iron, calcium, and Vitamins A and C. That simply left me to investigate the deliciousness comparison on my own! Mr. GFE and I both agree that this Crustless Carrot Pie is very good. It tastes mildly sweet and slightly less rich than a pumpkin pie, but I used coconut sugar and coconut flour in this Crustless Carrot Pie and I didn’t do a side-by-side comparison against my Crustless Pumpkin Pie. The coconut flour that allows this pie to “stand on its own,” so to speak also gives it a wee bit of a texture (even after I sifted the coconut flour before adding it to the recipe). Admittedly, that same texture is not really present in my original, non-paleo versions of this pie, but we don’t think it is objectionable at all. Coconut flour also works well because it tends to absorb that extra moisture that might linger in your puree from the steamed carrots. Incidentally, it was my friend Sunny, of And Love It, Too!, who thought of using coconut flour and I will be forever indebted to her!
After further reflection, about the only thing that this version has in common with the original carrot pie recipe is the inclusion of two cups of carrot puree. I used coconut sugar instead of brown sugar (and less of it). I used coconut milk instead of evaporated milk, and again it was a lesser amount. I skipped the vanilla extract because I’ve never added that to my Traditional Crustless Pumpkin Pie, my Best Ever Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie, or Crustless Sweet Potato Pie and they all still taste wonderful. In fact I followed the same basic recipe as for those latter two pies, simply substituting carrot puree for pumpkin puree and sweet potato puree, respectively. It was only after I’d made this pie and we’d enjoyed it, that I took another look at the original recipe that JoAnna had shared and saw that it called for not two eggs, but four eggs. I had used two eggs because the previously mentioned pies all work just fine with two eggs. Only two eggs makes this recipe easier for the egg-free folks to substitute flax eggs or the like though as I know those substitutions have always worked in those same crustless pie recipes that call for two eggs. For Version 2, I’ll try this recipe with four eggs and some additional spices, and a longer baking time. But enjoy this slightly lighter and definitely tasty version now!
Paleo Crustless Carrot Pie (“Faux Pumpkin" Pie?)
- 2 cups carrot puree (from about 3 cups steamed or boiled carrots; about 1 lb carrots I *think*)
- 2 eggs (see notes for egg-free options)
- ¾ cup coconut sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- 1 cup full-fat, canned coconut milk
- ¼ cup coconut flour, sifted (I use this brand)
- cinnamon, enough for sprinkling if desired
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease pie plate and set aside.
- In large bowl, beat eggs slightly and then mix in remaining ingredients.
- Pour filling into greased pie plate. (It will be thick so you’ll need a spatula.)
- Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired. (It doesn’t really show up against the dark colored background, but it does provide additional flavor.)
- Bake 15 minutes.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake until knife or toothpick comes out clean, about 45 minutes longer.
Use a food processor to make your carrot puree. (A hand masher or hand mixer will not be sufficient.) Processing will only take a few minutes. Steamed carrots provide the most nutrients. If you boil your carrots instead, save the water to make smoothies later. Flax gel eggs or chia gel eggs always work well in my crustless pie recipes. Pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice may be substituted for the total measurement of the individual spices.
This post is linked to Pennywise Platter Thursdays, Whole Foods Friday, Wellness Weekend, 5-Ingredient Mondays, and Saturday Night Fever.
Shirley, I’m so excited to see what you have been working on! You are inspiring me to try this. I am again revisiting the thought that pumpkin is bothering me so now I don’t feel so sad about it!
Debbie–I’m sorry to hear that you might still have an issue with pumpkin after all. Boo on that, but I do love this pie and I hope you will enjoy any version you make. 🙂
This looks surprisingly delicious! Love that you’ve made it so healthy, too. And I really love that we have matching pie plates. 🙂
Kathryn–I noticed that on the pie plates and smiled when I saw yours when I shared your Ice Cream Pie in a Cocoa Coconut Crust. 🙂 And, yes, this is a great pie! 😉
Heather @Gluten-Free Cat says
Yes, real food IS beautiful! Carrot pie, how unique! I’ll bet it’s delicious. I’ve been addicted to carrot juice lately.
Heather–Yes, and thanks! 🙂 I love carrot juice, too, but this pie doesn’t taste like carrots. It doesn’t quite take like pumpkin to me either. (And Mr. GFE agrees on both counts.) But it does taste delish!
So it doesn’t taste like carrots!?!? I’m floored! Must try 🙂
No, it doesn’t, Alyssa. I just asked Mr. GFE to make sure that I wasn’t being too generous, but he agrees that this pie definitely doesn’t take like carrots. 😉 Hope you enjoy it when you give it a try!
Kim - Cook It Allergy Free says
I love this post Shirley!!! My Mom makes a carrot pie “souffle” that is similar and hers does call for 4 (if not 5) eggs. I am totally going to give your version a try. I am sure my boys will love it since they like my Mom’s version already. And I totally missed pi day this year. Boo… Too many other things going on in my little mind these days. LOL
Kim–Thank you, my dear!! I look forward to meeting your mom one day. She has so many wonderful recipes! I have to admit that when I saw that I was supposed to use 4 eggs, I was so tempted to immediately make another pie with the 4 eggs to see how different it tasted. But alas, there are only two of us, you know? I don’t think that would have been wise. BUT … I’ve got a support group meeting here on Tuesday and I can try that version with them. It’s going to be hard to do though because I love this one so much. 😉 And ideally I’d like to try them both side by side. Aaargh, sometimes this blogging/baking business is tough on a gal. LOL It’s fun to celebrate one’s love of pies on actual Pi Day, but any day is Pie Day in our family. 🙂 I’m sure any of your pie recipes will be appreciated on Cook IT Allergy Free ANY time. 🙂
You SO read my mind sometimes, Shirley! I’ve often thought I could sub leftover cooked carrots for sweet potatoes or pumpkin in things – just haven’t gotten there yet! Will have to try!
Alta–Hehe! I love it when that happens. Actually, I think we inspire each other. I’ve been thinking about that Maple Freezer Fudge of yours of late. That recipe might inspire me to make some of my own new treats. 😉 I think you’d enjoy this pie very much. I just ate a piece and it was good! It surprises me each time I try it. 🙂
InTolerant Chef says
This is such an unusual mixture indeed- but I bet it tastes great!
Hi InTolerant Chef–It’s fun to discover that foods don’t always fit the status quo, so to speak. I think that’s one thing that those of us who have food intolerances quickly learn, there are alternatives to every ingredient. 😉 Anyway, thanks, dear! 🙂
This sounds incredible to me, Shirley! I love cooked carrots, so why not? And they ARE beautiful–as is the pie! 🙂
Hi Ricki–Thanks so much!!! 🙂 I think this recipe would pass the Ricki test for nutrition, mild sweetness, etc. 😉
Gretchen @gfedge says
Ummm . . . crustless pies, pumpkin, carrots – I’ve been avoiding desserts for way too long. Thank you for a yummy dessert way to have your pie and eat your vegetables too!
Hi Gretchen–Good to see you! Yes, isn’t that the best part about this recipe? Hope you enjoy it if you give it a try! 🙂
When I was reading the part about you adding coconut flour I was wondering if you could leave it out but use more eggs instead. Then I read the part about the original recipe having more eggs. It would be an interesting experiment. This recipe, except for the flour, is very similar to my pumpkin pie recipe (I guess they’re all pretty similar). I bet it’s good, but I’m not sure how my family would like the carrot flavor. It would be good to server it when it’s not close to Thanksgiving (like now) so they wouldn’t have that association in their mind. That’s interesting about the difference in nutritional value. Thanks for sharing this with us.
Hi Linda–I’m willing to give that a try, but historically, I’ve found that one gets more of a pudding or custard and not the true pie effect without the binding ingredient of flour of some type. I love the crustless pies. Yes, I think they are. I don’t think there’s a carrot flavorin this pie and Mr. GFE doesn’t either, and believe me he’d tell me/protest if there was! He likes carrots as a veggie, but that flavor for pies would be another thing. I suspect that for some (who don’t have allergies, of course) not telling them it’s made from carrots initially might be the best approach. 😉 If you give it a go either way, please let us know. 🙂
i want to make this recipe with flax seed gel eggs. Could someone tell me where i may be able to purchase these and if so in the store, where would i look? I am very new to a gluten free diet. thank you
Hi Jen–You should be able to get flax seed or flax meal at your local health food store or online. With flax seed, you’d grind it first and with flax meal, you’d just add that to water and let it “set up,” so to speak. Lexie of Lexie’s Kitchen has a nice tutorial on flax gel and chia gel eggs here. They’re easy to make. I buy this brand of flax meal and keep it in the fridge, adding it to water whenever I need a flax gel egg. One bag of flax meal lasts me a good while. Good luck! Hope you enjoy this pie or any of my other crustless pies! 🙂
thank you so much :).
Yum Shirley! I don’t know how come more people don’t make carrot pie. Love your healthy changes 🙂
What effect if any would this pie in a crust have. I like a thin layer of crust.
Hi Wildman–Welcome to gfe! This pie would work fine with a crust. The recipe (and all my crustless pie recipes) just allow the pie to stand alone and not require a crust. Enjoy!
Is this pie best the day it’s made or after it’s been sitting in the fridge for a few hours/overnight? Looks awesome 🙂 Can’t wait to make it.
Shirley Braden says
Hi Abbey–Welcome to gfe! 🙂 While I think that any pie’s flavors are likely to have more “depth” on Day 2, this pie is great on the first day as well. Hope you enjoy it!