A Little White Lie for Sky-High or G-F Black-Bottom Pumpkin Pie

Which one of these is a little white lie:

1. I’m still swimming, it gets easier every day.

2. I didn’t make either of these pies.

3. I made two pies and gave both of them away.

4. I made these pies, ate a slice of both and I swam an extra 50 laps to make up for it.

5. I just had to make the Black-Bottom Pumpkin Pie because it reminded me of my swimsuit.

What? So there was more than one lie, I lied about that too. What’s a little white lie between friends?

When I was volunteering last Friday, Anne remarked that this was absolutely the best pumpkin pie she’d ever tasted. She spoke so longingly and fervently about it, I just had to make one for her so she could enjoy it again.

Then I thought, why not make a Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie too, because even Gluten-Free people celebrate Thanksgiving. If I had to be honest, those little Stem Ginger Cookies made a better crumb crust.

I think I’m in time for the American Thanksgiving. In Canada, we’re finished with Thanksgiving, we’ve already moved on to Remembrance Day, we’ve started our Christmas shopping and are drinking lattés from Red Starbucks Cups..

Keep up, will you, People!

Sky-High Pumpkin Pie

Rating: 51

Sky-High Pumpkin Pie



2 cups gingersnaps crumbs

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted


5 egg yolks

2 cups pumpkin purée

3/4 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp cloves, ground

1/8 tsp nutmeg, ground

Candied Pecans

1 cup pecan halves

1 tbsp sugar


3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

5 egg whites


Preheat oven to 350° F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for spills.

Make gingersnap crumbs by blending hard gingersnap cookies in a food processor. Stir in melted butter. Press into a 9? round pie pan. Cover with foil and bake for about 10 minutes, then set on a rack to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, adding in the pumpking, coconut milk and brown sugar in order. Whisk in all spices. Pour filling over warm crust. Smooth top.

Bake, lightly covered with foil for 30 minutes. Remove foil and finish baking for another 30-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Move to a rack to cool.

To make the pecans, lightly toast them in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle 1 tbsp of sugar over. Stir until sugar melted and pecans are shiny, about 3-5 minutes. Move to parchment covered baking sheet to cool.

To make the meringue, combine 3/4 cup sugar with 1/4 cup water and cream of tartar in a medium saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Cook until sugar is melted and mixture becomes a syrup. Remove from heat. Beat egg whites in an electric mixer fitted with an a whisk attachment. Beat on high until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Slowly, pour hot syrup in a stream down the side of the bowl as the beater is moving, continue to beat until stiff peaks of meringue form, about another 2 more minutes.

Dollop and swirl the meringue all over the pie, leaving a larger amount in the center using the back of a spoon. Using a kitchen hand-torch or the oven’s broiler, toast gently until the peaks of the meringue have begun to brown. (2-3 minutes in the oven). Cool and garnish with candied pecans.


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Gluten-Free Black-Bottom Maple Pumpkin Pie

Rating: 51

Gluten-Free Black-Bottom Maple Pumpkin Pie



2 cups Gluten-Free Sunstart Stem Ginger Cookies

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Black Bottom

1/2 cup heavy cream

4 ounces bittersweet organic chocolate chips


2 cups pumpkin purée

3/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 tsp salt

5 egg yolks (whites set aside)

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp allspice

1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1/8 tsp mace

8-10 pecan halves


3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

5 egg whites


Preheat oven to 350° F.

To make crumbs, crush Sunstart Ginger Cookies in a food processor until finely ground. Stir in melted butter. Press into a 9? round pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and set on a rack to cool.

Pour cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat until almost boiling, then remove from heat and stir in the chocolate pieces. Mix until the chocolate has completely melted and blended in.

Pour carefully over the partically or completely cooled pie crust. Allow chocolate to partially set on the counter or in the fridge.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, stir together the pumpkin purée, maple syrup and salt. Heat the cream cheese gently for about 10 seconds in the microwave then whisk into the pumpkin mixture. Beat in the egg yolks. Stir in vanilla and the cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg and mace. Slowly pour over the partially set chocolate layer.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 60-70 minutes or until a knife inserted 1? from the edge of the crust comes out clean. If you wish, arrange pecan halves around the outside edge of the pie in the last 10 minutes or so of baking.

Remove to a rack to cool and then refrigerate until ready to serve.

To make the meringue, combine 3/4 cup sugar with 1/4 cup water and cream of tartar in a medium saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Cook until sugar is melted and mixture becomes a syrup. Remove from heat. Beat egg whites in an electric mixer fitted with an a whisk attachment. Beat on high until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Slowly, pour hot syrup in a stream down the side of the bowl as the beater is moving, continue to beat until stiff peaks of meringue form, about another 2 more minutes.

Dollop and swirl the meringue all over the pie, leaving a larger amount in the center using the back of a spoon. Using a kitchen hand-torch or the oven’s broiler, toast gently until the peaks of the meringue have begun to brown. (2-3 minutes in the oven). Serve warm.


Adapted from Simple Bites





  • sallybr - November 9, 2012 - 7:44 pm

    Because the pie you made has a very high white layer on top of it – and each molecule contained in that layer is extremely delicious – anything you say is a white lie. As long as it is contained in this post, you understand, right?

    You have absolutely nothing to worry about!

    And that is the pure truth. Sally said so. You better believe it. :-) ReplyCancel

    • Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen - November 10, 2012 - 11:20 pm

      What goes in the post, stays in the post.. you are now sworn to the utmost secrecy! Sally said and so it was. That sounds like the start of another post.. xxReplyCancel

  • Korena in the Kitchen - November 9, 2012 - 8:09 pm

    I couldn’t make two pies that look this good and give both of them away, so that’s my guess ;) I make pumpkin pie with coconut milk, too, (and maple syrup, actually!) and the gingersnap crust sounds killer. And the meringue! And the candied pecans! Oh my goodness! SO yummy.ReplyCancel

  • Keep Calm and Eat On - November 9, 2012 - 8:12 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever had pumpkin pie with meringue on top! The only kinda black bottom I had better not be talked about…all I can say is, that time I wasn’t responsible for burning food for a change!
    Chocolate and spiced pumpkins and pecans topped with meringue! You forgot to mention it was calorie free! :D ReplyCancel

    • Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen - November 10, 2012 - 11:17 pm

      Oh, I couldn’t imagine you burning anything.. you’re so talented in the kitchen!! That would make for a good blog story thought:) Yes.. calories free!!ReplyCancel

  • Alice - November 9, 2012 - 8:13 pm

    Not tempted at all.. What? A lie? How did you guess?ReplyCancel

  • Tessa - November 9, 2012 - 8:22 pm

    Beautiful pies! Pumpkin pie with meringue? Brilliant! What also caught my eye was that blue bowl with the pecans in it. Lovely!ReplyCancel

  • boomiebol - November 9, 2012 - 11:19 pm

    It’s midnight and I am now sweetly hungry :) ReplyCancel

  • Skuggs - November 9, 2012 - 11:43 pm

    What a pity this one wouldn’t survive an overnight post to the UK. O well, I will have to make my own, but there is no way I’d be giving it away! ReplyCancel

  • Tandy - November 10, 2012 - 12:32 am

    I hope you soon love your swimming as much as this pie :) ReplyCancel

  • Choc Chip Uru - November 10, 2012 - 1:33 am

    You may lie as much as necessary in order to get these pies to me ;)

    Choc Chip UruReplyCancel

  • Food,Photography & France - November 10, 2012 - 2:25 am

    I love the pictures and your writing. That goes without saying. But, I cannot for the life of me understand how anyone could like pumpkin pie:)ReplyCancel

    • Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen - November 10, 2012 - 11:14 pm

      Oh, dear.. you and my brother!! Now they’re two of you! I couldn’t convert him either so.. I’ll just have to let this one go ;) ReplyCancel

  • frugalfeeding - November 10, 2012 - 2:35 am

    Lookin’ dangerous there Barb’ :D – seriously delicious pie, of course :) ReplyCancel

  • Hetterbell - November 10, 2012 - 6:01 am

    I seem to be obsessed by seasons and occasions and I absolutely love the way your blog is so often like a “soundtrack”, but with food, to the changes in the year. Or would that be a “foodtrack”? Lovely! :) ReplyCancel

    • Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen - November 10, 2012 - 11:13 pm

      Thanks so much! I do feel influenced by the seasons.. maybe because they’re so much more extreme here. Change of seasons means change of landscape, clothing.. and then the food:) xxReplyCancel

  • Michelle - November 10, 2012 - 7:20 am

    Funny! And the pies look great, too. Both true!ReplyCancel

  • Eva Taylor - November 10, 2012 - 7:42 am

    Oh my, those pies look A M A Z I N G! And it’s so lovely of you to make one for your friend. I love to bake for my friends too, it just makes me happy. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you’re still swimming…ReplyCancel

    • Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen - November 10, 2012 - 11:11 pm

      I know you do.. that’s why you’ve always got friends over and you make them the most wonderful food:) I’m still swimming! Now everyone here will keep me accountable…ReplyCancel

  • gastrogardener - November 10, 2012 - 7:51 am

    I love the idea of meringue on pumpkin pie! My wife makes the pumpkin pies… I’m passing this along!

    Keep swimming!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly @ Inspired Edibles - November 10, 2012 - 8:10 am

    Smidge, I saw this meringue pumpkin pie in Chatelaine too and I was drooling!! Your sky-high is even more stunning… truly, what a success. I cannot believe that you would give *both* pies away without duly sampling… so I’m guessing that’s the white bluff ;-).ReplyCancel

    • Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen - November 10, 2012 - 11:10 pm

      It was fun to make, I didn’t change a thing.. and went to buy the magazine so I could try a few of the other recipes. It was a good month:) ps I did sampleReplyCancel

  • Mad Dog - November 10, 2012 - 9:26 am

    Pumpkin and pecans with meringue!ReplyCancel

  • My Italian Smörgåsbord - November 10, 2012 - 9:49 am

    hey woman :) now you gotta tell me what gingersnaps crumbs are as this pies do have an amazing crust and I love gluten-free alternative baking. thumb up for this post and recipe.ReplyCancel

    • Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen - November 10, 2012 - 11:09 pm

      I was thinking you could crush any Gluten-Free cookie and add butter then bake.. it would be worth experimenting I think. Thank you!!ReplyCancel

  • spree - November 10, 2012 - 10:36 am

    That Sky High Pumpkin Pie photo belongs on the cover! (of your book, or Just a Smidgen Magazine!) And the pie itself? Well, we know where THAT belongs! (Nooo, not on my thighs! But if that’s the price one has to pay, oh welllll!) (Loved all your little white lies smidge, and of course, x you!) :) xxReplyCancel

    • Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen - November 10, 2012 - 11:08 pm

      Some day I ought to put together a book for my kids.. although they’re not as interested in cooking at this stage of their lives;) Nooo.. not the thiiiiggghhhhssss!! xxReplyCancel

  • Brittany - November 10, 2012 - 10:58 am

    These pies are gorgeous! That maple one is my favorite. I am so excited for Thanksgiving, we are so desperately trying to keep up..we have the red Starbucks cups, does that count for anything?? ;) ReplyCancel

  • viveka - November 10, 2012 - 11:05 am

    Lies or not .. white or grey – there is no lies in those photos. Wow … I would have loved to have me in my kitchen team. Those indv. Pies I really crave now. Not fair at all, but I have some apple crumble that I will go for now. Barbara, you are Youre the most dangerous temptress there is.ReplyCancel

    • Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen - November 10, 2012 - 11:06 pm

      I adore apple crumble.. that would be very tempting as well:)ReplyCancel

      • viveka - November 11, 2012 - 2:42 am

        The crumble was good – and the custrad too. *smile
        Yes, remembered that I haven’t eaten icecream for over 10 days. I must be sick … !!!!!ReplyCancel

  • TasteFood - November 10, 2012 - 11:05 am

    Gorgeous – and nice thinking with the gluten-free option. Please pass a spoon.ReplyCancel

  • kateshrewsday - November 10, 2012 - 11:42 am

    Thank you for thinking of those who eat gluten-free, Barbara….my nephew Al loves home-made gluten free stuff. This will be a lovely recipe to try….ReplyCancel

  • richardmcgary - November 10, 2012 - 12:38 pm

    This looks incredibly delicious. Love the meringue and the gluten free sounds very intriguing. Once again, beautiful photos and scrumptious recipe.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - November 10, 2012 - 12:44 pm

    Oh. My. Goodness. I want nothing to do with either of these. That’s not a white lie….it’s a flat out bold lie! I need these. I need these bad! Smidge, the pictures are gorgeous, and look and sound like everything to be thankful for! You’re amazing.

    Also thankful for those red cups ;) ReplyCancel

  • The Life of Clare - November 10, 2012 - 12:51 pm

    Those pies look delicious! We don’t really do pumpkin pie in Australia, but after reading so many posts about them, I might just have to give one a go!ReplyCancel

    • Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen - November 10, 2012 - 11:03 pm

      That’s so interesting, I thought most Thanksgivings had Pumpkin, but I guess Apple would be an awesome choice too! What do you usually make?ReplyCancel

  • Just Add Attitude - November 10, 2012 - 1:58 pm

    I have totally forgotten the exact number but I read somewhere that we all tell quite a few white lies every day! Scary thought. These are drool-worthy recipes. I absolutely love anything with meringue on top. xxReplyCancel

  • hotlyspiced - November 10, 2012 - 2:25 pm

    What a gorgeous looking pie. I love the image of the slice of pie – it really shows how high that sky-high pie is. And don’t tell me you’ve given up swimming! As my coach used to say to me, ‘You’ve gotta push through the pain barrier’. I hope you give it another try. It’s a fabulous sport that’s easy to fall in love with when you can do it well – and yes, that does take a bit of practise xxReplyCancel

    • Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen - November 10, 2012 - 11:02 pm

      I haven’t given up at all.. in fact, I’m starting to quite like it (after only two sessions, lol!). I think it’s the whole “zen” thing about being in the water.. I will keep practicing! Those life guards give out good tips too! xxReplyCancel

  • ChgoJohn - November 10, 2012 - 3:30 pm

    This is so not fair. I’ve come to accept your extraordinary cake baking & decorating skills, your photographic talent, and your gift with words. Must I add pies to the list, too? I mean, just look at these two beauties! They’re as near to perfection as any pumpkin pie could aspire to be. So not fair.ReplyCancel

    • Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen - November 10, 2012 - 11:01 pm

      That Chatelaine recipe was a keeper.. so you can blame them instead of me.. sometimes, it just takes being a good recipe reader/follower of instructions:D Other times, well.. ReplyCancel

  • emmycooks - November 10, 2012 - 4:21 pm

    Suddenly I’m so glad we still have Thanksgiving (and lots of pie!) to look forward to! :) ReplyCancel

  • writerwannabe763 - November 10, 2012 - 7:06 pm

    They look so yummy…I’ve never had success with pumpkin pie but I think it’s psychological ..the very first one I attempted I bought a can of pumpkin pie ….one that my mother used but I never watched her make it I guess and after I was married I poured the contents of the can into a pie crust and baked it!….My poor little brother in law had a piece and his comment was….’sure is pumpkiny’….End of story….DianeReplyCancel

    • Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen - November 10, 2012 - 10:59 pm

      Too cute!! Your brother-in-law is so polite! My brother would say something similar and then give me that “look” and we’d both be doubled over laughing! xxReplyCancel

  • thecompletecookbook - November 11, 2012 - 1:23 am

    A white what, sorry, I am too distracted by your pics of pie to focus on anything else.
    :-) MandyReplyCancel

  • rsmacaalay - November 11, 2012 - 1:28 am

    Wow this is so good! I cant stop staring at those yummy photos!ReplyCancel

  • Promenade Claire - November 11, 2012 - 4:26 am

    Ha keeping up !! No chance from this side of the pond :)
    I’ll be totally honest – I’ve never made an american/canadian/ or other pumpkin pie. Savoury yes, sweet no.
    With merrangue topping? Uh uh! I just can’t get my head around that one.
    Picked yourself up yet …..
    :) I look at them and think, yup that looks good/gorgeous/amazing…… and then that’s where it stops !
    Now if I was offered a slice of pumpkin pie that would be different…… so I’m on way way round :) ReplyCancel

  • Kristy - November 11, 2012 - 5:58 am

    I had my first Starbucks gingerbread latte last week. :) Love this season!!! These pies are beautiful Smidge. The gingerbread cookie crust does sound quite good.ReplyCancel

  • yummychunklet - November 11, 2012 - 6:36 am

    That gluten-free pie looks great!ReplyCancel

  • Norma Chang - November 11, 2012 - 6:49 am

    If you put those 2 pies in front of me, I swear I would not touch them with my fingers. No, it is not a lie, but I will dig into them with my fork.ReplyCancel

  • susielindau - November 11, 2012 - 8:31 am

    I like pie but these look amazing! Definitely going to try the Black Bottom! Yum!ReplyCancel

  • Judy @Savoring Today - November 11, 2012 - 8:53 am

    You are so right — gluten-free ginger snaps make a wonderful pie crust! Barb, your pies are beautifully done, so very inviting to celebrate. Happy Thanksgiving!ReplyCancel

  • cravesadventure - November 11, 2012 - 9:11 am

    OMG – My pie dreams are real – YUMMERS! Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • The Hook - November 11, 2012 - 9:46 am

    I LOVE pumpkin pie! Nice job!ReplyCancel

  • mjskit - November 11, 2012 - 9:06 pm

    Both of these pie look delicious but I have to admit that the Black bottom pie really caught my interest. I’d love to taste it so I guess I’ll need to make it. :) Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!ReplyCancel

  • petit4chocolatier - November 12, 2012 - 5:47 am

    I have never had a pumpkin pie with meringue on top. And the ginger cookie crust sounds even better. These are my types of pies; love them!ReplyCancel

  • Carolyn Chan - November 12, 2012 - 6:47 am

    Barb, that first photo made my entire mouth fill with saliva! Lie away!!ReplyCancel

  • Gretchen O'Donnell - November 12, 2012 - 7:33 am

    As always, inspiring and gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • Coleen Patrick - November 12, 2012 - 2:26 pm

    I love pumpkin pie, meringue and gluten doesn’t like me–so you’ve just made my day with this recipe! :) YUMReplyCancel

  • Three Well Beings - November 12, 2012 - 3:42 pm

    Oh goodness! Each one is spectacular! I was hoping one would emerge as the “favorite” but I can’t decide. Maybe I can make one or two now and follow up with Christmas! Pumpkin is a favorite in my family year-round. My son-in-law even asked for a pumpkin pie for his October birthday, and gingersnaps are my dad’s favorite cookie, so I think I must commit! I don’t know that I will ever bake as beautifully as you do, Barbara, but the recipes are so lovely I know they will taste good…and I don’t have to take photographs of my end result! :-) ReplyCancel

  • Ruth - November 12, 2012 - 3:46 pm

    Aaaah, that explains it! Canada is why us folks south of the border see Christmas decorations everywhere before Halloween even hits! Hehehe, just kidding :). The pies look fantastic, Smidge, especially the one with all that fluffy meringue!ReplyCancel

  • musingmar - November 12, 2012 - 8:49 pm

    It would never have occurred to me to put meringue on a pumpkin pie – it looks so lovely! Both pies sound and look so good, but I know I’ll never be able to serve one at Thanksgiving. That’s because my daughter the Tradition Enforcer is adamant that old recipes not be adjusted in any way when it comes to the apparently sacred menu for this holiday. On the other hand, I could make one of these pies any other time that I want!ReplyCancel

  • Erin's DC Kitchen - November 13, 2012 - 1:56 pm

    Oh my gosh that meringue is beautiful. Even though we haven’t had Thanksgiving here in America yet, I’ve already started my shopping, and even listened to some Christmas music this week. :-) ReplyCancel

  • Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb - November 14, 2012 - 1:03 am

    Thats the prettiest pie so far today and in general I believe. Number 4 is for sure a lie, right? =P
    Just looking at your pie makes me feel guilty and I have a feeling I gained a couple of cages by the minute. lol I d love to make it, so thank you for sharing it with us, its the right and only decision.ReplyCancel

  • The Snowbird Hawthorne | Barbara Bamber - November 14, 2012 - 7:16 am

    [...] The main… [...]ReplyCancel

  • Sarah | Curious Cuisiniere - November 14, 2012 - 2:51 pm

    These both look fantastic! I love the idea of meringue on a pumpkin pie. I may suggest that for this year’s Thanksgiving!ReplyCancel

  • Heather @ SugarDish(Me) - November 14, 2012 - 8:26 pm

    You ARE in time for Thanksgiving! I love everything about BOTH of these pies! But I can’t keep up… my neighbors have put up Christmas lights and its got me all out of sorts. Not yet!! Thanks for visiting me at Carol Anne’s page– your site is gorgeous; I might be lost here for days! My gravatar’s not linking back properly… I’m at http://www.sugardishme.com. Thanks for the gingersnappy twist!ReplyCancel

  • The Orange Bee - November 15, 2012 - 6:31 am

    I’m don’t which to choose – lies or pies! Let me just say I love the sound of the crust – I think I just might have to give it a try.ReplyCancel

  • wickedandweirdaroundtheworld - November 15, 2012 - 8:16 am

    Drat. I shouldn’t have read this – now I’m going to have to go to the shop and pick up a tasty treat..ReplyCancel

  • Karista - November 15, 2012 - 11:26 pm

    This looks over the top delicious Smidge! I think I’m going to have to make this one. Yum! And Gluten free too! My youngest is gluten free. I should be but with my line of work it’s not always possible.ReplyCancel

  • Lesley - November 16, 2012 - 2:44 am

    Wow you have been busy.:)ReplyCancel

  • calluswhatever - November 21, 2012 - 10:51 am
  • Claire D - November 24, 2012 - 11:12 pm

    I love meringue on any pie – these look divine!ReplyCancel

  • Lilly Sue - December 6, 2012 - 10:30 am

    Pumpkin and pecan?! Sounds like the perfect combination!ReplyCancel

  • Jeannie - March 19, 2013 - 2:39 pm

    I am looking for gluten free recipes for my family and ran across this. Wow. This looks so good. I limit my goodies, but I will have to try this.ReplyCancel

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