Healthier Pumpkin Pie

This recipe uses arrowroot powder mixed with milk or soy milk in the place of eggs to thicken the filling. Sugar is substituted with maple syrup. The quantity of maple syrup used in this recipe is minimal. More can be added if you have a heavy sweet tooth, but do keep in mind that maple syrup is quite sweet. If you have problems with gluten any kind of gluten free flour can be used but I prefer the taste of spelt as an alternative to wheat.


  • 1 medium sized pumpkin or 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg (or nutmeg powder)
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1 cup milk or soy milk

(Makes enough for a bottom crust with decorative top.)

  • 2 cups spelt, kamut or whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup chilled butter
  • 6 tablespoon ice water

Crust option: a mix of half butter, half canola oil works best in my opinion, but all canola oil for a vegan pie also works very well.


  1. Preheat oven to 325º F. Cut pumpkin(s) in half and remove seeds. Place cut side down on a tray and bake in the oven until the pumpkin is soft and easily poked with a fork. Scoop the flesh from the pumpkin and mash or puree in a food processor or blender. As an option I often bake the pumpkin(s) cut side up (so pumpkin half acts like a bowl) and sprinkle with half of the spices and a drizzle of maple syrup so that the flavours bake right into the pumpkin.
  2. While the pumpkin is cooking you can go ahead and prepare the crust. Mix together the flour, oil, butter and ice water. This can be done manually in a bowl or using a mixer. As an option different flour types can be used, but I prefer the nutty flavour of spelt.
  3. Divide the dough in half and roll between two pieces of plastic wrap or waxed paper.
  4. Dissolve the arrowroot powder in the milk using a blender or food processor until the mixture is smooth. Add the pumpkin, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cloves, and blend to a smooth consistency. Pour the mixture into the pie crust.
  5. Roll out the remaining dough thinly. Use fall-themed cookie cutters (i.e leaves or turkeys) to create shapes that can be placed together on top of the pie to form a “top crust”. Place one shape in the center of the pie and form a ring of shapes around that central shape. Try to place the shapes so that they touch or join slightly.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes or until the crust is browned and the filling is slightly set. It is sometimes difficult to tell when spelt or whole wheat flours are browned but there will be a noticeable colour change. Don’t leave it in until it is too brown! This pie sets up nicely after the pie has been left to cool for a few hours. Do not worry if the centre appears too soft when it is first removed from the oven. This baby will thicken up due to the miracle coagulation powers of arrowroot.

More Options: The cookie cutter top makes for a fancy-looking pie that will impress your friends, but it isn’t necessary. You can always use the other half of the dough to make another pie!

I have also made these as “personal pies” done in 3″ tart tins with one cookie cut per tin. They’re really cute!

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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