Planning a Gluten-free Thanksgiving

Pies and Beyond
You can have your pie (or torte) and eat it, too -- as long as it's gluten-free.
You can have your pie (or torte) and eat it, too -- as long as it's gluten-free.

Traditionalists can have their pie, with two caveats. First (you knew it): the crust must be made with either gluten-free flour (which some people say makes it flakier) or a non-flour substitute, like ground nuts or oats. You could also forego the crust completely: instead, serve pumpkin pie as pumpkin custard.

Second: fillings must be thickened with a gluten-free starch. Cornstarch, tapioca or gluten-free flour may work in homemade pies, depending on the recipe. Check store-bought mixes or fillings for wheat starch in the ingredients list. Again, you can dodge the thickener issue entirely with pecan pie.

Feeling ambitious? Try a flourless torte, a mousselike cake of ground nuts, eggs and butter. Stuff a pumpkin shell with its cooked flesh, mashed and mixed with chopped apples, raisin and nuts, and sweetened with maple syrup. Cook fruits with sugar into a fudgy, Middle Eastern halva. Top a meringue shell with fruit for the Australian specialty, pavlova.

Related Articles

More Great Links


  • Boyd, Christine. "A Closer Look at Gluten-Free Labeling." Living Without, April/May, 2010. (Oct. 8, 2010)
  • Brown, Alton. I'm Just Here for the Food. Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2002.
  • Davidson, Alan, ed. The Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford University Press: 1999.
  • Hamlyns of Scotland. "Oatmeal Stuffing." (Oct. 6, 2010)
  • Hillson, Beth. "Gluten-Free Flour Power." Living Without, Dec/Jan 2010. (Oct. 9, 2010)
  • Lapid, Nancy. "Tips for Baking with Gluten-Free Flour." Nov. 28, 2009 (Oct. 9, 2010)
  • Mehas, Kay Yockey, and Sharon Lesley Rodgers. Food Science: The Biochemistry of Food and Nutrition. Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 2002.
  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. "Celiac Disease." September 2008. (Oct. 6, 2010)
  • Nelson, Jennifer, and Katherine Zeratsky. "Why Aren't We Seeing 'Gluten-Free' on food labels?" April 21, 2009 (Oct. 7, 2010)
  • Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency. "Development of safe foods for Celiac patients -- A multidisciplinary approach." Food For Thought. May 2010. (Oct. 6, 2010)
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "Food Allergen Label and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 Questions and Answers." July 18, 2006. (Oct. 6, 2010) RegulatoryInformation/ucm106890.htm#q1
  • Wright, Clifford A. "What Is Couscous and How Does One Prepare It?" (Oct. 8, 2010)

More to Explore