Individual Pumpkin Pies without Crust (aka Pumpkin Custards)
Mini Pumpkin Pies without a crust are a creamy, perfectly spiced way to enjoy the best part of the pie. A simple but delicious pumpkin pie filling is poured into ramekins and baked into individual custards that are the perfect size to keep all to yourself. Whether you don’t like to make or eat crust, or need an easy gluten free Thanksgiving dessert, this crustless recipe is the on you need.
These are definitely one of Fall’s best gluten-free pumpkin recipes and the video will show you just how simple it is to make!
Originally published in November 2014. This post has been updated over the years to add newer photos including process shots, a video, and even more tips and information about the recipe.
Being born on November 27th, my birthday usually falls on or within a day or two of Thanksgiving. As a kid, since we were already getting together as a family on Thanksgiving, and often on the next day to eat leftovers, my family birthday celebration was usually done on Thanksgiving. This meant my candles went in the pumpkin pie, since apple pie is not the best support system for birthday candles. One problem…
Sometime later in life, I actually started liking it. So I began making it, and I always made the Martha Stewart pumpkin pie. Her filling is always perfect.
In fact, the Hubby, who claimed to never really like it either happily eats it every year. The first year he tried it, I’m sure he just said it since he was trying to impress me and my family. But even now he still eats it, so I’m going to keep convincing myself it is because mine is exceptionally good.
How does Martha Stewart make pumpkin pie?
I don’t know if it is her use of brown sugar instead of white sugar to give it that hint of molasses flavor, the perfect amount of spices, or the evaporated milk and cornstarch that ensure it holds together while still staying creamy. But it is the best.
And it does not involve anything more than whisking the ingredients together in a bowl.
The only thing I have done is use a full can of pumpkin and a full can of evaporated milk. Her recipe calls for exact measurements which are slightly less than a full can. But I have done it this way for years and never had a problem.
Back in the day, I followed Martha’s crust recipe, as well. But now, since I don’t really like crust, have a gluten allergy, and really don’t want to fiddle with gluten free pie crust, I stick with no crust pumpkin pie.
And I make individual ones because then you can eat an entire pie yourself!
No-Crust Mini Pumpkin Pie Recipe
Who needs crust when you can enjoy the best part of the pie in your own single-serving dessert? These mini pumpkin pies are perfect to serve any time you want to satisfy your pumpkin pie craving but don’t want to deal with making a crust.
I suppose you could just call them pumpkin custards, but Mini Crustless Pumpkin Pies sounds way more festive. And it’s always more fun to eat your own single-serving dessert.
Is Crustless Pumpkin Pie gluten free?
Yes, this is a perfect option for a gluten free pumpkin pie recipe. Rather than trying to make a gluten free crust, there is no crust at all, which takes that out of the equation.
And the pumpkin custard is made with cornstarch as a thickener, which along with all of the other ingredients are as well, are gluten free.
You can either make a batch of these to share with the family. But if you are the only member of the family who needs a gluten free Thanksgiving dessert, you have the option of just filling one custard cup. Then pour the rest of the filling in a crust and baking like you would a regular pumpkin pie.
How to make mini pumpkin pies
A sweet pumpkin pie filling with the warm spices of cinnamon and ginger is baked in ramekins for a creamy pumpkin custard. I guarantee these are going to be a hit with your friends and family.
Here is a brief overview so you can see just how easy it is to make. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for the full quantities and details.
But don’t skip my PRO TIPS below!
- Pumpkin puree – this is not pre-made pumpkin pie filling. The only ingredient should be pumpkin.
- Light brown sugar – lightly packed. I have used dark brown sugar and it works, but I recommend sticking with the light brown as it does not overwhelm the other flavors, and dark brown sugar gives a darker pie.
- Kosher salt
- Pumpkin pie spice – you can buy it in a bottle already made, or use the spices in my pantry to make this Pumpkin Pie Spice from How Sweet It Is.
- Evaporated milk – NOT sweetened condensed milk.
To make this recipe, you will also need:
- RAMEKINS – The most common question I get is what size ramekins to make these mini pumpkin pies in. I use 4 oz. ramekins like these. You could make them smaller or bigger, but you would have to adjust the baking time. I find that this is actually the perfect serving size.
- Large glass baking dish at least 9×13 inches – you’ll be baking these in a water bath so you’ll need to set the ramekins in this baking pan.
- Large mixing bowl
- Whisk – whisking ensures you get the ingredients thoroughly mixed and smooth before adding the evaporated milk.
- Spatula – I prefer to stir the evaporated milk in with a spatula to avoid too many bubbles which can lead to bubbles on the top of your pies.
Directions overview – scroll to the recipe card for the full set of instructions
You’ll be baking these in a water bath, so before you get started, start heating a pot or teapot of water for the water bath. Place ramekins in a large glass baking dish.
Combine all of the ingredients except the evaporated milk together in a bowl. Then whisk make sure it is nice and smooth and there are no lumps of brown sugar.
Then gently stir in the can of evaporated milk. The can will say to shake it, but since you are using all of it, I recommend just swirl it a bit and pour it all in. Then fold in gently. These two tips will help keep a bunch of small bubbles from forming. These aren’t really a problem, but you could end up with a bubbly top to your pies instead of it being nice and smooth.
Pour the mixture into ramekins. Then pour the hot water into the baking dish around the ramekins. You can do this after you set it on the oven rack if you don’t want to carry a heavy dish filled with boiling water.
Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes or until barely set. The crustless pumpkin pies will still be slightly jiggly when done. They will firm up as they sit in the ramekins and cool. Overbaking is not the end of the world, but they might crack in the middle.
Cool completely and store in the refrigerator.
You can also make a standard size crustless pumpkin pie.
Do you have to refrigerate pumpkin pie?
Yes, since it is a custard with eggs and milk, you do have to store it in the refrigerator to avoid the growth of bacateria.
Can you freeze cooked pumpkin pie filling?
Yes, after baking, you can freeze these pumpkin custards. I would not recommend freezing it before baking. But after baking, they to freeze and thaw nicely if wrapped thoroughly in plastic wrap. Just remove them from the freezer and thaw in the refrigerator.
How do you serve pumpkin custards?
- Is it even pumpkin pie without whipped cream? While I love fresh whipped cream as I make for my Gluten Free Strawberries and Cream Cake, I’m a sucker for Cool Whip on my pumpkin pie. #dontjudge
- If you are missing the crust or want something crunchy with the pie, sprinkle some graham cracker or gingersnap crumbs on top. There are plenty of gluten free options, like these gluten free grahams.
- If you like ice cream with your pie, Vanilla Cheesecake Ice Cream is an easy option for vanilla with a tangy twist.
- And if you want to know what to do with leftover pumpkin pie filling, try these Pumpkin Pie Greek Yogurt Parfaits!
More gluten free pumpkin recipes
- Pumpkin Pie Pudding
- Gluten Free Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cake
- Mini Brownie Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse Parfaits
- Nutella Swirl Pumpkin No-Churn Ice Cream
- Flourless Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake from Chelsea’s Messy Apron
- No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse from Snixy Kitchen
More gluten free pie recipes
- No-Bake Banana Cream Pie with Dulce de Leche
- Mini No-Bake Bailey’s Chocolate Mousse Pies
- S’Mores Chocolate Pudding Pie
- Snickers Monster Cookie Pie
- Shepherds Pie (OK, so that’s a loose definition of pie, but it is delicious!)
Individual Crustless Pumpkin Pies (aka Pumpkin Custards)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Place 6 ramekins or custard cups in a large baking dish. Heat a pot or teapot of water to boiling, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and eggs.
- Whisk to combine thoroughly.
- Add evaporated milk, and stir to combine.
- Fill the ramekins with the pumpkin mixture. Pour the hot water in the baking dish around the ramekins.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until set in the middle.
- Remove from the oven, and let cool in the pan until cool enough to handle.
- Remove the ramekins from the water bath. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled in the refrigerator.
This recipe was originally published on November 27, 2010, and was updated with new photos and a video on November 17, 2016.