Coconut Macaroon Pumpkin Pie

Coconut Macaroon Pumpkin Pie - Gluten Free Dairy Free Holiday Dessert Recipe

So by now you all know that the Thanksgiving and Hanukkah holidays coincide this year, which happens to be a once-in-a-lifetime coincidence. This whole idea got my imagination going. While contemplating several potential flavor combinations for “Thanksgivukah,” none made me more excited than the idea of marrying two of my favorite desserts – coconut macaroons and pumpkin pie. The idea of taking a Jewish holiday classic like macaroons and making it into a pie crust, then filling it with pumpkin custard, made my mouth water. The macaroon crust was easy enough to make gluten free, I simply used my coconut macaroon recipe as a base. Then I figured hey, as long as I’m using coconut, why not use coconut milk in the custard and make this pie dairy free as well? That way, people with a variety of food sensitivities can enjoy it. It seemed like a simple enough concept, but it actually took several tests to get this one right. Together with my assistant Ashley, we made several versions of the pie. Each one was good, but I didn’t want good… I wanted perfect! At first the crust was soggy, then the edges baked too fast, then the custard was too soft, then the sweetness level wasn’t where I wanted it to be. Finally we nailed it. I can now say with pride that this is THE BEST pumpkin pie I’ve ever tasted. For reals!

I love a lot of things about this pie, but what I love most is how many people will be able to enjoy it. Those with dairy sensitivities can have a luscious lactose-free pie experience. People with gluten issues will have no trouble here. My kosher friends can eat this after a holiday turkey without mixing milk and meat. Then there are the people who will make it just because it sounds so freaking delicious. Trust me, it is. You won’t miss old fashioned pie crust, promise!

I added a dollop of freshly whipped cream to the top of my pie slice. I’m not dairy-sensitive and I like whipped cream on my pie, plus it made for a prettier picture. I tried my hand at several coconut whipped cream recipes, but I wasn’t happy with any of them… I’m still working on perfecting that one for you guys. There are some dairy-free alternatives out there including brands made from rice, soy and Rich Whip for kosher folks. Or just eat the pie without any topping. I promise you won’t be missing anything. This pie is beyond delish. I’m so excited for you to try it! Thanksgivukah for the win!!

Note: This recipe can also be made for Passover, though strictly kosher folks may have a hard time finding coconut milk with a KFP certification. As an alternative you can make your own coconut milk.

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Coconut Macaroon Pumpkin Pie - Gluten Free Dairy Free Holiday Dessert Recipe

Coconut Macaroon Pumpkin Pie

Macaroon Crust Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp potato starch or corn starch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 egg whites, plus one additional egg white, separated (reserve 4 yolks for filling)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Pareve Pumpkin Filling

  • 2 cups pumpkin puree (plain, not spiced pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 2 eggs, plus 4 reserved yolks from crust
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pinch cloves

You will also need

  • Mixing bowls, whisk, non-stick cooking spray, 9 inch pie dish, aluminum foil, pastry brush, blender, saucepan
Cook Time: 2 Hours
Servings: One 9-inch deep dish pie
Kosher Key: Pareve

To Make Coconut Macaroon Crust:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a mixing bowl, stir together coconut, potato starch, sugar and salt until thoroughly combined.
  • Coconut Macaroon Pumpkin Pie - Gluten Free Dairy Free Holiday Dessert RecipeIn a separate bowl, whisk together 4 egg whites and vanilla until frothy.
  • Macaroon Pumpkin Pie - Holiday Dessert RecipePour egg mixture into coconut mixture and allow to sit for 20-30 minutes.
  • Macaroon Pumpkin Pie - Holiday Dessert RecipeGenerously grease a 9 inch pie dish with non-stick cooking spray and evenly press in the macaroon crust mixture.
  • Macaroon Pumpkin Pie - Holiday Dessert RecipeCover edge of the crust with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.
  • Macaroon Pumpkin Pie - Holiday Dessert RecipeMeanwhile, whisk remaining egg white with ½ tbsp of water.
  • When crust has finished baking, remove from oven. Brush crust with egg white to create a seal. After brushing on the egg white, put the protective foil back around the edge of the crust.
  • Macaroon Pumpkin Pie - Holiday Dessert RecipeBake for an additional 10 – 15 minutes till the crust is golden brown.
  • Macaroon Pumpkin Pie - Holiday Dessert Recipe

To Make Filling

  • Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees.
  • Place all of your filling ingredients into a blender and blend until creamy and smooth, about 60 seconds. I’ve found this is the best way to create a smooth, evenly mixed filling. Alternatively, you can pour the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and blend with an immersion blender or a whisk, just make sure all ingredients are very well incorporated.
  • Macaroon Pumpkin Pie - Holiday Dessert RecipePour the mixture into a saucepan and heat over medium for 9-10 minutes, until just starting to thicken and bubble around the edges.
  • Macaroon Pumpkin Pie - Holiday Dessert RecipeRemove foil from the edges of your macaroon pie crust. Pour the mixture into your prepared macaroon crust and smooth the top with a spatula. This recipes is written for a deep 9 inch pie dish, but you can use it to fill two smaller shallow pie dishes if you prefer. Fill to the top of the crust.
  • Macaroon Pumpkin Pie - Holiday Dessert RecipeTent the pie with foil, making sure to leave plenty of space between the surface of the pie and the foil, otherwise you will ruin the top of your pie filling.
  • Macaroon Pumpkin Pie - Holiday Dessert RecipeCarefully place the pie onto the center rack of your oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove foil tent and reduce heat to 350 degrees. Bake for an additional 35 minutes, or until the filling sets and only jiggles slightly. If the edge of the crust is getting too brown for your liking, you can carefully cover the edge of the crust with foil-- just be sure not to touch or mess up the top of the custard.
  • Turn off the oven and crack the oven door. (I use a wooden spoon to prevent the oven door from closing all the way). Allow the pie to cool slowly in the oven for 1 hour – this will help prevent the top from cracking.
  • Remove pie from the oven and allow to cool completely to room temperature (about 3 hours) or chill in the refrigerator before cutting and serving. Keep leftovers refrigerated.
  • Coconut Macaroon Pumpkin Pie - Gluten Free Dairy Free Holiday Dessert Recipe

Comments (95)Post a Comment

  1. Thank you for posting this recipe. I was diagnosed with celiac and other food allergies 7 months ago. I was thinking I’d have to miss out on my favorite pie at Thanksgiving. Happy there are other alternatives. I baked this pie last night. It wasn’t bad. For me the crust really didn’t taste crust like. I noticed from viewing your photos though that your coconut looked like it was shreeded a lto finer than the one I bought. Maybe I will try running it through the food processor first next time. I also had some difficulty keeping the edges from getting too dark even though I kept them covered with foil. Also noticed once again from your photos that you kept your crust pretty tucked in and mine was spread out more. Having the photos is super helpful. Thanks for providing a recipe for all us people out here with food allergies.

    1. Yes, Tori that makes sense that it is not meant to be like pie crust. It definetley is not anything like a normal pie crust. I am going to try another crust recipe and use your filling recipe. I found one that uses coconut, toasted pecan and a little gluten free flour. Might be more crust like and not so sweet for me. If that doesn’t work I will use your recipe because it was not bad at all just not what I was looking for. Maybe I might decrease the amount of suagr in the filling to counter act the sweetness of the crust. My husband really liked it. Thanks again for posting the recipe and thinking outside the gluten box.

    2. Doh-I was re reading the recipe and realized my coconut was sweetened. Mystery solved! No wonder it was too sweet and browned too much while baking. I bet using unsweetned will help a lot. Sometimes I think my brain isn’t attached!

  2. OMG I am so making this for Thanksgiving! I was just searching for a coconut pumpkin dessert and am glad I ended up here! Would you mind if I featured this recipe on my blog? I would love to have it on there!

    1. Lucy, I’m glad you like the recipe! I would be happy if you share the recipe with your readers, however I would prefer if you link back to my site and lead your readers to my recipe rather than reprinting the recipe on your own blog (unless you’ve made a significant/major adaptation). I would do the same for you if I found a recipe on your blog that I liked. Enjoy the pie!

  3. I subscribed to the weekly newsletter. Dying to see what other recipoes you come up with. :) GF baking especially is such a challenge. I just auditioned for masterchef and brought gf eclairs. What an adventure it was to get those right. I know the work involved in creating delicous gf dishes. Thanks for your hard work.

    1. Tina, Would you be willing to share your eclair recipe? That’s one of my favorites and being gluten free has meant no eclairs.
      Thanks!

  4. Happy Thanksgiving! I just finished making the pie & kept aside a little sample of the custard — amazing!! So I’m now getting my son down for a nap before dinner & thought I’d post a question for later. What is the reasoning behind the pre-cooking of the custard? Is it essential? With a 16 month old running around the kitchen I’m always trying to be as expedient as I can. Thanks again! I can hardly wait to share & eat this pie.

    1. Hi Rebecca, cooking the custard helps to thicken it and starts the cooking process before it is poured into the shell. This macaroon “crust” cooks quickly and can burn if you leave it in the oven too long; thickening the custard before pouring it into the shell helps to speed the baking process.

  5. Hi Tori!
    I made the pie yesterday for Thanksgiving here in Israel. I was looking for a pie without butter because of the turkey dinner.
    The pie was amazing!
    As one of my guests put it “A perfect synergy with the coconut crust and the pumpkin filling” and another guest “Bursting with flavor!”.
    The only substitutions I made were using fresh pumpkin (drained through a cheesecloth to get out moisture after baking) and 1 cup of cane sugar instead of the two half cups of white and brown.
    My husband says he sees more of this pie in our future.

    Thank you so much for contributing to my first Thanksgiving in Israel and married (:

  6. Tried for Thanksgiving – the taste the was really good, but with my oven, I think it would have been better to skip the 2nd crust baking step, and the boiling of the custard prior to filling the pie

  7. I made this for my Celiac niece, who I found out after the fact, doesn’t like coconut…her loss, my gain! I used the standard 2 pack aluminum pie plate package for this recipe & it turned out great in spite of my philosophy that recipes are simply a organized list of suggestions vs instructions. Here are my observations on failing to destroy this wondrous recipe. Due to the thinness of the aluminum pan the crust started browning up early so the total oven time was about 45 minutes. Placing the pie plates on a cookie sheet may make a difference here and adds support when pouring the custard. Since, my package of unsweetened coconut from WF’s was 1/4 cup short of the amount called for, I made up the difference with the sweet, flaky stuff. For the custard, I used a can of TJ’s whole coconut milk which is also extra thick & coconutty AND the whole 28oz can of pumpkin purée. Since I only had medium eggs, I upped the egg ratio by 2. In spite of all this, the recipe still worked until my husband asked me why the oven door was open…after he closed it… and now I am thankful for crack covering whipped cream.

  8. This PIE made me sing!

    Finally a marriage between coconut and pumpkin!

    Out with the mouthfulls of flourdough
    & in with the sweet crispness of baked coconut!

    It’s been weeks since Thanksgivukkah and
    I’m still kvelling how perfect this new culinary union!
    Thank you, Miss T!

  9. My crust…err…raised in the oven…not enough room for the pie filling. I made a pumpkin cream cheese mousse which worked beautifully for a filling…I didn’t think there was enough coconut for the deep deep pie dish…anyway, turned out great with a little modification!

  10. I just tried making this crust, it was too liquidy even after waiting so it would not go up sides very well. Any suggestions as to why?

    1. Hi Lori, did you make any substitutions to the ingredients? Also, did you use 5 egg whites instead of 4? One of the egg whites is supposed to be reserved for the end. I have made this crust many times with no issues, and many readers have been successful with it too. More details will help me troubleshoot this for you.

  11. If I use this crust for a peach pie. Do I follow the first baking directions and cook the filling separately and finish it with a struesll topping?

    1. Hi Connie, it depends on how long your peach filling usually bakes. I don’t like to bake things longer than 40-45 minutes in this pie shell due to the risk of it over-browning. If your filling and streusel topping will be fully baked in 45 minutes at 350 degrees F, it should be fine to put the filling in fresh. This is not a custard, so no need to up the temp to 425 at the beginning… just cook it at 350 after the pie shell has been filled. You can always cover the edges of the crust with foil to help keep it from burning. If you feel the filling needs longer to cook through, you may want to pre-cook it for a few minutes to start the process. Hope that helps!

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