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Allergy-Friendly Sweet Potato Pie (Gluten-Free and Vegan, Too!): Food Allergy Recipe Challenge #25

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I’m thankful for a lot of things this year. I’m thankful for my family, and my friends, and my kids’ great teachers. I’m thankful that my book did well, and that I’m excited by my job. But most of all, I’m thankful for the chance you readers give me to keep challenging my mind in new ways. Every time you give me a request, it’s a thrill. I love it, even when I hate it if it’s not going my way. I am so thankful that you give me opportunities to create foods that make you happy. So thank you, Karen, for your request for Sweet Potato Pie .

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1 Allergy-friendly, gluten-free, vegan Sweet Potato Pie. Happy Thanksgiving!

2 Combine graham-style crumbs with sugar and melted shortening. Then press mixture into the bottom of the pan with the palm of your hand.

3 Use your fingers to coax up the sides of the pan about 1 1/2 inches.

4 To prepare pie filling, start by combining sweet potato puree, sugar, salt, vanilla extract cinnamon, cloves, and ginger.

5 Whisk together cornstarch and rice milk.

6 Pour in the sweet potato mixture and whisk vigorously to smooth any lumps.

7 Whisk the coconut milk, adding the vegan gelatin. Bring to a full boil.

8 Combine both mixtures quickly, then pour into the pie shell.

Karen asked for an allergy-friendly and coconut-free recipe. This pie can be made with rice milk or with coconut milk. If you can eat the coconut milk, then go for it. I made it both ways, and it’s yummy with either.

I have also provided you with many options for your crust.  Pick your favorite. The challenge with this recipe? What wasn’t?  Making a custard without eggs, a crust without gluten, a creamy flavor without dairy. Instead of walking you through the various steps involved in replacing and swapping out, however, I’m just going to say, “Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving!”

Allergy-Friendly Sweet Potato Pie (gluten-free, and vegan too!)
This modern spin on an old-fashioned southern favorite is the perfect end to your allergen-free Thanksgiving meal. It’s delicious, “creamy,” and lovely to look at. I use a spring-form pan for the prettiest presentation, but you can also use a traditional 9-inch pie dish.

“Graham” Crust*:

Sweet Potato Pie Filling:

  • 2 cups sweet potato puree
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ cup rice milk
  • ¼ cup cornstarch, or tapioca starch, or potato starch
  • 1 ¾ cups rice milk, or coconut milk (1 13.5 oz. can)
  • 1 (0.3-ounce) packet vegan gelatin (I use Natural Desserts)
  1. Grease a 9-inch spring-form pan, then line bottom with a circle of parchment paper.
  2. Combine Graham-style crumbs with sugar and melted shortening. Mix. Press into bottom of pan, using palm of hand to press down. Use fingers to coax up sides of pan about 1 ½ inches.  Patch as necessary, ensuring there are no holes or cracks. Let chill in fridge 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake crust 15 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare pie filling. Combine sweet potato puree, canola oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, vanilla extract, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger in a heavy saucepan, stirring well. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and then decrease heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
  5. Whisk together the cornstarch and rice milk.  Pour into the sweet potato mixture and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes more. Whisk vigorously to smooth out any lumps. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  6. Whisk the coconut milk, being sure to incorporate any coconut cream that may have separated. Whisk the vegan gelatin into the coconut milk. Pour into a small saucepan. Bring to a full boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. Working quickly, pour the gelatin mixture into the sweet potato mixture, stirring well to combine thoroughly, then poor into room temperature pie shell. It may seem that it will overflow, but keep pouring—it will all fit. Transfer to fridge. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Remove outer rim of spring-form pan. Cut into wedges. Eat plain or with a little vegan whipped topping!

*If you can’t eat Kinnikinnick products, you may also use any of my gluten-free, allergy-friendly single piecrust recipes from The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook, pre-baking it as instructed in my book. Or you may use my Graham Cracker Recipe, and make it into crumbs. Or you may use any 9-inch gluten-free piecrust of choice, being sure to prebake it.

Allergy-Friendly Sweet Potato Pie
© 2010 by Cybele Pascal

(Please note that all my recipes are completely free of all top allergens (wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, and gluten), so as many people as possible can enjoy them. Additionally, all the ingredients are available at Whole Foods, and online at Amazon.com. If you have trouble finding something, let me know and I’ll help you find it.)

SAFETY NOTE: Because each person's food sensitivity and reaction is unique, ranging from mild intolerance to life-threatening and severe food allergies, it is up to the consumer to monitor ingredients and manufacturing conditions. If manufacturing conditions, potential cross contact between foods, and ingredient derivatives pose a risk for you, please re-read all food labels and call the manufacturer to confirm potential allergen concerns beforeconsumption. Ingredients and manufacturing practices can change overnight and without warning.

Cybele Pascal is the award-winning author of "The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook" and the "Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook." She lives in Los Angeles with her food-allergic family: husband Adam, sons Lennon and Monte, and their dogs, Izzie and Carly (who also has food allergies). Please visit her website at CybelePascal.com.

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Comments (16)

  • [...] pie, crumble, and crisp recipes, from Pumpkin Pie, to Apple Cranberry Pie. Or see my new Allergy-Friendly Sweet Potato Pie recipe at my Food Allergy Recipe Challenge on Martha Stewart’s Whole [...]

  • Thank you Cybele for all that you do...and being so gracious ...Thank you Karen for the request...
    My all time fav dessert,and the only thing i will be making on Thanksgiving.....is your recipe ...
    Have a great Thanksgiving....

  • I bet you can sub in pumpkin puree for the sweet potato. What do you think? I've been looking for a allergy-friendly pumpkin pie that doesn't include evaporated milk - this might do the trick.

  • Hi Ellen:

    Absolutely. Or try my pumpkin pie recipe in The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook.

    All best,


  • Thank you so much, Cybele. I'm so excited to make this. I am so thankful to you and all you do.

  • You are so welcome, Karen. I hope you all like it!

    Happy Thanksgiving!


  • [...] Sweet Potato Pie - From Martha Stewart Whole Living [...]

  • I've never had sweet potato pie before, I will have to try this later.

    I was wondering if you have ever made marshmallows before? I saw some(already made) online the other day, but they used beet sugar and soy flour which I won't use.

  • I just had to let you know that this was fantastic!! I did the crust from the Baker's Handbook with the sweet potato filling and it turned out great! Plus, a great thing about this (and the pumpkin pie) is that it seems to get even better the next day! Thanks for being such an important part of our Thanksgiving dinner :)

    So, I made my graham cracker crust by making Cybele's graham cracker recipe, and then making it into crumbs. I didn't make the crumbs fine enough, however, and found I was having trouble coaxing the crust up the sides of the pan. So I decided to try treating it like cheesecake - I patted all the crumbs in bottom, poured the custard in, and chilled overnight. The good news is that the custard was sturdy enough to stand on its own after I removed the springform! It may not be as aesthetically pleasing to some, but it worked great.

    I also discovered that using this method allowed me to cut the sugar and shortening the pie crust called for in half - using only the graham crumbs, 3 T shortening, and 2T sugar.

  • Thanks for the feedback, Karen and Sarah! So happy it turned out well for you.

  • [...] Art of Gluten-Free Baking – Pumpkin Pie Gluten Free Easily – Crustless Pumpkin Pie Whole Living – Sweet Potato Pie Gluten Free Goddess – Pumpkin Pie with Praline and Coconut-Pecan [...]

  • a tough one for you....my mother-in-law makes about 30 different kinds of cookies for Christmas, and I'm worried about how hard it will be for my family when we visit, this year. My husband's (egg and dairy) and daughter's (egg wheat dairy) cookie is Cream Wafers. 1 cup butter, 1/3 cup whipping cream, 2 cups flour. Creamy filling, 1/4 butter or marg, 3/4 cup confec. sugar.

    What do you think? I was thinking of trying with GF flour, half shortening and half vegan butter, and maybe coconut milk or vegan creamer for the whipping cream???? Is this worth a try? any other suggestions???

    Thanks again for a great thanksgiving!

  • This recipe is interesting. Most vegan pumpkin and sweet potato pies use silken tofu which gives it an incredibly thick, creamy texture. It's so encouraging to see mainstream chefs open to creating vegan recipes. Keep up the great work!

  • It's my first gluten free Christmas. Please help me modify the recipe for candy cane cookies I've been eating my whole life!

    1/2 cup margarine
    1/2 cup shortening
    1 cup confectioner's sugar
    1 egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1.5 teaspoons almond extract
    1 teaspoon salt
    2.5 cups flour
    1/2 teaspoon red food color

    Heat oven to 375.
    Mix margarine, shortening, confectioner's sugar, egg, and flavorings. Blend in flour and salt. Divide dough in half. Blend food color into one half.
    Shape 1 teaspoon dough from each color into 4 inch rope, rolling back and forth on cold surface (granite countertop). Press together lightly and twist into candy cane shape.
    Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 9 minutes or until set and very light brown.


  • [...] Allergy-Friendly Sweet Potato Pie from Cybele Pascal [...]

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