The expression “easy as pie” has always struck me as somewhat peculiar. I’ve never found pie all that simple. When I was writing The Boozy Baker, the pies and tarts chapter was by far the most difficult. First there was the matter of the crust: rolling it out, transferring it to the baking dish in one piece, and praying it didn’t crack in the oven. Then there was the filling: how to get it thick enough so that it held together in slices without being gummy.
On Thanksgiving, when we’re already cooking a million other dishes, who wants to add a fussy, complicated pie to their to-do list? Definitely not me.
So here is a pie that really is easy. And gluten-free. And kid-approved.
Deep in its heart of hearts, this pie is really a brownie. Cocoa and dark chocolate chips pack a double chocolate punch. Half the batter is baked in the bottom of the pan to form the “crust.” It’s practically effortless.
Then creamy pumpkin custard is poured over the top and swirled with the remaining brownie batter. So pretty! Mine cracked a tiny bit in the oven, but no worries. We’ll just cover those parts with ice cream.
Vanilla ice cream is the classic choice, but I think coffee would be totally outrageous.
Pumpkin ♥ coffee ♥ chocolate.
This gluten-free pumpkin brownie pie is incredibly rich. A little sliver goes a long way. I found it was easiest to slice after it set in the refrigerator overnight (so it’s make ahead—bonus!). If you’re having trouble getting neat pieces, run your knife under hot water. It’s a quick trick that always helps.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 (12-ounce) package dark chocolate chips
- 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup gluten-free all-purpose baking flour
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup gluten-free all-purpose baking flour
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9-inch deep dish pie plate with nonstick spray.
- To make the brownie filling: combine the butter and chocolate chips in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring often, until melted and smooth. Stir in the light brown sugar. Remove from the heat and whisk in the eggs, one at a time, the vanilla, flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Pour about 1/2 the batter into the bottom of the pie plate and spread evenly. Bake until shiny and just starting to set, about 20 minutes. Cool 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the pumpkin filling: in a medium bowl, whisk the pumpkin, heavy cream, egg, sugar, flour, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
- Pour the pumpkin filling into the pie plate over the brownie layer. Whisk 1 tablespoon of water into the remaining brownie batter. With a spoon, drop scoops of brownie batter over the pumpkin batter. Use a butter knife to gently swirl the brownie batter into the pumpkin. (If it seems like the brownie batter is sinking too much, leave some of the scoops on the surface unswirled.)
- Bake until the pumpkin is set and the brownie swirls are shiny, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool completely. (The pie can be made ahead and refrigerated for 2 days.) Bring to room temperature before serving.